In case you’re puzzled by the title of this post, translation: foods that are surprisingly high in points.
- Flavored instant oatmeal. You know, the standard, “Strawberries and Cream,” “Maple Brown Sugar, “Apples and Cinnamon,” and such, prepackaged by Quaker Oats, etc. Most are 5 PointsPlus® for a tiny pack. If you add a 1/2 cup of skim milk to yours, make that 6.
- Tortillas. Many tortillas are oversized to an extreme degree and even small ones can sometimes be a surprising 5 PointsPlus®. Stick to the low-carb variety, which are typically 2 PointsPlus®. Mission Carb Balance is a safe bet and I’ve found some store brand ones for the same points value. (I get mine at Stop and Shop in MA.)
- Cheese and crackers. So most people know this is bad, but not just HOW bad, considering very few people eat just 1 or 2 crackers. Each tiny 1” cube of cheese is 3 points! This snack adds up FAST. Crackers vary of course, but Pepperidge Farms Entertaining Quartet Distinctive Crackers are 2 points for 4 crackers. So if you only have one bite of cracker and cheese, that’s essentially 2 points. I try to steer clear. (I know: not easy!)
- Cake and muffins (which are really cake). Again, many people know this is bad in the points/calorie department, but not just how bad. Cake is typically a minimum of 14 PointsPlus® for a 2” square while most muffins are AT LEAST 18 PointsPlus®.(Although I recall that those from Starbucks are significantly fewer points than those from Dunkin’ Donuts.) If there are other options, go with those. Cookies are typically the least points if you can control your portion (3 PointsPlus® for two mini cookies), ice cream is 4 PointsPlus® per ½ cup, while most brownies are 6 PointsPlus® (2” square). I have a hard time with keeping my portions in check on all of these trigger foods, to be honest, so I usually bring a diet soda cake, fat free Breyer’s ice cream, or No Pudge brownies when at all possible. This week end I’m bringing low fat Death by Chocolate ‘cause my fam loves it and I need a low-point option so I don’t attack the bakery cake that I know will be there!
- Juice. Perhaps it’s not too surprising, but most people drastically underestimate just how much they consume in a sitting. It’s easy to lose track of how many times you (or someone else) refilled your little juice glass. Just remember that it’s 4 points a cup (for cranberry) and that adds up fast. Orange-grapefruit and plain grapefruit juice are better at 2 PointsPlus® per cup. Orange juice is 3. An orange, of course, is 0. Yes, please!