Nutritionists Weigh In On Healthy Instagram Food Porn

From  avocado toast to stunning smoothie bowls, if your Insatgram feed is anything like ours, it’s likely flooded will all kinds of photogenic foods. The stylish shots of mouthwatering meals and snacks seem healthy, but how good for you are these picture-perfect bites, really? We asked top nutritionists to weigh in on the nutritional value of all the “healthy” #foodporn that’s filling up your feed.

Avocodo Toast

Sure, snapping a pic of your avocado toast is basic, but who can resist? And the power couple isn’t just super ‘grammable: “It’s a great way to combine healthy fats with whole grains—if you select whole wheat toast,” notes Georgie Fear, RD, CSSD, author of Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss. Avocados are admittedly caloric and high in fat, so rather than eating five pieces of avocado toast, think about adding protein and veggies to one piece for a complete meal. Fear suggests pairing with a veggie omelet for breakfast, or with a salad and chicken for lunch.

Matcha Lattes

This green tea is filled with good-for-you compounds, including polyphenols, which may reduce the risk of heart diseases and cancer, and L-theanine, which helps you focus without the crash of caffeine. Still, as with any other coffee drink, the amount of sugar is the key thing to watch out for, says Fear. And don’t be fooled into thinking that a non-dairy milk, such as soy or almond, makes your latte habit healthier: “While almond milk sounds like the healthiest option, some varieties can hide lots of sugar. Be sure to ask for the unsweetened type,” advises Keri Glassman, MS, RDN, CDN, and CEO & founder of Nutritious Life.

Rainbow Smoothie Bowls

“Eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies is the hallmark of a healthy diet. The different hues hint at the wide spectrum of nutrients we get from brightly-colored produce,” says Fear. So, go ahead and taste the rainbow—as long as the ingredients in your bowl are naturally-derived. If it’s things like acai, spirulina, chlorophyll, and turmeric making for the vibrant colors, you’re good to go; otherwise, you’re likely just eating food coloring. And as with smoothies in general, remember that they can be packed with sugar, so be cognizant of that, too.

Detox Tea

Celebs and reality stars tout detox teas left and right, but the nutritionists we spoke with didn’t give this any likes.  “Anything that promises to detox your body should be looked at with a questionable eye,” cautions nutritionist Keri Gans, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet. “Your body is always working on detoxifying and removing waste products. Tea isn’t going to make one bit of a difference,” adds Fear.

The Monday of ice creams. ???: @merriechristopher at @little.damage

A post shared by WannaGo (@wannagoofficial) on Oct 16, 2017 at 12:19pm PDT

Charcoal Ice Cream

It may be more photogenic than a standard scoop, but don’t let the color fool you. “Ice cream is still ice cream. It’s okay as an occasional dessert, but not on a daily basis,” notes Gans. Also, because activated charcoal (which gives this frozen dessert its black color) acts as a sponge and absorbs other compounds, Fear says it’s best not to eat it within two hours of taking any kind of medication.

Chia Seed Pudding

A great source of fiber and plant-derived omega-3 fatty acids, this is both a pretty and healthy food choice. Go easy on sweetener, add some fresh fruit and protein powder, and this pudding can become a stellar meal, says Fear.

Spiralized Veggies

The pasta substitute is all the rage—and rightfully so. “Spiralized veggies make a great, low-calorie base for people who like to eat big meals, but don’t want all the calories of traditional spaghetti,” explains Fear. Just make sure that whatever you add on top is healthy, cautions Gans, who recommends a lean protein and bit of healthy fat, such as olive oil.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Go ahead, make tonight pizza night. “Cauliflower crust can definitely help to lower calories and add fiber compared to a traditional white crust,” says Gans. The big caveat is the toppings; a meat lovers situation isn’t going to be healthy, even if the crust is made from cauliflower. Read the recipe or ingredient label of the crust carefully, too, as Fear notes that many can be loaded with caloric cheese. (Also, a healthy crust isn’t a free pass to eat the entire pie…Sorry.)

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