Hidden Diet Busters at Summer Hot Spots

Don't fall for these summer snacks that aren't as healthy as they may seem.

ByABC News via logo
July 4, 2009, 4:36 PM

July 5, 2009— -- It's summertime, and before heading to the beach or the barbeque ... beware! Hidden calories, fat and sugar in many diet-friendly imposters lurk at every picnic table. Contributing editor at Shape magazine and registered dietician Cynthia Sass revealed hidden diet-busting and artery-clogging food foolers.

Food Fooler: Turkey Burger

Why It's Bad: The leanness of a burger has less to do with the type of protein and more to do with the percentage of fat. A turkey burger can pack more fat and calories than a beef burger if the ground meat is made with a higher percentage of dark meat and animal fat. One 4-ounce turkey burger made with 85 percent lean meat can have 17 grams of fat.

Fat Equals: 4 Pats of Butter

Healthy Alternative: Shish Kabobs. Shrimp is low in calories (just five calories per one large shrimp) and rich in protein and heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and 75 percent of Americas fail to get the recommended minimum number of vegetable servings daily. Kabobs alternating shrimp and veggies are a great way to fill the gap. Grilling brings out the natural sweetness in fresh veggies; brush or mist them with an herb or garlic infused oil before grilling -- healthy fat like extra virgin olive oil helps absorb up to 10 times more of the antioxidants. (Note: These kabobs should have more veggies than shrimp on the skewers.)

Amusement Park
Food Fooler: Soft Pretzel

Why It's Bad: Soft pretzels are fat free but one giant pretzel can pack nearly 500 calories from the carbohydrate equivalent of 6½ slices of bread. That's more than the recommended number of bread servings for the whole day.

Calories Equal: 5 Servings of Cotton Candy

Healthy Alternative: French Fries. If fried in pure vegetable oil instead of partially hydrogenated oil (aka trans fat), French fries are far from evil. Fresh cut fries bathed in liquid vegetable oil provide heart-healthy unsaturated fats and potatoes are a good source of potassium, vitamin B6 and antioxidants.