TODAY nutritionist Joy Bauer kicks off her new series about foods that many people assume would sabotage a diet, but actually taste great and will help you lose weight.
This morning on TODAY, Joy Bauer launched her new series "Too Good To Be Healthy." In it, she'll be sharing her picks for foods that that help you manage your weight -- and taste great, too!
Mrs. May's Almond Crunch
Made from with almonds and just 3 other simple ingredients, these natural, crunchy nut clusters are just slightly sweet (3 grams sugar per serving) - and majorly delicious. Grab a handful during an afternoon slump and you'll feel energized, satisfied, and glad you didn't reach for a candy bar. I love that they're available in most airports - they're my go-to plane snack!
Nutrition information (6 pieces)
Total Fat 13g (1g saturated)
Dietary Fiber 3g
Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread
This whole-grain bread is made with brown rice flour and other healthy, natural ingredients like sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and extra virgin olive oil…and flavored with plump raisins and warm, cozy cinnamon. And it's one of the moistest gluten-free breads I've tried. Pop a slice in the toaster and top with your favorite spread such as peanut/almond butter - or the Laughing Cow cream cheese wedges we have coming up next - for a tasty breakfast or snack.
Nutrition information (1 Slice)
Total Fat 1.5g (no saturated or trans)
Dietary Fiber 2g
Laughing Cow "1/3 Less Fat" Cream Cheese Spread Wedges
The typical person tops their bagel with nearly ¼ cup cream cheese, which slathers on a whopping 200 calories and lots of unhealthy fat -- so these pre-portioned wedges from Laughing Cow will automatically help you keep your breakfast on the light side. They're made with "1/3 less fat" and have just 45 calories per mini-wedge. The “plain” and “garden vegetable” flavors are both terrific picks (heads up: the “strawberry” and “cinnamon” varieties contain the artificial sweetener aspartame).
Nutrition information (1 wedge)
Total fat 4g (2.5g saturated)
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sunsweet "Dark Chocolate" SunSweets
These bite size pieces of dried plums (a.k.a. prunes!), coated in rich, dark chocolate are the perfect indulgence. Creamy on the outside and chewy on the inside, these treats will satisfy your sweet tooth while giving you a little burst of nutrition from the dried fruit. Plus, you get a double shot of antioxidants from the prunes and the dark chocolate. Best of all, they are just as tasty as the expensive chocolates sold in candies store at a much lower price!
Nutrition information (14 pieces)
Total Fat 6 g (3 g saturated)
Carbohydrate 19 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 13 g
Protein 1 g
Turkey Perky Jerky
Jerky often gets a bad rap -- most brands are highly processed and loaded with salt, sugar (!), and preservatives. But this one is a different story. It's made with ultra-lean turkey breast, and has just 50 calories and 110 mg sodium per ounce (but a pack is 2 ounces and you'll definitely end up eating the whole thing, so you'll need to double the stats) - and since it's almost pure protein, it's the ideal snack to squash your hunger. It's a terrific healthy, portable munchie (great for travel or toting to work). And rest assured, there are no preservatives, nitrates, or MSG.
But why is this jerky "perky"? It contains guarana, a stimulant that delivers about 40 mg of caffeine in a 1 oz serving (about the same dose as a can of cola). Which means you can nibble on jerky instead of grabbing your usual Diet Coke when you need a little afternoon pick-me-up.
Nutrition information (1 oz)
Total Fat 0 g
Carbohydrate 2 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 2 g
Protein 9 g
Sodium 110 mg
Joy’s Ricotta-Mushroom Pita Pizza
You won't miss that cheesy Sicilian slice from your local pizzeria after you try this ricotta-mushroom pie. By using a pita bread as the crust, I create a delicious personal pizza that's perfectly portion-controlled. Healthy comfort food at its best!
1 full-size, whole-grain pita bread (about 150 calories)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons part-skim ricotta cheese
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Place the pita bread (closed, do not cut open) on the baking sheet and mist the surface with oil spray. Toast the bread in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, coat a small skillet with oil spray and preheat over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Season with the garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.
Spread the ricotta cheese evenly over the toasted pita bread. Top with the sautéed mushrooms, and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes, if using (sprinkle lightly-they're very hot!). Bake the pizza for 8 minutes.
Protein 16 g
Total Fat 5 g
Saturated Fat 2.5 g
Cholesterol 20 mg
Sodium 425 mg
Carbohydrate 38 g
Fiber 7 g
Also by Joy Bauer:
More diet and nutrition stories: