3) Fast Food Salads
Physique-Builders: The best ones you'll find are adorned with protein-dense salmon, grilled chicken, beans or hard-boiled eggs. The veggies harbor antioxidants and plenty of fiber, which tempers blood-sugar fluctuations.
Physique-Killers: Bread that chicken and fry it, then pile on croutons, cheese, bacon and creamy dressings (like many restaurants routinely do) and the calories and fat can add up faster than snowflakes during a blizzard.
Smart Play: Before you hit the drive-thru, check the nutrition information on the establishment's website for the salads that have the best protein-to-fat ratio. Opt for lower-fat dressing and gravitate toward healthier toppings such as fruit and nuts. Remember, tomatoes fight disease. Croutons? Not so much.
May We Suggest: McDonald's Premium Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken w/ Newman's Own Low-Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette (mcdonalds.com), salad: 300 calories, 32 g protein, 23 g carbs, 10 g fat (1 g saturated); dressing: 40 calories, 0 g protein, 4 g carbs, 3 g fat (0 g saturated)
4) Peanut Butter
Physique-Builders: Fat-torching, testosterone-raising monounsaturated fat; blood-glucose-regulating magnesium; growth-hormone-stimulating niacin; and muscle-repairing vitamin E are among the many reasons to go nutty.
Physique-Killers: Peanut butter often has two unwelcome guests - sugar and trans fat. Hydrogenated oil (aka trans fat) is added to many commercial brands to extend shelf life and prevent oil separation. Unfortunately, research shows it can also prevent you from separating from your own fat stores. In addition, trans fat increases muscle breakdown and discourages muscle growth.
Smart Play: "Go for natural brands that are just peanuts," Gidus advises. Bypass any low-fat versions, since they simply replace healthy fat with nutritionally suspect sugar.
May We Suggest: Arrowhead Mills Crunchy Valencia Peanut Butter (arrowheadmills.com), 2 Tbsp.: 190 calories, 8 g protein, 6 g carbs, 17 g fat (2.5 g saturated)