Women seem to be almost innately programmed to check the calorie content of every food—after all, we've always heard that weight loss (or maintenance) is all about calories in versus calories out. But to look and feel your best, there are certain times when it's better to opt for a higher-cal food.
"Low calories may or may not make you thin,” says Theresa Albert, a registered nutritionist and author of Ace Your Health, 52 Ways to Stack Your Deck. “Overall, it is the quality of the calorie that counts rather than the calorie itself when it comes to fighting off disease and maintaining health.” And it could help you drop a few pounds, too. "While it hasn't been studied, the theory is that if your body doesn't get the nutrients it needs, it holds onto to whatever it gets, making it harder to lose weight." Plus, if the extra calories are from fat, protein, or fiber, they'll keep you satisfied—and away from the candy bowl.
Whether your goal is better health or slimmer thighs, make the following food swaps for more nutritious, satisfying snacks and meals.