When it comes to healthy foods, I can eat as much as I like right? WRONG!

Calories are calories regardless of whether they come from good or bad sources - of course, we always want to prioritize getting most of our nutrients from whole food sources.

If you’ve ever wondered how a single serving of supposedly healthy nut butter clocks in at 200 calories, while a single serving of supposedly unhealthy potato chips clocks in at 140, you’re experiencing the effects of nutritional density.

Regardless of how healthy the overall nutritional profile of a given product, it’s the Calories in that product that go on to determine your results. Even extremely healthy foods (for example, nut butters) are high in fat and/or Calories. Typically, foods high in fat tend to contain more Calories per unit than foods low in fat, because fat contains more Calories per gram than either carbohydrate or protein.

Even if that product is a “healthy fat” (for example, nuts or avocado), the Calories matter, a lot: if consuming a product ultimately makes you consume more Calories than you need, you will gain weight.

This is why portion control is an integral part of weight loss or toning, regardless of how healthy any individual food is. The following foods, while boasting healthy nutritional profiles, are extremely Calorie-dense, and often over consumed, leading to disappointing results on the scale.

Be sure to eat proper portion sizes by using measuring spoons, cups, or weight measures (depending on the specific food), and always consider whether those Calories have their place in your daily intake for your specific goals.


Appropriate serving size

Common serving size

Percent increase

Olive Oil

1 tsp, 40 Calories

1 tbsp, 120 Calories


Peanut Butter

2 tbsp, 200 Calories

3 tbsp, 300 Calories



2 tbsp, 60 Calories

¼ cup, 120 Calories


Sunflower Seeds

2 tbsp, 100 Calories

¼ cup, 200 Calories



1 tbsp, 90 Calories

2-3 tbsp, 180-270 Calories



7 halves, 100 Calories

10 halves, 140 Calories


Sliced Almonds

2 tbsp, 80 Calories

3 tbsp, 120 Calories