Swapping a chocolate bar for a handful of healthy nuts is no insurance against piling on the pounds.
Research shows that dieters who snack on nuts, seeds or dried fruit could actually be putting on weight, rather than losing it.
Nuts and seeds often contain unhealthy amounts of saturated fat, while dried fruit is usually high in sugar.
Just 100 grams of Brazil nuts contain 16.4 grams of saturated fat – three quarters of a woman’s recommended daily intake, the Daily Mail reports.
Similarly, a handful of dried raisins contains 69 grams of sugar, more than three-quarters of the recommended amount. Surprisingly, 100 grams of Kit Kat chocolate bar contain only 47.8 grams of sugar.
The research, carried out by the SupermarketOwnBrandGuide website, comes as many people begin strict diet regimes as part of New Year resolutions.
Website founder Martin Isark said: “New Year dieters who are tempted to stock up on things like fruit and nuts in order to avoid chocolate could find themselves putting on pounds.”
The recommended daily amount of sugar for a typical adult is 90 grams, but 100 grams of the most popular dried fruits, including currants, raisins, sultanas and dried dates, all contain more than 64 grams of sugar.