My sister posted something really interesting on Facebook yesterday; an article exposing foods that claim to be “healthy” but truly aren’t. You may be surprised at some of the foods that were highlighted.
Some of the fakers that made the list:
“What you learn when you read the ingredients on this brand is that the yogurt contains food starch (not bad for you per se but usually an indication of lower quality yogurt), aspartame (the popular artificial sweetener), and artificial colors.”
“You’re getting half as much fat from these “popped” chips as you do with fried potato chips, but there are still 5 grams of fat per ounce and you don’t get a huge savings in calories (120 vs. 150 in fried chips). Moreover, there are no more nutrients in these than in any other potato chip– fried or not fried!”
“This Clif Bar has the same number of calories as a Snickers Bar (260) and has 21 grams of sugar — which is the first ingredient (rice syrup). A Snickers has 28 grams. Sure it has a decent amount of protein (11g vs 5 for Snickers) as well as several vitamins and minerals added, but you’re better off eating a handful of nuts and dried fruit. By the way, I am not advocating eating Snickers (which has all sorts of not-great things going for it, such as artificial flavors), but be conscious of what’s in your energy bar before assuming it’s all “good.”
“One bottle of Odwalla Smoothie has the same amount of sugar (60 grams) as TWO packages of M&Ms! There are 300 calories in this Smoothie — the same level as in a McDonald’s cheeseburger. Incidentally, the vitamin count is not high either. The highest level is Vitamin E, which is all added, i.e., it does not come from the fruit.”
After reading through the list that contained a bunch of notorious diet/fake health foods, I started to consider how the food industry falsely markets so many different food products as “healthy”. Aside from convincing people that low fat/non fat (but still highly processed) foods are healthy, they have come out with a whole line of products that hide behind buzzwords like “multi-grain”, “light”, and “low-cal”. I grimace at the fact that people are being tricked into buying aspartame filled yogurts and dreaded 100-calorie packs….when they could be eating whole, minimally processed foods for the same satisfaction and ten times the health benefits. Nothing beats a bowl of greek yogurt with fresh berries and crunchy (homemade!) granola and if you want a cookie you’re better off eating a homemade, from scratch one….rather then spending double the amount on a six pack of 100 calorie Chips Ahoy<- empty calories right there! If only the food industry cared more about the best interest of society’s health rather than there bottom line ($$$). I think (and remember these are my own personal opinions :)) that the best way to counteract the trickery of the food industry is to simply…GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR FOOD! This means:
Checking nutritional labels to see if the ingredients are whole and atleast recognizable!
I say: “if you can’t read it, don’t eat it!”
Don’t get caught up in buzzwords like “whole grain” and “low fat”!
Tons of products are marketed as whole grain without having one true WHOLE grain in the ingredient list. Make sure you look for the word “whole” before the grains ie. whole wheat flour. And forget low fat….nuts that are full of healthy omega three’s would make a better snack any day than a processed granola bar!
Stick to foods that are in there most natural state possible!
There are so many options out there for building a healthy diet and lifestyle…you just have to know where to start. So I challenge you, get in touch with your food and think about whether you are fueling your body with the best food possible!
That’s all for me today!
Upcoming posts: Mary’s Cracker’s review< an example of a great whole food product