Foods That Sound Healthier Than They Are
Don’t be fooled by the healthy claims or statements made on food packaging. The following are some common misconceptions about how heathy a food actually is.
- Fruit flavored yogurt. All yogurts contain some sugar in the form of the natural sugar “lactose”. The problem is the “added sugar” that you find in the fruit flavored ones. Read the ingredients list. Do you see words like “sugar” or “high fructose corn syrup”? Some fruit flavored yogurts can contain as much as 27 grams of sugar.
- Fat Free Salad Dressing. Many fat free dressings are loaded with sugar in order to maintain a good flavor and therefore compensate for the lost fat. Fruity vinaigrettes (eg. Rasberry), French, Russian, and Thousand Island will typically contain added sugar. In a 2 Tbsp serving, you might find 7 grams of sugar and 150 calories.
- Dried Fruit. Although dried fruit contain fiber, the sugar is more concentrated than in fresh fruit. Some dried fruit even have an added coating of sugar on top.
- Granola Bars. Too often, rather than eating a chocolate bar for a snack, we decide to make a healthier choice and choose a granola bar. Or often we’ll eat a granola bar as a meal replacement. Beware. Granola bars are loaded with sugar. You may find sugar in the ingredient list as “corn syrup”, “sucrose”, “fructose”, or “cane juice”, but it all means “sugar”. Even if granola bars have fruit pieces in it to make it seem healthier, those fruit chunks really provide no nutritional value. Of course if it’s covered in chocolate or yogurt, this contributes to fat content as well.
- Fruit Juices. Many people see juice as a good substitute for eating fresh fruit. This however is not the case. Juice is just another way to drink sugar. The simple sugars found in juice are very quickly absorbed into the blood stream. As a result even though you’ve just consumed a couple of hundred calories, the body reacts as if it did not consume anything. On top of this, juice lacks the fiber and nutritional benefits that fresh fruit provide.
- “Vegan” baked goods. People are under the misconception that “vegan” means “heath food”. So if a cookie or muffin is labeled as “vegan” it is considered good for your health. Don’t be fooled. Cookies or baked goods of any type, vegan or not, will be loaded in sugar, fat, and calories and is not a healthy part of a healthy diet.
- Frozen Yogurt. This sounds so much healthier than ice cream. Frozen yogurt can still contribute significant amounts of sugar and fat to your diet. Especially with the self service machines, jumbo size cups, and many delicious toppings to choose from.
The old business principle of “let the buyer beware”, applies to your choices of food as well. Be an educated consumer and make the right food choices for you and your family.