The goal of every product is to increase sales and food products are no exception. What this means for us as consumers is that we must learn the difference between creative marketing designed to make us believe that food is better for our body that it really is. Here are just a few “healthy” foods that aren’t always as they seem.
Smoothies can indeed be a healthy meal replacement, afternoon snack, or workout recovery meal—but you must know what you are looking for. If you make your smoothie at home you know exactly what goes in it, but if you purchase a smoothie you must ask. Many restaurants market their smoothies as “made with real fruit”, but this doesn’t mean that it is made from 100% real fruit. For example, it could be made with a sugar-filled concentrate with only a small percentage of real fruit. Or to thicken it up it may have frozen yogurt, ice cream, or sherbet. Or maybe it is made with 100% real fruit but has added sugar.
If salads are your go-to when eating out there are a few key things you must keep in mind. Salads made from iceberg lettuce have minimal nutritional value, which is why you feel hungry shortly after eating. Choose spinach and other dark leafy green blends instead. Next up you must be mindful of your toppings. When it comes to meat protein, opt for grilled, not fried, and keep portion control in mind. Last but not least the salad dressing alone can make or break a salad, as many are high in sugar, fat, and calories. Order your salad dressing on the side so that you can manage portion control and opt for oil and vinegar instead.
Genuinely healthy food products don’t have to convince you that they are good for you. However, foods with labeling designed to convince you to buy them by stating that they are “diet”, “low-fat”, or “sugar-free” are almost always packed full of chemical additives. For example, many low-fat foods add excessive sugar. Zero calorie soda is also full of sugar. Sugar-free products are almost always higher in calories and bad fats.
Just like smoothies as mentioned above, there are other genuinely healthy foods that are sometimes processed in a manner that degrades their nutritional value. A few other common healthy foods you must be mindful about include:
It can be heartbreaking and frustrating to find that a “healthy” food you have added to your diet is not as good for you as you imagined. This is one of the many reasons preparing your own meals empowers you to take charge of your health. However, if you know what to look for you can find nutrient-rich meals and foods almost anywhere. Reach out today to learn more about the nutrition behind the foods you eat!