Good food choices lead to a healthy lifestyle. But what if the choices presented to you only seem healthy? In order to sell more products under the guise of “health” food, many companies have invested in excellent marketing campaigns to re-brand unhealthy food. Unfortunately, marketing doesn’t change the nutritional content of food. Let’s take a look at five things that you think are healthy, but actually aren’t.
Just because something contains an important vitamin doesn’t mean it instantly qualifies as a healthy option. Yes, yogurt contains calcium and Vitamin D, but it’s also loaded with sugar and/or fat. There’s no fiber, no other vitamins, and no real nutritional value. If you love yogurt, go as natural as possible. Choose ones with no added sugar and prepare your own fresh berries to add to it.
A bottle of juice is basically just a bottle of sugar water. Plus, most juices are left out on the shelf for so long that all the anti-oxidants have degraded. A better option is to buy your own juicer and make vegetable juice at home, but you’re still not getting the fiber that you need. A even better option is to skip the juice and just eat fruit.
Fat makes food taste better. When companies take out the fat, they need to replace it with something so that you’ll still want to eat it. What’s the next most tasty thing? Sugar! If you read the nutrition label on fat-free items, you’ll notice that it’s loaded with sugar. Note that it’s perfectly legal to label a pound of sugar as being fat-free.
Cereals might be made from whole wheat, but that doesn’t make them healthy. The grains are heavily processed and covered in sugar. Companies know that whole grain by itself is bland and not that much fun to eat, so adding sugar into the product makes it more palatable for the consumer. Unfortunately, this also means that cereal often has the nutritional content of dessert.
Unless you have Celiac disease, there’s no reason to eat gluten-free foods. Gluten-free doesn’t mean sugar-free or fat-free or healthy, it simply means that the grain used to make the product doesn’t contain gluten. This protein is found naturally in things like wheat and barley, so manufacturers substitute those grains with things like rice or tapioca. Cookies made from these starches will still contain sugar and butter and cream, all the things that make cookies taste good.