I’ve noticed that there are a lot of misleading labels on food products. Just because a food’s packaging claims it is “healthy" does not mean that it actually is.
Let’s take Welch’s Fruit Snacks for example. Looking at the wrapper, there are two “healthy” signs: “Fruit” and “Fat free.”
You'd think that this might be a "healthy" snack, however if we take a look at the food label you will see that it is actually not “so healthy.”
Ingredients: Juice from Concentrates (Grape, Pear, Peach, And Pineapple), Corn Syrup, Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Fruit Purees (Strawberry, Raspberry, Orange, And Grape), Gelatin, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Vitamin A...
After reading the ingredients, this sounds more like a candy bar.
Below are some foods I have found that are hiding as junk food:
I’m always shocked after reading the nutrition label and ingredients of yogurt. Most yogurts are high in sugar and contain questionable ingredients such as corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.
Greek yogurt is a great replacement and there are several options on the market that are high in protein and low in sugar. I’ve come to love FAGE Plain Greek Yogurt 2%. I always get plain so I can add fresh mixed berries instead of eating the fruity syrup that comes in some.
Many brands aren’t any better than a Snickers Bar! Not only are many high in calories and sodium, they also contain more sugar than protein. Beware of protein powders as well…
Gluten Free Replacements
I’m gluten free, however I don’t choose to replace gluten with gluten free products.
From reading labels, I’ve found that most processed gluten free foods have more sugar, sodium, and other additives in them just to make them taste like the “real thing."
Fast Food Salads
When you go to a fast food restaurant and think that choosing a salad is a healthy choice, think again. Many salads have more calories and higher sodium levels than the fried burgers…I’d choose a burger over salad any day (just skip the ketchup, which has lots of added sugar).
Salads don’t taste that great on their own, but using a dressing or sauce with a lot of sugar kind of defeats the purpose of eating a salad in the first place. As a substitute I use olive oil (often mixed with minced garlic), a mashed avocado, or lemon juice! That way I avoid the additives, sugar, and trans fats contained in processed dressings.
I ate this consistently during my first semester at college. I thought I was eating healthy until I stepped on the scale...I figured out that the cause of my weight gain was due to granola. As good as it tastes, it’s not worth the excessive amounts of sugar (usually from high fructose corn syrup) as well as calories. Lesson learned the hard way!
If you enjoy eating granola with yogurt, try adding sliced almonds and/or fresh fruit instead!
I love trail mix so I was extremely upset when I found out that only 3 tablespoons was about 200 calories…not even ¼ cup…depressing, I know. I don’t think I’d feel satiated if I consumed ½ cup of trail mix, yet that’s about 500 calories! From my experience, if you’re looking to gain weight this is a great option.
No more sushi dates:/ As small as sushi rolls are, they’re packed with calories and often fried or marinated in both sugary and high sodium sauces. Then there is the white rice…many people don’t know that this grain is actually awful for you; it is highly processed and spikes blood sugar levels.
In conclusion, I just want to emphasize the importance of reading food labels. I have found that not everything is how it appears...and what I put in my body shows up on the outside too.
Thanks for reading! I plan on posting every Wednesday...and hopefully more.