Many people can understand the basics of nutrition. Knowing that chicken, veggies and healthy fats are vital for your health. However there are some sneaky "diet" foods that get tossed under the radar. Food manufacturers have the best marketing tools that make certain foods appear healthier to the eye. They use words like “fat free”, “sugar free”, “all natural”, and “organic” which sound like you are getting a healthy product. Due to the relaxed nature of food labeling laws, food manufacturers are allowed to legally report incorrect calorie content by as much as 20 percent. This means that your 250 calorie food bar could contain almost 300 calories. The bottom line is that you can “think” that you’re making a sound nutritional choice with some of your dietary selections, but in actuality, you could be sabotaging your body composition goals.
Check out these sneaky offenders!
"I can't believe it's not butter" Your right because it's not really butter and its not healthy for you at all. If you look at the label it's zero calories. If a product has less than 5 calories per serving, the FDA allows the calorie count to be reported as zero on the food label. The problem is that even though 5 calories or less per serving may seem like a trivial amount, that amount adds up VERY quickly, particularly when the serving size is something like 1/16th of a spray. Between the 0 calorie round down and the 20% legally allowed caloric mislabeling, the amount of butter spray you use on your food is going to add up fast. In fact, it was calculated that Parkay “zero calorie” butter spray totaled 832 total calories from 93 grams of fat for the entire bottle. So if you consume the whole bottle, explain to me how that qualifies as “zero calorie?”
If it sounds to good to be true it probably is. Walden Farms low calories no sugar sweetener seems like a dieters dream.For starters it sends your brain and your body mixed signals because you are giving it "sweetness" yet you are not consuming a higer calorie food. This tends you to eat more because you are not fulfilling that hunger cue. Zero cal/no cal products are also void of any nutritive value so consuming them leaves your body still in need of vital nutrients, and cravings are largely caused by nutrient deficiencies. They are also very damaging to your digestive lining and can cause serious gastrointestinal issues as the additives, sugar alcohols, stabilizers and unnatural flavors disrupt the growth of healthy gut bacteria that aids in digestion and nutrient absorption.
Agave comes from the same plant that tequila comes from, particularly from the sap inside the plant called aguamiel. This sap, is exposed to enzymes, chemicals, and heat in order to take it from sap to the bottled syrup that you purchase from the store. The bottom line is agave syrup is still a highly processed product that undergoes a lot of questionable treatment in order to make it fit for consumption. Another point to keep in mind is that the processing it goes through strips agave of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants.
Quest Bars.... oh but they are so good ! On the surface, a 200 calorie bar with only 1/2 a gram of saturated fat and 20g of protein looks like a dream bar. If you look at the ingredient list, and do your research, you’ll find out that the “healthfulness” of Quest is really a facade. With ingredients like : Protein blend (whey protein isolate, milk protein isolate), isomalto-oligosaccharides, almonds, water, natural flavors, sea salt, lo han guo, and sucralose there is quite a bit of problematic issues with the bars. They also contain 18 grams of fiber. fiber is often added to protein powders, bars and gluten-free packaged foods in such high amounts that the body simply cannot process it efficiently. The result is gas or flatulence, diarrhea, stomach cramps, or nausea. Fiber tolerance is highly individualized. The isomalto-oligosaccharides are what make the Quest bars the little syrupy gooey bricks that they are- it’s what gets the bar to “stick” together.
The bottom line is to become a savvy shopper and do your research. Food manufacturers are in the business of making money, not in of doing what is best for your health. Marketing taglines and clever labeling are just some of the ways large food companies can dupe you into thinking you’re making a healthful selection. And remember the old saying, “if it seems too good to be true… it probably is.”