In today’s flashy world of trendy marketing, society can often get caught up in all the hype. Food is no exception. Health and fitness are of the utmost importance nowadays, and food companies are looking to capitalize. Foods that you are made to believe are healthy may not actually be all that you think. Being aware of the most common tricky lingo and sneaky foods can help you decipher the real healthy foods from the ones that aren’t.
Ever walk down a grocery store aisle and see the catch phrases products are throwing at you? Low Fat! No Sugar! 1/3 the Calories! Written in big, bold lettering, these phrases lead you to believe that this product is better for you than other products. People scoop them up without second thought, believing the package of Low Fat Twinkies will now do them no harm.
Although these phrases claim to offer less fat, sugar, or calories, what they don’t tell you is that they often compensate with artificial sweeteners or other chemically derived flavors. Now, instead of real food, these health directed products are contrived of mainly chemicals.
The moral of the story is to be wary of foods that tote these trendy phrases. The best way to measure the healthfulness of a product is to read the actual ingredients. If you can’t understand most of them, or if the list seems infinitely long, the product probably is not as healthy as it claims.
Salad, frozen yogurt, trail mix, smoothies. These all sound like foods a health nut would eat, right? It depends. All these foods are extremely healthy and have great nutritional benefits, when done correctly. For example, restaurants now have extensive salad menus in order to capitalize from salad’s great reputation. However, the contents of these so called salads, really add calories and saturated fats that salads were never intended to have. Some salads at popular neighborhood grills top 1,000 calories, 75 grams of fat, and 22 grams of saturated fat!
The moral of this story is to not trust a food based on it’s good reputation. Companies are tainting these reputations left and right. To be absolutely sure, check the nutritional contents of your favorite entrees before you dine.
Just the word ‘organic’ emulates the epitome of health. Natural and earth friendly, organic products must be the pinnacle of all healthy foods. Could be. But not always. By United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) definition, organic means that, “…the foods are produced without antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, irradiation or bioengineering. Organic farmers are required to adhere to certain soil and water conservation methods and to rules about the humane treatment of animals.”  This is admirable, and the fact that these foods are free of antibiotics, pesticides and such, most likely makes it better for our bodies in the long run. But anything labeled organic can still be high in calories and fat.
The moral of the whole story is that there are arrays of food out there that seem healthy, but are actually not. Beware of marketing ploys and perceived reputations, and when in doubt, always read the ingredient label to get the most accurate health assessment of what you eat.