I was doing a quick weekly grocery run last night and was looking for some natural toothpaste. I was out of my stand by and thought that I would buy some at the grocery store to get me through until I ordered more. I saw the following sign, and thought I might be in business. It is the grocery store however. I should have known better.
Healthy Living! Alright! This should be my aisle.
I quickly pushed my cart over to aisle 18, only to find this.
Shelves and shelves and shelves of processed food with health claims slapped on the front of the packaging.
Let’s dive a little deeper, shall we?
Here is a “healthy” snack bar. Low fat, high protein, fiber, Greek yogurt, natural flavors. It even has fruit in the picture. This is why it is so important to turn over the package and read the label. You CAN NOT TRUST claims on packaging. Marketing experts research to see what hot “buzz” words are in the nutrition world and will plaster them all over the package to make you think you are getting a healthy product. Claims like natural, low fat, whole grains, real ingredients, full serving of vegetables or fruit, high fiber, etc. are all just that…claims. You have to turn that package over to see if there is any validity to these claims. Put on your informed real food seeking glasses, friends. Let’s examine this “healthy bar”.
Come to find out, this little gem is mostly soy and corn syrup, sugar, fillers, unnatural oils, preservatives and more sugar. There is very little, if any, real food in this list. Unfortunately this tiny bar is packed to the brim with GMOs and is the antithesis of healthy or natural.
I looked at several other items on this aisle, and they all told the same story. Health claims on the front, junk in the ingredient list. Here is another example of a popular weight loss shake.
NOT HEALTHY! NOT REAL FOOD!
There was one tiny little section on the bottom right portion of this aisle that actually was pretty decent. Let’s take a look.
They look similar on the outside to the bar that we examined earlier. They claim to be gluten free, a hot buzz word at the moment. They also boast of real fruit, protein, and fiber in each bar. We really don’t know if these are decent or not until we look at the ingredient label.
Look at those ingredients. Dates, almonds, and unsweetened cherries.
Ladies and gentlemen, WE HAVE REAL FOOD! No funky ingredients. No GMOs. No junk industrial oils. This, my friends, is a decent healthy bar. I give it a stamp of approval.
When you read a label, you are looking for individual ingredients that you can recognize as food in themselves. Ideally, you wouldn’t even buy food with labels, but realistically most of us need to buy packaged food every once in a while. I hope this helps you see the difference between highly processed junk and real food.
Can you all see why it is so important to read those ingredient labels? Marketing can be a very deceiving thing. We all have to use our own brains and sift through the health claim madness out there to find actual real healthy food.
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