Everyone wants to have a diet full of healthy food that nourishes the body and mind. However, with sneaky marketers capitalizing on health food trends and exploiting your good intentions it can be hard to differentiate the good from the bad. Food manufacturing companies have become experts at deceptive marketing strategies to make you believe their product is the healthiest. The same unassuming consumers purchase the food, again and again, thinking they are making a healthy choice not knowing the negative impact on their health. We did some digging to expose some of those sneaky unhealthy foods that disguise themselves as healthy foods.
Top 5 Healthy Food Imposters
Chips and Pretzels
We all know potato chips do not fall in the healthy food category, however, there are several other chips and packaged snacks that might just fool you. What about oven-baked or those handy 100 calorie bags? They may seem harmless but the truth is many of them are filled with harmful ingredients like partially hydrogenated oil, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, and sodium nitrate to name a few. With all of these "flavor enhancers" it's no wonder why in the recent era, people are more addicted to various kinds of snacks. Food manufacturers use several marketing strategies to place these foods in attractive packaging with taglines like "all-natural" or "reduced-sodium" to make consumers believe that they are healthy. Unfortunately, consuming these over-processed snacks as a part of your regular diet can result in weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. So, analyze the ingredients before choosing your snacks and try and forgo the store-bought convenience and make your own healthy snack packs at home.
A nutrition war of sorts has been waged against bread and anti-carb movements have made bread lovers believe that only whole grain or wheat bread is acceptable in a healthy diet. It turns out, that is a huge myth, and in fact, our bodies cannot absorb most of the whole grains in wheat and whole-grain bread and they mostly pass undigested through our digestive system. Deep analysis by Nathan Myhrvold paired with grain experts, scientists, chefs, and others led him to create a 5 part series called Modernist Bread. One of the many conclusions that he arrived at is that there isn't any significant evidence that whole-wheat bread is intrinsically healthier than white bread. So it is important to check the ingredients and avoid those like potassium bromate, azodicarbonamide, partially hydrogenated oil, high sodium, and sugar content.
Popcorn can be a healthy food alternative, however, food manufacturers have also polluted this popular snack. Some studies have found that some microwave popcorn bags are lined with chemicals called perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) which have been connected to causing cancer. Not to mention several of the added ingredients are artificial. Even in the brands marketed like "healthy pop", "light butter" and "unsalted" are still deceivingly unhealthy. A great way to enjoy this tasty snack is to get an air popper and make your own popcorn with natural salt, coconut oil etc.
Bottled Health Smoothies
Most health-conscious people know that fruit juices can be a big no-no. But what about those handy bottled "health smoothies.?" Don't be fooled by the green banners and earth-friendly packaging some of these so-called "health smoothies" are complete sugar bombs. Take Odwalla's Orginal Superfood Fruit Smoothie." It has a whopping 51 grams of sugar which are equal to about 12 teaspoons of sugar! With the total calorie count at 320, which should be the amount of a complete meal, it is clear to see how easily you can blow up your diet with a seemingly "healthy smoothie" and a light lunch or breakfast. So make sure you read your labels and don't be fooled by these tricky marketing schemes. Better yet, find some great smoothie recipes and blend your own at home.
Not all salads are created equal, considering there so many types of salads available. Starting with the traditional green salad to fruit salad, pasta salad, and various picnic salads. At first, salad generally contains fresh fruits or vegetables, now how can that be bad all combined together? Well, the devil is in the details, as so often is the case with health food impostors. Some of the pitfalls to avoid are fatty/ sugary or salty dressings, breaded chicken and shrimp and also the toppings like cheese, bacon bits even some salted nuts. It doesn't matter how much kale or fancy cheese you put in there it all adds up, so keep your portion in check as well. Bottom line, do your homework and know what you are putting in your body.