Most people understand that super frosted breakfast cereal, double sized chocolate bars and Big Macs are NOT health foods.
It’s scary to find out though, that even when we think we are eating healthier, the large food corporations have tricked us into eating more junk food.
Luckily, these pitfalls are easy to avoid once you become aware of the tricks of the trade.
Here are five surprising facts:
1. Fast Food’s “healthy” salads have even more calories than burger meals.
Why do consumers choose salads? To be slim and healthy, right? But get this: Applebee’s Oriental Chicken salad has 1310 calories, 93 grams of fat and 1470 mg sodium. Surprisingly, the Big Mac meal with Coke has only 1130 calories, 58 grams fat and 1245 mg sodium.
I’m using the word “only” sarcastically. Still, that calorie difference is enough to fool any consumer! Both choices are unhealthy since they both have huge amounts of unhealthy fats.
2. Zero trans fat does not mean “zero” trans fat.
Twenty years ago, I started hearing about the dangers of trans fat or hydrogenated oils. Now everyone is afraid of these unnatural oils because they have been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other major health problems. Manufactures love trans fats though since they are cheap and mean a long shelf life for packaged foods.
You might think that a cookie box with “zero trans fat” boldly printed on the label would be safe. Wrong!
It turns out, manufactures can say “zero trans fat’ as long as a single serving contains less than .05 grams of trans fat. Manufacturers simply reduce the serving size. Instead of declaring a serving size of 4 cookies, they simply make it two or even one. Many people will eat 10.
You have to check the label. If it says hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil, just don’t buy it!
3. Baby food is often worse than junk food.
If there is one area where mothers don’t compromise, it’s on good food for their new baby. Manufacturers spare no expense to market baby foods as healthy and safe.
Sadly, some baby foods contain as much sugar and saturated fats as chocolate, cookies or cheeseburgers!
In a survey of more than 100 foods for babies and toddlers, The Children’s Campaign discovered baby foods that were 29 percent sugar, and many that contained trans fats.
Once again: you MUST read the label!
4. Healthy yogurts contain twice the sugar as your worst cereals.
Plain old yogurt – formerly only eaten by health food fanatics, has somehow been transformed in the public’s mind into the cool wholesome snack eaten by everyone.
They achieved this by adding sugars and artificial sweeteners and flavors without telling you.
In reality, a serving of General Mill’s Yoplait has twice the sugar as the junk food Lucky Charms cereal.
Yogurt is still a dairy product, and being fermented doesn’t necessarily help if your body can’t handle dairy. Our testing shows that just as many people are sensitive to yogurt as plain milk, and in many cases more so.
If you just have to eat yogurt, choose plain, or you guessed it — read the label. Here’s an easy rule to go by: Don’t eat any ingredients that your grandmother wouldn’t have heard of!
5. Organic and health food companies are owned by mega corporations.
If consumers don’t want to eat the junk created by profit-mongering corporations like Coke, Kraft or Kellogg’s, they also may not want to support them with their consumer dollars.
It seems natural you might choose smaller ‘natural’ companies and feel good that your consumer dollars are supporting healthier, more environmentally orientated ideals.
It turns out the money is still ends up in the hands of the large food corporations.
‘Natural’ companies like Burt’s Bees, Tom’s of Maine, Odwalla, Naked Juice, Cascadian Farm and Green and Black’s organic chocolate are all now owned by large conglomerates that don’t have your health in mind – or the planet’s.
This Gorcery Store Blacklist article lists over 100 foods companies owned by the corporations who gave money to stop GMO labeling. The article also lists some smaller independent and ‘still healthy’ companies.
What can be done?
You can avoid these sneaky food corporations by eating less packaged and prepared food.
This means buying whole foods, preferably from local producers or growing it yourself, and cooking it from scratch.
Your next best choice is independently owned restaurants where you know exactly what you are getting.
Here are some easy and healthy recipes you can try today:
Fresh Quick Pea Soup Recipe It’s quick and delicious. Add anything you want to this green soup.
How to Cook Quinoa: Nothing could be simpler, but make sure you do it right!
Vegetable Stir Fry A classic!
Broccoli Rice Salad It’s amazing what you can add to salads.
Avocado Vegetable Dip For your healthy snacks.