Are Health Foods Really that Healthy?

You see it almost everywhere in a grocery store, the promotion of “healthy” alternatives for our old favorites. Baked potato chips, whole wheat cereals, pro-biotic yogurt, low-fat cookies just to name a few examples of this new food trend. But are these health foods really that much more healthy for us?

It turns out that many of these foods that are touted as “healthy” alternatives are just as fattening as the foods they’ve replaced. A perfect example of this is the choice of granola over other conventional breakfast cereals. There is no doubt that granola is a healthier choice because it contains whole grains and more fiber than processed cereals, but some brands of granola contain over 600 calories per cup, which is about 5 times more calories than a cup of Fruit Loops.

There is so much misleading advertising that will have you believe that a certain food is a “healthy” choice, only to find out that it is no better than eating a bag of Doritos. The worst of this type of misleading advertising that I have come across was found quite innocently on the back of a Diet Pepsi bottle. As I was reading the labels I saw a big, green dot on the back that stated “Smart Choices Made Easy” along with the website address Ever curious about an easy way to identify healthy foods, I went to the website and was blown away by how manipulative and deceptive the “health foods” industry has become.

This is a statement directly from the Smart Spot Program site:

Meet Smart Spot-the symbol of smart choices made easy. It’s a quick way to be sure that the products you’re choosing are contributing to a healthier lifestyle. Foods and beverages marked with the Smart Spot symbol can help you make better choices for you and your family.
You’ll find the Smart Spot logo on more than 300 products including the following brands:

  • Baked! Lays®
  • Life® Cereal
  • Gatorade® Thirst Quencher
  • Quaker® Oatmeal
  • Diet Pepsi® Cola
  • Quaker Chewy® Granola Bars
  • Tropicana® Pure Premium® Orange Juice

For those of us who have struggled with our weight and have had to watch what we eat, this list is a huge joke. These items listed here are full of sugars, carbohydrates and fats. I was dumb-founded that an established program like this would be so nutritionally blind. I was seeking to find the sponsor of this program, assuming it would be an association with some authority, but was not surprised at all when I realized that the program is run by Pepsi and all of the products listed in this program are Pepsi products. Shame on you Pepsi.

When choosing healthier foods it is very important to find ones that are low in calories. When comparing calories between products always be aware that serving sizes may be different, which will affect the products nutritional values. Of course the best way to find healthy foods to eat is to stay away from processed foods all together and stick to foods that either you make yourself or are perfect the way they are, such as fruits and vegetables.

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