People believe the advertising slogans and claims that they are fed (pun intended) every single day. Not many stop to think about what sort of process food must go through in order for a chocolate bar to have as much fiber as an apple, or for a cereal to have the same protein as an egg. People don’t focus on the fact that these yummy looking, (fake)chocolate-drizzled, preservative-laden, pop-it-right-out-of-the-box items do NOT come from nature and are NOT naturally healthy!!!
I go back and forth between placing the onus on the corporations who have a nearly unlimited supply of money to throw ads like this into the face of Americans thousands of times per day, and the consumer who should educate him/herself about nutrition and living a healthy life. Ultimately, I think the responsibility should be shared. And while my ability to sway corporations and food companies away from deceptive advertising is miniscule, my ability to inform and educate individuals is very real. And that is precisely why I write blogs such as this one.
I want to send a message: do not always believe what you hear/read/see…if something sounds too good to be true (ie nutritious cookies that look like Oreos that can sit in a box on a shelf for weeks or even months) than it probably is. I give you Exhibit A - be sure to click on the “ingredients” tab. #1 ingredient? SUGAR!
And, I want to share some helpful tips for deciphering/deciding on what’s healthy:
1) Fresh or Faux: is the food fresh and in its most natural state? or has it been processed & put in a box, can, or bag? A fresh peach is MUCH better than canned peach slices in a sugary syrup. If it has a shelf life longer than your last relationship, it’s probably not your most healthy option. [with the exception of honey! honey is the ONLY food that does not spoil...ever...and it is all natural and healthy!!!]
2) Does it REALLY contain ____??: The bag/box/can claims that it’s contents has “as much fiber as an apple” or “a serving of whole grains” but cookies, chips, chocolate bars, etc do NOT naturally contain those health benefits. Instead, eat the food they are using as the natural comparison!
3) Ingredient list: get in the habit of reading an ingredient list and a nutrition label. If you see words such as “enriched”, “bleached”, “modified”, or “hydrogenated” pass it up for a healthier option. If your food does not have an ingredient list – anything from the produce department or that is NOT in a box/bag/can – it is more likely whole and natural. And it is likely a MUCH better source.
Bottom line: be aware of what foods and beverages you choose to put in your body. Take an extra second to think about the journey/process it has been on from its most natural state to the condition in which its presented in the grocery store. ”WhoNu” cookies are one of many products made to dupe consumers into thinking that they can have their (healthy)cake and eat it too. Healthy food CAN and DOES taste delicious. But junk foods purporting to be healthy are simply still junk.