Deceptively Healthy Foods

I like finding what seems to be at first glance, a good snack or food in the grocery store aisle, until I read what is on the back of the label. We are so overcome with what product to buy when we go food shopping now that it just gets confusing and overwhelming. But, to add to that, we need to be careful in what we choose because the product that we think is actually "healthy" comes in a deceptively pretty package with nothing really good for us at all. The word "healthy" is so overused these days, precisely by food manufacturers that are trying to "swindle" you into getting their product. Although I use the word "healthy" frequently in my posts, I have every intention of giving a healthier option -- for real, unlike many of these food manufacturers. Afterall, this is a health & wellness blog!

In the latest Nutrition Action Healthletter from the Center for Science in the Public Interest magazine, there is a hidden deception that is uncovered in many of the foods that we are fooled into buying and eating by companies that want to make money at any cost. Some of the healthy snacks that I'm talking about?

KIND bars: Some of these bars claim to make statements that are fabricated to be something that they aren't. There is no evidence here for example that the vitamins A, C and E in KIND + Antioxidant bars do indeed help "maintain the immune system and healthy skin." These bars get most of the 5 grams of fiber from chicory root (inulin) which is not the good unprocessed fiber contained in whole grains. *Inulin is being used more and more in processed foods because it is easy to incorporate without losing the flavor which is so desired in the first place.  Another deception? KIND + Omega-3 bars get their omega-3s from flax, not the omega-3s in fish which is better for you.

Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal, with Greek yogurt: We all know that Greek Yogurt has a lot of good protein and that it is good for us, but taking advantage of saying that it is contained in a cereal like this one is over the top I'd say. For starters, this cereal literally uses a pinch of yogurt powder to its mix of ingredients like whole-grain wheat with oats and sugar, etc.
"But the powder is heat treated (which kills the active yogurt cultures), and the protein comes from milk protein isolate, whey, and non-fat dry milk solids, not even yogurt!" 

Brookside Dark Chocolate Goji: Once again, most folks now know that dark chocolate (small amount) is good for you and the latest news is the Goji berry is good for you too, but in this case, don't be fooled. This company uses "real fruit juice pieces" to really mean juice concentrate, sugar, corn syrup, maltodextrin, pectin and other stuff that you can't pronounce. It is just plain deceptive.

In short, we as consumers need to be as smart as the food manufacturers in the foods we purchase.