Source of fiber and omega 3, without trans-fats, no added sugar, made with whole grains, etc., many products presented as being good for health, can be the complete opposite. Let’s learn to recognize 5 fake health foods!
These crisps are no healthier than other traditional varieties, with as much fat and salt. In fact, these are good old-fashioned potato crisps to which powdered spinach, tomato or other vegetables are added. What’s more, if you look at the ingredient list you’ll notice that vegetable oil is listed in 2nd or 3rd position, which means heavy frying. If you like crunchy textures, make your own crisps out of pita bread or kale, or better still, choose the original ingredient—raw vegetables!
Most shop-bought smoothies are made from syrups and sweetened fruit pure, and contain only a little protein and fiber. Make your own versions at home, in a flash, with kefir, green yogurt, silky tofu and fresh or frozen fruit. You’ll find some inspiration here.
The amount of choice in the granola aisle has significantly increased during the last few years. Made with oats, pumpkin seeds, nuts, cranberries or raisins, etc., they all contain ingredients we consider healthy. However, when you read through the ingredients list, you quickly discover that what you’re eating in the morning or as a snack looks more like biscuits than breakfast cereal. For example, a portion of 50g (½ to ¾ cup) of shop-bought granola provides between 190 and 290 calories, between 6 and 14g of sugar and 3 to 14g of fat, without mentioning the added emulsifiers and artificial flavorings. What’s more, it’s rare we stick to the portion recommended on the packet, which also increases how much sugar, fat and calories you’re eating. It’s best to make your own home-made granola to better control how much sugar it contains and ensure a quality ingredient list. The bonus is that it’s also inexpensive to make!
Yogurt is one of those foods that have a healthy aura. It’s actually the case for plain yogurt, which contains only milk (or milk products) and live cultures. A portion of 175g (3/4 cup) of plain yogurt naturally contains 5 to 10g sugar (lactose) but most yogurts on the market are flavored and contain up to 6 to 7 sachets of sugar and up to 10% of our daily fat needs. The solution is to buy only plain yogurt. If it’s not sweet enough for your taste, add a few pieces of fruit, honey, maple syrup or a little jam.
Small “controlled” portions of crisps, sweets, bars, biscuits, cheese that contain just 100 calories are super trendy these last few years. They might only contain 100 calories per sachet, but that doesn’t mean these foods are healthy! It’s the reduced portion that makes the treat acceptable and “justifiable.” You might even be tempted to eat it more often, especially because these foods tend to stimulate appetite and make you want to eat even more. They shouldn’t replace healthy snacks. What’s more, 100 calories isn’t a negligible amount, since an excess of 100 calories a day is enough to gain a kilo in just 70 days.
Have you found any fake health foods in the shops? Share your experience with us!