Thursday, September 11, 2014


It's important to start with me saying that I hate the 'unhealthy vs healthy' debate when it comes to the food we eat. Good vs Bad creates a toxic food environment, hurts our relationship with food and increases confusion about nutrition rather than enhancing it. Making 'good' food choices can be baffling at times.

There are so many things that are advertised as healthy but aren't always what they seem. A lot of "marketing language" goes in to fooling the consumer to not read the ingredient list or research how it is manufactured/made and from what sources.

* Smoothies - Most smoothies start out with a base of fruit, which is great. But when combined with ice cream or added sugar, a smoothie can become a high calorie treat very quickly. Some chains serve smoothies that taste great but can contain up to 500 calories so be aware of what the ingredients are in your smoothies.

* Granola Bars - Granola has a reputation of being a great alternative snack or breakfast food. Not always. Many granola bars are packed with corn syrup, sugar and saturated fat which make them high in calories and very little nutritional benefit. Make your own granola to have better control over the ingredients used.

 * Muffins - Many muffins are made with generally healthy ingredients. Often times the problem is the portion size. We've all seen the muffins sold today that dwarf the typical homemade muffin. Those giant muffins can come with a hefty amount of calories as well. Store bought and those purchased in restaurants can also pack a large amount of sodium, so choose carefully. If you want to save money and calories, bake your own.

 * Prepared Salads - Don't assume that the word 'salad' automatically means healthy. Prepared chicken salad, tuna salad, or crab salad are often loaded with hidden fat and calories. A lot depends on ingredients and portion size. An overstuffed sandwich can contain as many as 600 to 700 calories. If you're ordering out be sure you know what you're getting. Better yet, make your own so you know exactly what you're getting.

* Multi grain or Wheat bread - Terms like multi-grain, 7-grain, and wheat sound healthy, but they may not actually contain heart-healthy whole grains. Many breads labeled "multi-grain" and "wheat" are typically made with refined grains, so you're not getting the full nutritional benefit of the whole grain. How can you be sure? Read nutrition labels carefully. If the first flour in the ingredient list is refined (it will typically say "bleached" or "unbleached enriched wheat flour") you are not getting a 100% whole-grain bread. 

In the end we are responsible for our own actions. We are responsible for the foods we purchase. We are responsible for the foods we eat. We are responsible for the foods we feed our families. We are responsible for knowing, or not wanting to know, how our food is produce and the health benefits it has or does not have.  

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