Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Are You Eating These Top 5 'Healthy' Food Frauds?

Here are some “food doozies”: they have a rep for posing as "healthy" but really, they may not be doing you any favours (say, keeping your waistline in check). Get in the know and be sure to identify a "food fraud" when you see one. And stay away. Or modify as suggested. Have fun!

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1. Food Fraud: Smoothies
That "healthy" berry blend at a smoothie shop can have a whopping 80 grams of sugar, 350 calories, no protein and often, no fresh fruit. Fruit "concentrates" are often used instead of fresh fruit. Sorbet, ice cream and sweeteners can make these nutritionally speaking, no better than a milkshake.

Food Fix: Get the "small" cup. Ask for fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, milk, or protein powder to blend in good nutrition.
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2. Food Fraud: Energy Bars
Many of these are simply enhanced candy bars with more calories (up to 500) and a higher price tag. Their compact size also leaves many people unsatisfied. Think noch, noch, noch = it’s gone!

Food Fix: Choose bars that have 200 calories or less, at least five grams of fiber, and some protein, which helps provide "go-go gadget go" for at least a few hours.

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3. Food Fraud: Chicken Burrito
With healthy beans and no red meat, what's the prob? About 1,000 calories and plenty of saturated fat. Cheese, sour cream and the fat in the jumbo flour tortilla all contribute. Not to mention sodium content large enough to make your heart work harder just thinking about it. And when the burrito is as big as your forearm, the serving is just too big.

Food Fix: Sharesies with a friend, silly. Or try a soft taco with fajita-style grilled meats and veggies on a corn tortilla with tasty low-calorie salsa.

4. Food Fraud: Enhanced Water
Vitamins are commonly added to bottled water and advertised on the front label. But some brands also add sugar, taking water from zero calories to as much as 125.

Food Fix: Cold tap water, bubbly, or cold, home brewed iced tea for quenching summer thirst. Add slices of lemon, lime or strawberries for added zing.

5. Food Fraud: "Multigrain"
"Multigrain" does not mean "whole grain". When you see "multigrain" or "seven grain" on bread, pasta, or waffles, flip the package over and check the nutrition label. "Multigrain" simply means there is more than one grain so the product could be made largely from refined grains — such as white flour — which have been stripped of fiber and many nutrients. For example, Tostitos Multigrain Chips are not made with whole grains however, the "regular" Tostitos chips have "whole grain corn" as their first ingredient.

Food Fix: Look for "100% whole grain" as the first ingredient on all your grain products.

Thanks for Gettin' Real with Food Frauds!

-A & M, GetRealGurlsNutrition. Backed by science and experience, the GetRealGurls share their honest thoughts about food and nutrition. For more great articles visit them at www.getrealgurlsnutrition.com

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