The 5 Lies of Healthy Foods
Updated: Oct 31, 2019
Over the last several years I have made a commitment to myself to lead a healthier lifestyle. My journey to being healthier, losing weight, and getting in shape has not been without its setbacks and lessons learned. So, I put together a list of information that you probably don't know because big brands might not tell you.
Here are the top 5 lies being told to you about your diet, foods, and everything in between:
Lie #1: Organic is better
Imagine this: You go to the grocery store and stumble upon one of your favorite snacks of all-time. We'll say banana chips (yes, because I love them). But, this has to come with some type of catch, right? There's no way something so delicious could be healthy. You check the label on the organic banana chips and find that sure enough, there are seven grams of added sugar. This is on top of the four grams of sugar that naturally occur, which puts you at 11 grams of sugar. If it had much more, it might as well be a Pop-Tart with 15 grams of sugar.
Just to prove that organic can be a lie, I found organic toaster pastries where only one or two ingredients were different and the nutritional facts were almost identical to a regular Pop-Tart - rendering the “organic” label nothing more than a marketing ploy. Added sugar has a bad habit of showing up in foods and snacks across the board, so just because something says it's organic, doesn’t mean it's good for you.
Lie #2: Protein bars are healthy
Try this out. Walk down the aisle with all the granola and protein bars. Pull three boxes you are familiar with. Look at the ingredients and nutritional facts. Put them back and walk away. You might as well eat Cap’n Crunch with the sugary ingredients that get crammed into these bars. Although the tide is beginning to turn and some companies are starting to make bars that are truly health-focused, the vast majority are bad for you.
Lie #3: All fat is bad
Fat used to be public health enemy number one, but we have learned that this is the furthest thing from the truth. The only problem with fat is eating too much of it and knowing what fat to avoid. Your brain needs healthy fat to function optimally. Avocados and nuts are high-fat foods, but none of these fats are going to hurt you in any way. Try to avoid fats from fried food because that is bad fat. Choosing a high fat dietary regimen like the Keto diet is not sustainable for overall health, so be careful if you go down that path.
Lie #4: Nuts are great weight loss snacks
Nuts are healthy and you should incorporate them into your diet carefully. If you don’t check your servings you will quickly blow through 800 calories. The problem is if you are trying to lose weight, nuts are calorically dense and make the portions small. I ate almond butter and carrots for a while and never lost any weight because I didn’t realize the number of calories I consumed from almond butter. Yes, nuts are healthy, but if you are attempting to lose weight just mind the calories.
Lie #5: Low fat, sugar, and carb labels are lying
This relates back to the first point, don't trust what you read on the front of the package because they only have to be honest on the back. Most of these phrases are purely marketing to people who are becoming more health-conscious. They can say that its low sugar, low fat, or low calorie just by making the serving size smaller and therefore reducing the numbers accordingly. It looks like it's much better for you - don't be fooled!
The ultimate takeaway here is to remember that most food companies are not trying to offer a healthy lifestyle, they want to offer an appealing lifestyle that will generate income. Always be skeptical and read the labels to know what you are consuming on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.