Food marketing abounds and those multi million dollar companies want to lure you in to buying their products with promises, bells and whistles. I have come a long way with healthy eating to know that I am not fooled with false advertising. Real food doesn't need to give you the hard sell.
However, there are always a few foods that fall under the radar, that appear healthy and appear on store shelves innocently enough (sort of like the weeds in my garden!). Here a some foods that appear above suspicion but deserve a place on the "never eat these again" list.
Fruit Juice. We were all raised on drinking a glass of Tropicana Orange Juice every morning, and it probably appeared in your lunch box too. Now it sits on your own breakfast table, an honored guest.
Why I Won't Drink It. When you extract fruit juice from the fruit itself, you are discarding all the fiber and other nutrients that slow down the avalanche of sugar rushing towards your liver and your blood stream. Fruit juice also has more sugar than most sodas. Don't believe me? Check out this chart from Harvard comparing the sugar in some common drinks.
Solution? Eat your fruit! Your body needs the nutrients in fruit to handle all that sugar. And drink water, it's the best liquid you can give your body.
Why I Won't Drink Packaged Almond Milk. Plant milks that come in packages frequently contain additives and thickeners, including one called Carrageenan, a seaweed derivative used to give plant milks a more dairy like taste. Carrageenan has been popping up lately as a "poison", and while the evidence is not totally clear, the additive has been linked to inflammation and gastrointestinal issues.
Solution? I don't want my food to have added anything so I make my own almond milk (or any plant based milk for that matter), it's easy! Click on this link to see how it is done in three easy steps, and never eat carrageenan again.
Dried Cranberries. Dried fruit on salads is one of life's pleasures. The combination of a savory salad dressing with the tart/sweet taste of cranberries is delicious. Until you find out how much sugar most dried fruit, and dried cranberries in particular, have.
Why I Won't Eat Dried Cranberries. Cranberries alone would taste too sour so food companies need to do something to sell their product. 1/3 cup of dried cranberries contains 26 grams of sugar, 16 of those are added in. That is about 3 teaspoons of sugar. Would you put 3 teaspoons of sugar on your salad? I didn't think so.
Solution? Dried fruit, while high in concentrated calories and natural sugars, is a good snack alternative. I love dried unsweetened cherries, they are tart and naturally sweet with over half the sugar.
Bottled Salad Dressing. It's easy, it's convenient. It dresses up salads like nobody's business.
Why I Won't Use Bottled Salad Dressing. It's also full of sugar, stabilizers and thickeners. Remember what I said about food companies wanting to sell their products? Sugar sells.
Solution? You know what is easier than going to the store to buy your salad dressing? Making your own! Here is a delicious fresh herb salad dressing recipe from the archives, click HERE to make it.
Diet Soda. What's the big deal, it's fizzy, thirst quenching and NO calories. A little jolt of caffeine and we are all good.
Why I Will Never Drink Diet Soda. A decline in kidney function, possible link to obesity, weight gain, cancer, tooth enamel damage, preservatives, chemicals I can't pronounce. Enough said.
The Solution? Water infused with mint and cucumber, club soda, plain water. No chemicals, preservatives or anything toxic.
What foods are on your "never eat" list? Here is a few more on mine:
- Reduced Fat Anything, such as peanut butter
- Granola Bars
- Canned Soup
- Artificial Sweeteners, including Stevia
- Ingredients I Cannot Pronounce
Now I would love to hear from you! Are you surprised with this list? Leave a comment below and tell me about it.
Heather Carey, M.S.
More from health