‘Great Marketing … Terrible Food!’

The health craze that has swept the world in recent years has seen all manner of foods labelled with claims such as ‘low-fat’ and ‘no sugar added’. But when we take a closer look, most of these claims are simply marketing jargon.

1. Granola: A serving size of granola is traditionally 1/4 cup. Chances are that you’re not just eating a 1/4 cup, so you’re doubling or tripling the quantity of sugar, calories and carbohydrates, and not getting enough fibre.

2. Dried Fruit: A serving of dried mango, for example, has 27g of sugar and contains unnecessary preservatives to extend the shelf life.

3. Sugar-free anything: Artificial sweeteners are bad for you, period.

4. Flavoured Yogurt: There is probably no actual fruit in your yogurt, but plenty of sugar.

5. Fat-free / Low-fat anything: These can contain up to 10% more calories and 40% more sugar.

6. Microwave Popcorn
: It’s difficult to know where to start. There are so many bad ingredients in microwave popcorn, it’s astonishing!

7. Sushi: Here we’re talking about the specialty rolls that have 500 calories or more because they’re packed with cream cheese, fake crab, and tempura shrimp.

8. Protein Bars
: These contain more sugar and calories than certain candy bars. As Garth Davis, a bariatric surgeon at The Davis Clinic in Houston, Texas, says: “Protein bars are all just processed chemicals.”

9. Reduced-fat Peanut Butter: The fat from nuts is good for you! Reduced-fat versions add more sugar to make up for the lack of fat.

10. Rice milk: Unless it’s fortified, it’s simply fluid from rice that’s naturally high in carbohydrates and low in protein and calcium. Soy and almond milk are better alternatives.

11. Baked Beans: A chaotic mix of beans, sugar, syrup and molasses with a needlessly high calorie count.

12. Packaged Turkey: More often than not loaded with sodium.

13. Sports Drinks: Many contain 125 calories or more per 20-oz.bottle. That’s a lot of calories, so be kind to yourself and opt for plain water in order to hydrate.

14. Light Salad Dressings: Take a look at the dubious ingredients list. And give yourself a little time, because it’s like War & Peace!

15. Canned Soups: The vast majority have 400 or more milligrams of sodium per cup and, in reality, who has just half the can?

So sorry to break it to you, but in trying to remain healthy you may be eating and drinking products that are not actually healthy at all. But you have to admire the marketing!

  • By Bilal Al Halabi, Al Halabi Ref. & Kitchen Equipment www.al-halabi.com


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