Food Products Can Sound Healthy.. But!
When you wander through the grocery store, the labels on the packages often seem to indicate that a particular food or beverage has health benefits. These can range from claims of “all-natural” ingredients to low fat, low sugar, and no additives or preservatives. On the other hand, real foods like fruits and vegetables don't have labels but do have health benefits.
Food Product Marketing
When a food label touts its health benefits, there may be a certain amount of misdirection there. For example, getting you to focus on low-fat may take your attention away from the amount of sugar or chemicals in a product. The term all-natural doesn't mean anything, but can make you feel you're getting “the real thing.” Breads made primarily with refined white flour, for example, may be all-natural, but they aren't healthy.
Read the small print. The nutrition label has all the details about fat, sugars, additives and preservatives. The really important stuff, however, tends to be in teeny-tiny print that practically takes a magnifying glass to decipher. If high-fructose corn sugar is the second ingredient, pass on to the real foods and pick up some fresh fruit for your sweet tooth.
When in Doubt.. Fix It Fresh
Pay attention to ingredients. Something called a salad almost automatically makes you think healthy eating, but a shrimp, tuna or chicken salad can be loaded with fat and salt. Sandwich wraps may contain more calories than bread and often contain trans fats. “Ancient grains” like spelt are only healthier if the whole grain is used.
Bottom line: buying and cooking real foods will nearly always offer more health benefits than eating any kind of processed foods. Eating real foods also helps you lose weight, because the foods satisfy your hunger and promote satiety – that feeling of fullness. So skip the processed and highly refined stuff; your body will thank you.
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