FYI Friday – When Good Foods Go Bad

Trying to eat healthy is a tricky, tricky thing. And this isn’t helped by the fact that there are many imposters in the grocery stores parading as healthy food.

imposters

Frozen Yogurt:

This seems like a great swap to make in your diet. You can satisfy your sweet tooth but with fewer calories and fat. While this can be true of some frozen yogurt, check ingredient lists and nutrition facts before you make the swap. Because there are some imposters among us.

greek yogurt

Ben & Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt. Seems like a great idea until I looked at the ingredient list:

Skim Milk, Greek Yogurt (Cultured Skim Milk, Natural Flavor, Carrageenan), Liquid Sugar (Sugar, Water), Cream, Water, Corn Syrup Solids, Sugar, Blueberry Puree Concentrate, Soybean Oil, Corn Starch, Egg Yolks, Wheat Flour, Graham Flour, Nonfat Yogurt Powder (Cultured Nonfat Milk), Salt, Butteroil, Canola Oil, Locust Bean Gum, Vanilla Extract, Soy Lecithin, Honey, Molasses, Sodium Bicarbonate.
Notice that while it’s advertised as greek yogurt it still contains cream as the fourth ingredient (after sugar of course). It also contains soybean oil, butteroil and canola oil. That’s a whole lot of added fat for a product you think you are choosing as a lower fat alternative.
The nutrition facts on this one:
nutrition facts

Not exactly the healthy treat you were looking for. In fact, it’s only 70 calories less than Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. For 70 calories difference, I am definitely choosing the ice cream.

Low Calorie Snacks

Next one is a product I’ve been seeing a lot of commercials for lately. They claim you can satisfy your sweet craving for only 100 calories. Guilt free snack with these Special K pastry crisps.

special k

Again, while this may seem like a good idea to satisfy a craving I looked at the ingredient list and found this:

Ingredient List: Wheat flour, sugar, soybean, palm and palm kernel oil shortening, glycerin, maltodextrin, dextrose, cocoa, modified food starch (corn and tapioca), milk ingredients, natural flavour, salt, soy lecithin, colour, cellulose, cornstarch, baking powder, acetylated tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides, acacia gum, mono- and diglycerides, cocoa butter, calcium phosphate, bht.

First of all, how many ingredients do you recognize in that list? Generally, if you have no idea what it is you probably don’t want to put it in your body. Don’t you remember that old PSA – “Don’t you put it in your mouth”

Also note in that ingredient list is palm kernel oil shortening. When you see the word shortening in an ingredient list it means trans fats. Even though the label states 0g trans fats, labelling laws state you can label as zero if it contains 0.2g or less.

Overall, if you’re craving a sweet treat, you’d be much better off having a homemade cookie that you know the ingredients of.

Veggie Chips

When these chips came out, I thought to myself, that’s genius marketing. People see veggie chips and immediately think great they’re healthier. But wait a second, chips are made out of potatoes…which are vegetables. Therefore all chips are technically “veggie chips”. Did I just blow your mind? And in fact when I looked at the ingredient list the “veggies” are tomato paste & spinach powder.

veggie chips

Now when taking a look at the nutrition facts, these chips are actually fewer calories than a regular bag of chips. But they are very comparable to a baked bag of chips. Therefore, bottom line, eat these chips as a treat if you like. But don’t consider them to be a healthy choice or a source of your daily vegetables.

I could probably go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Check out ingredient lists and nutrition facts before choosing products. I am not saying NEVER eat these products, all food fits, but you should know what you are eating and don’t be fooled by good marketing.

office

What food imposters have you found? Have you ever been fooled by marketing?

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6 thoughts on “FYI Friday – When Good Foods Go Bad

  1. I’m starting to find that no matter what the packaging says, packaged food is packaged food and is not nearly as nutritional as fresh produce or food that I prepare myself. It has taken me a LONG time to realise that and to slowly eat less and less packaged foods and more and more produce. The neat thing is that my running, recovery and mood has really benefitted from the healthier eating. I’m not perfect, but my eating is WAY better than it used to be!

  2. Confession…..I’m not a fan of Special K ANYTHING. I mean, sure their cereal is “low calorie” but you might as well eat cardboard as I’m sure it would have more fibre than Special K. They’re really just a glorified diet brand now and it bothers me sooo much.
    That said, I do really like the Skinny Cow ice cream bars. I’ve never looked at the label and would probably be horrified if I did 🙂

  3. 1) I love ben & jerry’s…I just straight up eat the full version 😉 Only occasionally! 2) I love the office. My bf and I are currently rewatching all the episodes. The early seasons were so good!

    But in all seriousness, good points about looking at the ingredients. I went food shopping with a friend and she picked up some stuff thinking it was healthy and I was just thinking noooooo…but I didn’t want to say anything and come across as a know it all you know?

  4. We do buy the veggie chips at home. My son has crazy allergies, and these are the only thing he can eat in the CHIP section!

    But, I totally agree… genius marketing passing off unhealthy items as HEALTHY!

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