I stumbled across a post this morning in my daily food news feeds that compelled me to address the issue of foods that claim to be, or imply that they are healthy when they are really not so great for you. Not that I disagreed with the list the author presented; I thought it should go further…
The original story tabbed the following items as secretly not so healthy, for the reasons listed:
Dried Fruit, Fruit Leathers: Concentrated and or added Sugar
Veggie Chips: Like any other Deep Fried snacks, they are high-Fat and high-Salt
Peanut Butter: Unless its a health food store bulk item or guaranteed ‘Just peanuts’ on the jar label, all brands contain added Fats, Sugar and other stuff to make sure the Oil does not separate
Canned Soup and Stews: Contains a lot of added Salt
Trail Mix: Usually Contains Sugar-added Chocolate Chips and Dried Fruit along with Nuts, dry Oatmeal, etc.
Granola: Contains good things, but also lots of dried Fruit and is glued together into ‘nuggets’ with added Sugars
Quick or Instant Oatmeal: Often contains Dried Fruit, ‘flavourings’, added Sugar and Salt
Flavoured Yogurt: Contains ‘flavourings’ of dubious origin, Dried Fruit and ‘toppings’ that may contain added Sugar
Bran Muffins: By itself Bran is great. But with the added Fats, Sugars, Salt and Dried Fruits that go into Muffins, it is often not so healthy
Veggie Burgers: The Veggies are just fine. But the Burgers (see photo, top of page) are often glued together with added Fats and Starches, and can contain a lot of added Salt for flavour
My additions to the list
Breakfast Cereals marketed to kids: Some of these contain more Sugar and Fat than other ingredients combined. Almost all feature bright colours and flavourings which are anything but ‘natural’
‘Energy’ Bars: See Granola, above. May also contain Sugary Icing or ‘Drizzle’ toppings
Chicken and Turkey Hot Dogs, Sausages, Deli Roasts: These start with Poultry, which is supposedly better for you than other, fattier Meats. But in processing, Fats, Salt and sometimes starch fillers are added
‘Lean’ and ‘Extra Lean’ Ground Beef: Still contain a certain amount of Fat or you couldn’t cook it without it drying out and falling apart. And it’s still Red Meat, which is becoming more and more vilified by diet and nutrition experts daily
Potatoes: When served plain Boiled or Baked, they’re great for you. It’s the deep fried ones and other kinds of spuds you put high-Calorie or fatty toppings on (see photo, above) that will get you!
Salads: Surprise! Even the healthiest Salad can be rendered unhealthy by dousing it in Dressing and/or piling it high with toppings such as Bacon Bits, etc.
‘Extreme’ examples of any food: Any food taken to extremes will probably be rendered unhealthy for one reason or another. Whether you eat too much, or it’s something like Pizza which may be mounded with extra Cheese, Meats and Sauces, it’s easy to consume more than is healthy for you
Big Fast Food Burgers: Even when stacked high with healthy-looking fresh Tomato and Onion slices, and crunchy Lettuce leaves, regular Fast Food Burgers are already high in Fat and Salt. But they can be rendered even higher in Calories by the added Sugar and starches in some common Condiments. Some multi-Patty Fast Food Burgers topped with multiple Cheeses and slices of Bacon, etc., may add up to anywhere from 1/2 to 2/3 of your totall daily recommended daily Calorie allotment
And there you have it…
If anything further comes to mind, I’ll update this post and run it again in future…
~ Maggie J.