30 Jun Don’t Be Tricked into “Health” Food Gimmicks
Today’s post is not specifically geared towards those in recovery. What we are going to discuss is for anyone who wants not only to better understand what healthy food truly means, but also the ways in which companies attempt to market faux-healthy food to us.
Food companies always have their fingers on the pulse of the latest food/health trends, and these days everything is being pushed as gluten-free, paleo, vegan, etc. On a recent trip to the grocery store, I laughed out loud when I saw the marketing slogan on a bag of marshmallows. It read: “A gluten-free food!”. I mean, really? First off, marshmallows are not food, they just aren’t. Secondly, I would bet that a number of people have seen that “gluten-free” tagline and bought those marshmallows with the thought “they’re gluten-free so they must be healthy!”.
Think about it this way: you must ALWAYS evaluate the ingredients and contents of your food regardless of the ‘title’ or ‘category’ it falls under. We tend to assume that anything fat free or vegan must be healthy choices What I mean by this is that just because something is vegan or gluten-free it does not immediately make it healthy, and we all too often assume just that. For example, a lot of vegan cookies are PACKED with high fructose corn syrup or processed sugars. I totally support those who wish to be vegan, obviously half the time my cooking is vegan, but I fail to see what is healthy about cookies made with wheat, tons of sugar, and some vegan chocolate chips. Replacing butter with coconut oil does not a healthy cookie make, get it? This dilemma of assuming foods are healthy even when they truly aren’t is also seen in the “light” or “fat-free” marketing of foods such as in light yogurt, light cottage cheese, etc. As we know, fat is not necessarily a bad thing in moderation so eating all fat-free or low-fat foods is not healthy to begin with, but you have to ask what you are gaining when you remove the fat. What is being used to create the thickness or mouth-feel that the fat would have provided? Is your yogurt being pumped full of carageenan? What might this do to your body? Do you remember those WOW fat-free potato chips that were sold by Frito-Lay? The ones that were marketed for being the healthier, better chip choice? Those bad boys were pulled from the market after thousands of people reported anal leakage. YEAH. So, the moral of today’s post: do not fall prey to the trickery of marketing. Do your research. Know what you are putting in your body. Don’t jump on the latest trends until you research them and can decide if they are truly beneficial for you.