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How to Recognize and Avoid Fake Health Food

It's no surprise that many of food health labels stray from truth, but how can we cut through the rubbish and identify the things that are actually good for us?

smithsonian.com

Photo: Saxarocks

Vitamin water; probiotics; nutrient enriched – labels proclaiming a product’s superior health value are splashed all over the supermarket these days. It’s no surprise that many food labels stray from truth, but how can we cut through the rubbish and identify the things that are actually good for us?

Grist breaks down some general culprits behind the problem:

  • Vitamin water is usually just sugar water
  • Vegetable chips are just deep fried chips
  • Granola is sugary and fatty
  • Flavored yogurt has tons of sugar and the fruit is highly processed
  • Granola and energy bars are high in calories and not-healthy oils
  • Baked chips are about as nutritious as “salty cardboard”

So how can you much around the sugar, salt and lies?

  • Just be honest and hit your body where it hurts, with Cheetos, traditional chips or cupcakes. You’ll probably eat less since you won’t be able to fool yourself into thinking it’s healthy.
  • Make your own snacks, like roasted nuts which have the salt and fatty goodness without the empty calories
  • Mix up your own trail mix. Think nuts, dried fruit and high-quality chocolate chips
  • Just drink water

More from Smithsonian.com:

Turmeric as Health Food? 

Can Eating Healthy Be Bad for Your Health? 

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