Last month we talked about some tricky foods to avoid. I mentioned that I would share a few more foods to avoid that may surprise you so here they are:
- Yogurt is usually marketed as a health food, and many times it can be. However, most yogurts sold in the US seem to be more like a dessert. If you read the labels on many of the yogurt brands you’ll see that they contain large amounts of sugar. Some yogurt brands even range from 18 to 26 grams of sugar per individual sized container. The harmful effects of the sugar overshadow the benefits of whatever minimal amount of beneficial bacteria the yogurt might have. So stick to Greek-style plain yogurt and add your granola or fresh fruits with honey.
- Cereal bars can also be a deceptive “healthy” food item. They are advertised as a healthy breakfast alternative for those who are in a rush or convenient snack in-between meals. Even the packaging is extremely deceiving. When you see grains and oats on the package you automatically think of it as healthy, but it’s everything else they pack into these bars that make them anything but healthy. Many cereal bars contain corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and brown sugar. That’s a lot of sweets! These are all generally the types of ingredients that contribute to fat.
It’s unfortunate that so many food brands can mislead us into thinking we’re purchasing something wholesome for our families. It’s important to always read labels! Typically, we consume too much salt, saturated fat and added sugar. Checking nutrition labels so that you know what and how much you’re eating plays a central role in being able to cut back on your intake. It is recommended that you trim your sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams per day and your intake of added sugar and saturated fat to no more than 5 to 15 percent of your daily calories, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. Check food labels for guidance as to how to get to your goal of cutting back. Also, don’t trust packaging! Labels are always going to be your best source of ingredient information.