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Health Food Imposters and alternatives

"Healthy Looking” Canned or Boxed Soups 

Despite healthy looking packaging, many soups can contain high sodium and M.S.G.. High sodium soups can lead to high blood pressure, water retention and further desire for salty foods. M.S.G is a preservative that can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue and poor concentration. 
Alternative: Jarred soups in the cold section that have a shorter expiration date. Many use less sodium and more healthy ingredients. 
Product: Soup’s On  - Split Pea and Lentil only 152 mg sodium for 1 cup. Compare this to a to high sodium “natural” soup with 690mg for 1 cup.
Fruit Flavored Yogurt

All yogurt contains active or live cultures, a.k.a probiotic, but the amount differs in each brand. Many fruit flavored yogurts have a hefty amount of sugar and artificial flavors making it a less than healthy choice.
Alternative: Plain yogurt, sweeten with raw honey, maple syrup, fresh fruit or take 1tsp of fruit-sweetened jam. Add some Kefir to boost probiotic amount. 

Product: Liberte Plain Organic Yogurt No Fat Yogurt has 6 grams of sugar for ¾ cup and no artificial colors or ingredients. Compare this to 29.4 grams of sugar for ¾ cup flavored or stirred yogurt. 
Natur Le Fruit Strawberry Jam 1 tablespoon has 7grams of sugar. This would be a better alternative for those who like fruit stirred in. 
Health Bars Claiming Fiber and Omega 3’s 

Many advertised bars claiming fiber and omega 3’s may contain minimal amounts of these ingredients. Some bars have as little as 0.4 grams of Omega 3 present in a bar. 4oz of broiled salmon has 2.09grams! 
Many healthy looking bars contain artificial flavors and colors, preservatives and trans fats. Some bars add bran strands that are dyed with food coloring to make it look more like bran.
Avoid these ingredients in a cereal bar:
  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Artificial flavors / colors
  • Caramel color
  • Corn Syrup
  • Sugar
  • BHT
Alternative: Choose bars that are free of these ingredients and have natural sources of fiber and other whole ingredients. Avoid consuming bars with over 10 grams of sugar and choose bars with at least 5 grams of fiber or more.
Product: Vega Vibrancy bar and Vega Energy Bar Vibrancy bar has 1 gram of Omega 3, 10 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein. Energy Bar 1.5 grams of Omega 3, 6 grams of fiber, 10 grams of protein and no additives, colors or preservatives. Ingredients are from whole food sources.
Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Wraps

These wraps are typically made from refined white flour, hydrogenated oils and the green and red hues primarily come from food colorings (Blue No. 1 and Yellow No. 5. FD&C Red #40 Lake, FD&C Red #40, FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Yellow #6 and Caramel Color.) 
Alternative: Look for whole grain wraps free of artificial ingredients. Less ingredients the better.
Product: Food for Life Ezekiel Whole Grain Sprouted Wrap

Organic Sprouted Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Sprouted Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Sprouted Lentils, Organic Sprouted Spelt, Sea Salt.

Miranda Malisani, RNCP

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Health & Fitness

Health Food Imposters

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