PART ONE OF OUR KNUCKLHEAD FITNESS NUTRITION BLOG
You’re standing in the grocery aisle, faced with a choice. You reach, somewhat grudgingly, for the healthy option, since experts tell you that 50% of your grains should be whole grains. What you don’t realize is that unbleached wheat flour is the main ingredient; whole wheat flour is the third on the list, “indicating that the product contains relatively little,” And beware of the “wheat bread,” a claim that simply means the loaf was made from wheat flour, which might very well be refined and colored with molasses to appear darker. Some companies will use molasses or caramel to mimic the dark coloring of whole grains. The only trustworthy claim for whole grains is “100 percent whole grain.” So much for healthy whole grains (or truth in advertising).
Hey Mom’s :
The claim “100 percent juice” deserves a big asterisk. Some juices, such as apple, grape, and pear, are cheap, abundant, and loaded with sugar.
Case-in-point: Gerber Fruit Juice Treats for Preschoolers. Its package blooming with pictures of ripe oranges, raspberries, cherries, peaches, grapes and pineapple, its only fruit-like ingredient is fruit juice concentrate, which the Dietary Guidelines for Americans considers just another form of sugar. Not surprisingly, the primary ingredients are also sugar and … well, (corn syrup). It’s candy. It’s still 100 percent juice, but in reality it’s nothing more than a blend of inexpensive sucrose-loaded fillers tinged with a mere splash of what you really want. Moreover, many juice “cocktails” contain as little as 20 percent real juice; sugar pads the rest. Just add up all the sugars that go by different names: sugar, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup and juice concentrate. Look at Kellogg’s Smart Start. It claims to be “lightly sweetened,” yet it has more sugar per cup than a full serving of Oreo cookies!
Flavored yogurt seems like an ideal breakfast or snack on the go — after all, it’s a protein-packed dairy product paired with antioxidant-laden fruits in one convenient little cup. Unfortunately, the sugar content of these seemingly healthy products is sky-high, especially in the fruit-on-the bottom varieties. The fruit itself is swimming in so much thick syrup that high-fructose corn syrup and other such sweeteners often must be listed in the ingredients before the fruit itself. A similar dilemma presents itself with flavored instant oatmeal. Some brands even proudly display the American Heart Association (AHA) check mark on their products’ boxes. However, the fine print next to the logo will simply read that the cereal meets AHA’s “food criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol.” In other words, it could have as much sugar as Fruit Loops and still get this particular AHA logo! And sugar, a low-quality refined carbohydrate, is the last thing you want for breakfast. “fat-free.” They’re not lying—these empty-calorie junk foods are almost 100 percent sugar and processed carbs. Problem is, fat-free snacks that are loaded with sugar are digested rapidly, sending your blood sugar soaring; as soon as it drops again, you’ll crave more “fat-free” empty calories. Every item in the grocery store claims to be “low in,” “free of” or “good for” . . . something. Problem is, that reduction in fat often comes with an increase in sugar and sodium and, ultimately, no net nutritional gain to speak of. so-called “low-fat” or “reduced-sodium” products. So any way you look at it, the equation is simple and designed to make you fail: MORE SUGAR + MORE FAT + MORE SALT = LESS NUTRITION
Then there’s The beverage aisle:
The rainbow-colored rows of “enhanced” waters have a different dirty little secret. The crutch of every bottle of Vitamin water for instance, is a host of B vitamins. Everything that goes in after that — zinc, chromium, vitamins A, C, or E, etc.— hinges on whether said beverage is trying to provide “focus,” “sync,” “balance,” or any number of claims. The problem is that this collection of nutrients isn’t worth the stiff sugar tariff that Vitamin water charges,32.5 grams—8 teaspoons’ worth—stuffed into each bottle. Pop a daily multivitamin instead.
PART TWO COMING SOON.