{Nourish} Health Food Impostors + Nourishing Swaps

health-food-fraudsI spend a lot of time in grocery stores helping my clients figure out which foods are the best options in relationship to their health goals and along the way I have comes across several seemingly healthy foods that are, well, far from it! This constant revelation led me to create this new series of posts called “Health Food Frauds”  to help you weed out the crap, read between the lines and, of course, to point you in the direction of the good guys which do exist! We have another series of posts that encourage you to swap packaged foods for a DIY version and we gave you a few shopping rules to which I will add:

Here are the others as a refresher course:

  • What ingredient would I use to make this food product at home? For example, if I were looking to buy a jarred tomato sauce I would only purchase a produce that contained olive oil, garlic, onion, tomatoes, herbs and spices.
  • Can I buy all of the ingredients in the grocery store? If I can’t it is likely because it is not a whole food ingredient.

 Now, to the good stuff! Here are this weeks Impostors with a suitably healthy swap!

{Salad Dressing} I have a major issue with most store-bought salad dressings. Why, you may ask? Because most, even those that are organic, are made with inexpensive, inflammatory, crappy oils like soybean, cottonseed and canola. Olive oil is SOOO good for you–especially when it is uncooked and a salad dressing is the perfect place to load up on this fabulous fat—yet—it is nearly impossible to find a dressing made with any let alone only olive oil. Even the dressings that call themselves an “Olive Oil” dressing only contain a small amount and instead are primarily comprised of the the crappy oils we mentioned above. Such is the case with this Organicville Dressing that contains mostly soybean oil, ick! Make your own dressings or try Tessemaes which are refrigerated and made with real ingredients including olive oil, hooray!

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{Cereal} I could dedicate an entire post to how crappy most cereals are for you but, for today, I am focusing on one in particular because a client was recently purchasing this thinking it was healthy! There are far worse cereals available then this Ancient Grains Cheerio, but I was annoyed that the mere term ancient grain made this cereal seem more healthful than even a tradition cheerio which it was not! The ancient grain version had 5 grams of sugar per serving and less fiber than a tradition Cheerio which only has 1 gram of sugar and 3 grams of fiber! You are better off with the regular cheerio or better yet, opt for an organic version and add some nuts and seeds to balance out your cereal with whole foods that contain healthy fats, protein and fiber!

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{Veggie Burger} I see this all the time–my clients think they are eating a healthy diet because they are a vegetarian yet, most of the highly processed fake meat and dairy products on the market would never pass the whole foods shopping rules we listed above. There are so many vegetarian products that contain an incredibly long list of unpronounceable ingredients and a ton of GMO highly processed soy which I suggest your avoid. Instead, opt for a brand made with whole food ingredients and ingredients you can purchase in the grocery store.

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{Yogurt} One of the unhealthiest “health foods” on the market. Here is the deal with yogurt–even a plain yogurt will show some sugar as it contains natural milk sugars and fruit sugars if there is added fruit. My issue is the globs of sugar that are added. Take the fruit out the picture for a minute. The difference between a plain yogurt and a vanilla yogurt is in the upwards of 4 teaspoons of sugar, GROSS. This includes organic varieties. Opt for plain yogurt and sweeten it yourself with 1 teaspoon of honey or real maple syrup or grab a Siggi’s if you are craving so flavor as they only add about 1 teaspoon of sugar to their flavored varieties and they use the same ingredients you would use to make yogurt yourself–including real fruit!

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 Financial compensation was not received for this post.  Opinions expressed here are my own and I only recommend products I would personally use.

 

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