Sometimes even our best efforts to improve our health and nutrition can lead us astray. It is all too easy to get caught up in health foods trends and marketing ploys and forget the number one rule of buying packaged food: read the label! While there are a lot of health food trends circulating today, here are two examples of trends that might be causing you to accidentally sabotage your health and diet.
- Packed with probiotics that promote digestive health
- Calcium for building strong bones
- Nutrients that improve immunity
- Low fat source of protein
Pitfalls: Some flavors of Greek Yogurt are packed with sugar. Take for example the Chobani’s Blueberry Greek Yogurt which has a 185 calories and a whopping 27 grams of sugar.
The Alternative: Go for the plain yogurt, which only has 7 grams of sugar. Add your own fruit or low sugar granola for added flavor and nutrients.
Benefits: A great way to get you daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
Pitfalls: Store bought smoothies can have as many calories as a can of soda and are often packed with dyes and preservatives and lack the fiber that comes from eating whole fruits and vegetables. You should also be aware of serving sizes. A lot of packaged smoothies will have 2 or more servings per bottle, which means that you may be ingesting a lot more calories than you intended.
For example: The Green Machine Smoothie from Naked has 28 grams of sugar, 0 grams of fiber, and comes in a container with 2 servings. That means that if you drink just one 15 ounce bottle, you will have consumed 280 calories and 56 grams of sugar. By comparison, the average 16 ounce bottle of cola has 33 grams of sugar.
The Alternative: Make your own smoothies and don’t forget the vegetables! You can even add protein like whey powder or nuts as well as healthy fats like flaxseed and avocado to make your smoothie even more nutrient rich!