Across the menus of America, junk foods masquerade as low-carb, no-fat, and high-protein health foods. Plastered with manufacturer’s health guarantees and certifications, these pretenders furtively attack and besiege the fitness of their consumers. Health foods are not a nationwide trend; rather, junk foods masquerading as health foods are all the rage. Here is how to spot these impostors before they begin to clog, bung and plug.
Step one: If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. 100-calorie cookie packs, trans-fat-free chips, kids’ “fruit snacks, and low-fat milkshakes brim with LDL cholesterol, unsaturated fats, sugars, and gobs of carbohydrates. A “healthy” desert is usually an anomaly.
Step two: Check sweeteners. Many enriched, organic or low-fat foods use sweeteners to offset the tart or bitter flavors natural to many unsweetened foods. Many sugar-related products, popular in restaurants and hotels, are linked to brain and blood problems. One particularly popular – and insidious – sweetener is high fructose corn syrup, which reduces white blood cell production and almost immediately converts itself to fat. Most fruit juices are brimming with sugar or sweeteners.
Step three: Don’t trust athletic drinks. Most sports beverages are improper for recreational use. Their elevated amounts of sugar and carbohydrates are required on the gridiron, but not during business meetings. Protein-fortified milks and shakes are designed for bodybuilders. They do not create muscle; they merely fix torn muscle fibers after a workout. Also, vitamin-enriched water is typically full of sugar. Leave the athletic drinks to the athletes.
Step four: Examine additives. Several additives can be life-threatening. Acrylamide, a popular cereal additive, is a known carcinogen. Aspartame, a sweetener, is linked to multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, lupus, birth defects, seizures, and other illnesses.
Step five: Don’t have too much of a good thing. While many nutrients are essential in their proper amounts, they may become toxic or detrimental when consumed too much. Carbohydrates convert nutrients into the body’s usable energy – too many carbohydrates, however, and the unused energy is converted to fat. Soy, a popular organic product, causes hormonal imbalances in large doses, affecting male fertility and female estrogen levels.
Don’t get duped by frauds. Stay informed; stay healthy.