Foods that fool, with Devin Alexander
CANNED FRUIT vs. CANNED VEGGIES.
QUESTION: Which item is good for you?
Any food swimming in juice or "light syrup" isn’t going to work in your favor on the scale. ALSO, most canned fruit is peeled, meaning you’re being robbed of a valuable source of fiber. The same goes with frozen fruit. While freezing preserves the fruit itself, adding sugar during the freezing process preserves color and taste; so many store-bought frozen fruits throw it in.
Solution: Read that ingredients list! You want it to say fruit and fruit juice, that’s it.
For some reason, manufacturers constantly come up with new chicanery to lead you back to the refined stuff. One of their latest tricks is to refer to refined flour as “wheat flour” because, obviously, it’s made of wheat. But just because it’s wheat-based doesn’t mean it’s not refined. The distracted shopper can mistake this label for “whole wheat flour” and throw it in his cart. Whole-grain or sprouted wheat is better for you than refined wheat. By keeping the bran and germ, you maintain the naturally occurring nutrients and fiber.
If you’re drinking berry juice for their antioxidant benefits that's great, but first you should make sure the product you're buying actually contains those juices. Many products labeled as pomegranate-blueberry or cranberry-pomegranate are actually mostly made of other juices like apple juice. So check the ingredient list. If it's labeled as pomegranate but has apple juice listed first on the ingredient list, you'll know it's mainly apple juice, not pomegranate juice.
FAT FREE SALAD DRESSING
Dressing by definition is supposed to be fatty, and thus highly caloric. Unfortunately, people prefer to buy fat-free versions so they can drown their greens while avoiding excess fat. Nothing’s free. All this stuff does is replace the fat with carbs and salt, so you’ve basically gone from pouring a little healthy unsaturated fat on your salad to dumping on a pile of sugar.
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Have a look at most flavored yogurt and you’ll find the second ingredient to be sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. One container of Yoplait Original Strawberry has 170 calories, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 27 of which are sugar. It starts out as good stuff. Fat aside, there’s the calcium and protein you find in all milk products, along with probiotics, which make it easier to digest for those with lactose issues. The only problem is that straight yogurt can be pretty bitter, so manufacturers load the stuff with sugar and masquerade those carbs as fruit in an effort to make the whole thing more palatable.