How to avoid food marketing deception and make healthy choices at the grocery store

August 19, 2010

by Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer

I was at the grocery store yesterday and had to shake my head at all of the deceptive labels with everything claiming all sorts of things that are supposedly “healthy”, but aren’t really.

One of the things that really disturbed me was that I saw several examples of healthy foods in their natural state, but I saw counterfeit versions of these foods claiming that they were healthier than the original…

Yet in reality, all of these counterfeit versions were actually MUCH worse for you than the original… and they still have the balls to claim that their overly processed “junkified” versions are better.

This is food marketing deception at it’s worst!

Example #1: Product claiming “Better than peanut butter”

This product is ludicrous! I can’t believe anyone would ever believe that this junk is better for them than natural peanut butter.

First of all, if you buy a good simple peanut butter (organic is best), it is usually nothing but 2 ingredients… peanuts and salt. And they don’t add much salt so it’s not high in sodium.

However, this counterfeit peanut butter which claimed it was “better than peanut butter” (trying to seem healthier than peanut butter based on it’s label claims) had a list of junk in it you wouldn’t believe. First of all, they strip all of the healthy fats out of the peanuts so that it is a “low fat” product. Ok, now you’ve just taken away one of the healthiest parts of the product…the appetite satisfying healthy fats that you need to control cravings and manage more stable blood sugar levels.

To make things worse, the healthy fats were replaced with 2 different types of sugary syrups as well as additional dehydrated cane juice (aka SUGAR), in addition to added refined starches.

This product has taken something as simple and natural as peanut butter, and turned it into what should really be called some sort of processed candy. Yet, they claim that it’s healthier than peanut butter. And somehow they get away with deceiving people like this. Don’t be their fool!

Example #2: Product claiming to be “better than eggs”.

I won’t get as detailed on this one because I recently talked about this entire topic in another newsletter.

But basically, this product was just egg whites with a bunch of added chemical colorings, flavorings, and other nonsense, including fake added vitamins.

Again, this product has essentially ruined a good thing by removing the healthiest part… the YOLKS! And yes, the yolks ARE the healthiest part of the egg. Anybody that tells you different doesn’t understand much about true nutrition. The important thing to look for in quality whole eggs are cage-free and organic.

If you missed the previous article about whole eggs vs egg whites, you can view it here…

Are Whole Eggs or Egg Whites Healthier?

Example #3: A product claiming to be “better than butter”.

This was essentially crappy margarine loaded with highly processed and deadly trans fats, yet it had the nerve to claim it was “better than butter”.

Heck NO!

Even low quality butter is healthier than ANY margarine. One problem with butter is pesticides and hormones from improperly raised cows.

For this reason, you always want to choose organic butter, and if you can find “grass-fed” butter, then I would even say it can be healthy for you. In fact, adding a little butter to your steamed vegetables helps your body to absorb more of the vitamins and minerals in the veggies.

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