What Doesn't Kill You: The Truth Behind The 7 Most Popular "Healthy" Foods Out There
As the world grapples with obesity, more and more ‘health’ products are being created each and every day. The promises of “bulking up” or “slimming down” fast by these supplements are enticing and leave Americans in a health craze. But, what is the truth behind protein shakes, vitamin waters and power bars, and are the truly doing the work they say?
1. Muscle Milk:
These protein “meal replacement” products can be sold as ready-to-eat liquids or powders you can mix yourself, but both have come back with some truly negative results. Advertised on their website as being “designed after human mother’s milk,” a 2010 Consumer Reports study found that almost all protein shakes, especially the most famous ones like Muscle Milk, are anything but! Muscle Milk poses health risks and exposes its consumers to potentially harmful metals found inside the shakes. All tests found at least one of the following in 15 samples: arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. Drink with caution!
2. Kashi Granola Bars:
Although many Kashi products are proven to be great sources of fiber, their allegedly “healthy” granola bars are actually glued together with sugar! Often containing dried fruit and chocolate chips, these bars contain very high levels of fructose corn syrup and are low in nutrients. The fat and calorie content in each bar is even reported to be almost as much as a Snickers bar! Same goes for their trail mix and many other granola bar brands out there.
3. Vitamin Water:
A water with “vitamins” in its name cannot be bad for you, right? Each bottle of Vitamin Water has a shocking 32.5 grams of sugar per bottle – that’s about 8 packs of sugar! To pass this off as a healthy drink, artificial sweeteners are used as a substitute, which has long-term side effects that trick your body into slowing its metabolism. Plus, Vitamin Water is owned by Coke, so that should explain everything.
4. Breyers Fruit on the Bottom Fat-Free Yogurt:
Just because these yogurts are almost always “fat-free,” it does not mean they are healthy for you. These small, 6-ounce yogurt cups have up to 15 grams of sugar! Instead, buy plain fat-free Greek yogurt and use fresh fruit, healthy preservatives (used with agave syrup) or some honey.
5. Clif Bars:
These bars were originally and rightfully designed for endurance athletes who need to build up their sugar and carbohydrate level, but recently, Clif bars have been marketed to the general public as a “natural health alternative.” Although Clif bars can surely boast that they are a great source of fiber, they are loaded with glycerin and have over 21 grams of sugar and 230 calories per bar! If you’re looking for an effective health bar, try “Boomi” products like their Lara bars.
6. Diet Snapple:
Tea drinks, surprisingly enough, are not the same as brewed tea leaves – in fact, Snapple contains almost no brewed tea. Consumer Reports recently reviewed Diet Snapple products and found that all the “natural antioxidants” Snapple boasts about are actually from concentrate! Without the same health benefits as tea, Snapple has tried to make their beverages lower in calories, but unfortunately have racked up its sugar – enough to rival soda.
7. Quaker Rice Cakes:
Rice cakes are known for being low-fat, low-cholesterol, and low-calorie, plus virtually tasteless. However, rice cakes have almost no nutritional value like most consumers believe. In fact, Quaker rice cakes, especially flavored ones, are loaded with hydrogenated oils (aka trans-fat)! If you cannot resist this light and airy snack, try soy chips or a whole-grain rice cake alternative.