The food industry has a challenge on its hands. Most health experts agree that the optimum diet is one based mostly on whole, plant foods, the kind that comes from nature and not a factory. So, to convince people they can still eat their favorite meat, cheese, soda, and junk food, many companies are using meaningless labels such as “all-natural” and engaging in other deceptive marketing practices. Most shoppers nowadays look for specific labels on products that tell them if the product they are looking for is healthy or not. Health coach and motivational speaker Tania Koujou will explain how some information can be misleading or even deceptive in the food and drink industry. She aims to empower you and offer you knowledge about what you are eating. 

Health coach Tania has four examples to show you how hidden the truth can be sometimes.

The Latest Trend: Acai Bowls

Acai bowls became very trendy and their health benefits gave them all the hype. However, the secret ingredient that makes these bowls oh-so-delicious is none other than sugar! A big amount of sugar is added to every bowl to hide the bitterness of Acai. Acai is a bitter fruit that contains lots of antioxidants, but without added sugar, it would not taste good at all.

Products claiming to be sugar-free

This is where it gets tricky. Sugar is sugar, but some sugar is different than others. Confused? Let us explain. Some products claim to be sugar-free while having dates, honey, or maple syrup added to them. Dates, honey, and maple syrup all contain sugar! Is it natural and healthier than processed sugar? Yes! But it is still sugar. So the label “sugar-free” is very misleading in this case and requires you to check the ingredients on the back to make sure of its legitimacy.

“No Added Sugar” labels

This type of label does not mean sugar-free. It means that during production, the manufacturers did not put additional amounts of sugar - mostly white sugar or another sweetener - into the product. Therefore, you see the label “No Added Sugars”. They might have used items that already contain sugar, so always check the list at the back of each product to know how much sugar it actually contains. 

“Free of” labels

This label is very deceiving. Here’s why. Imagine you reach for a cookie on the supermarket shelf with the label “Free of eggs, milk, and sugar!” You’re happy because as someone trying to cut on dairy and sugar, you have just found the perfect cookie. You would be wrong. This cookie might be loaded with preservatives, food coloring, chemicals, and GMOs. You would be better off enjoying a dozen of traditional cookies than this one that you thought was healthy.

This talk aims to empower you and make you knowledgeable about what you eat, not discourage you on your fitness and health journey. It’s important to know what you are consuming and what is entering your body. Always read the labels on anything you buy. Always do your research about the ingredients you do not recognize. Always trust yourself because so many brands will try to deceive you in order to sell more without putting in the work. And if you had any of the above, you don't have to worry. It is encouraged to enjoy things in moderation, but we just want you to know the hidden truth

June 29, 2021 — Mint Basil Team

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