The more I see out there in the world the more I realize the world is in need of a serious wake-up call. There are so many companies out there trying to make a buck off of you it’s nauseating. I believe probably 90% of the people selling us “food” and nutrition products are not at all interested in our well-being, but just want to take advantage of the current nutrition culture. There is so much confusion surrounding food, supplements, and diets that it’s easy to get confused, and that’s exactly what companies are banking on.

As I sit in my living room happily eating my hummus and raw veggies for lunch, I am amazed at the commercials I see. When did we as a society decide that gummy vitamins was a good idea, for example? Surely I missed that memo. I would like to go on record as saying that candy is not good for you, not matter how many vitamins they force into those little sugary bear of doom.

Vitamin Water is a classic example of how companies just want to confuse consumers. They are just crossing their fingers we don’t do our homework. People are out there thinking “well, water is good for you, so vitamin water must be really good for you!” But if you read the label on those things they are loaded to the brim with sugar… More sugar than a Dunkin Donut’s glazed donut, as a matter a fact [1]. At 13 grams of sugar per serving and 2.5 servings per bottle, Vitamin Waters pack a mean 32.5 grams of sugar per bottle. I’m sure all that sugar doesn’t interfere with the absorption of those vitamins….

Finally, my personal favorite is protein bars- Particularly the ones that are covered in chocolate. Really? These things are glorified candy bars we’ve added a little cheap protein powder to in a (successful) attempt to bamboozle consumers. I don’t care if that candy bar you’re eating has 100 grams of protein, it’s still a candy bar.

Michael Pollan said it best when he said “don’t buy foods that make health claims”. Poor, shy broccoli will never outwardly boast about it’s vitamins and fiber… mostly because there’s no way to get rich off selling broccoli. If a product has to convince you that it’s healthy chances are it’s not that healthy. Stick with what we’ve known about nutrition all out lives: there is no substitute for fruits and vegtables. Learn to love them.

Nikki

References:
[1] http://www.dunkindonuts.com/content/dunkindonuts/en/menu/nutrition/nutrition_catalog.html?nutrition_catalog_hidden=0&nutrition_catalog_needType=Food&nutrition_catalog_selPage=2&nutrition_catalog_perPage=50

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