You don’t need me to tell you that food companies are experts at marketing. They will use every trick in the book to con you into tossing their product into your cart. Food companies love to market their product according to the hot trend of the moment, whether it’s fat-free, sugar-free, low-sodium, all-natural etc. The extent to which food companies are allowed to stretch the truth on their labels is pretty shocking; they can exploit the loopholes in the FDA’s regulations to the point where reality and fiction become blurred. In today’s article, I want to target 3 of the worst offenders.
Number 1: Yogurt
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: But I thought yogurt was healthy! The truth is, it CAN be healthy, but the types that most folks buy are not. Your regular old flavored yogurt packs a whopping load of sugar, usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup. LOOK AT THE LABEL! Some of these yogurts have as much sugar as a can of coke.If it has more than 8-10 grams of sugar (the amount that would naturally be in the yogurt), you’re holding the wrong container. You can also safely assume that if it has a ‘flavor’, like fruit or honey, it has a ton of added sugar. If the sugar content seems suspiciously low for a flavored yogurt, check the ingredient list—it most likely contains chemical sweeteners.
End of story: Your best bet is to just buy the PLAIN yogurt. No added sugar, dyes, or flavorings-just plain, full-fat, organic yogurt. If you really can’t stomach plain yogurt, add fresh fruit or honey & you’ll still be many many times better off than with the disgusting alternative that passes for flavored yogurt. The picture below shows some of the worst yogurts when it comes to added sugars.
NUMBER 2: Almond Milk and Soy Milk
If almond milk is in your refrigerator, you need to take a closer look at the label. Almond milk is essentially sugar water. There is very little protein or fat & the consistency isn’t anything to write home about either. Here is the label for half gallons of Original, Vanilla, and Chocolate Almond Milk:
Soy milk is a better, but still problematic choice. Not only do some of the soy milk products on the market have huge amounts of sugar, but eating soy on a regular basis is going to be problematic for most folks who are already estrogen-dominant. Read my article on estrogen-dominance here to find out more about how soy products affect your hormones and your ability to shed fat. When it comes to an alternative to dairy, coconut milk is your best option. Coconut milk comes packed with medium-chain fatty acids that contribute to feelings of satiety, contribute to fat loss, and improve your lipid profile. While coconut milk may be low in protein, it is high in good fats that make the insulin response to this beverage less severe than almond or soy milk.
NUMBER 3: All ‘Low-fat’ or ‘Fat-free’ products
People choosing the low-fat or fat-free options of certain foods is a big pet-peeve of mine as a trainer. Fat-phobia is leftover from the 90s and we know so much more about dietary fat’s role in a healthy body composition that avoiding fat is just plain stupid. Fat is the key to fat loss, folks. Consuming fat allows your body to operate properly, like a well-oiled machine! When dietary fat is low (or high in the ‘bad’ kinds of fat), the body’s hormone production is thrown way off & starts to STORE fat. Hormones affect EVERY bodily function you can think of but particularly those associated with people’s weight loss goals- feelings of fatigue, hunger, sadness, etc are all controlled by hormone imbalances. When you consume dietary fat of the ‘good’ variety (I’ll list some below) & keep carbohydrate consumption in check, you can begin to see some positive results for fat-loss.
‘Good’ High Fat Foods
3. Fatty Fish
5. Raw nuts and seeds
6. Raw nut butter
7. Virgin coconut oil and coconut milk
Choosing the low or fat-free alternatives to some foods (think cheese, peanut butter, liquid egg substitute, dairy products) only results in consuming more sugar or fillers. When they take the fat out, they have to add something back in, don’t they? It’s usually a filler, a preservative, or more sugar. Ain’t no such thing as a free lunch folks.
Toss these THREE foods out of your kitchen today! No excuses.
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