Health Buzzwords

I came across the awesomest (not a word, but it should be) picture on Instagram the other day.   I feel like I’m always saying on here: “just because it’s [gluten-free] doesn’t mean it’s healthy!” but I wonder if anyone actually hears me, so…

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Do you hear me now?!

The media and food manufacturers are constantly bombarding us with all kinds of catchy phrases, like fat-free, low-carb, sugar-free, all-natural, gluten free, organic etc.  And a lot of the time, it does exactly what they want it to do: gets you to buy their product. 

But the truth is: IT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S GOOD FOR YOU!  (Or that it will make you skinner, if that’s what you’re going for.)

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When manufacturers take these compounds out of your food, they have to replace it with something else.  It’s science.  Usually, they replace it with something artificial, and often, the replacement is going to be even worse for you than if they left the original compound in in the first place. 

I watched a fabulous documentary on Netflix recently called Hungry For Change, where they discussed this exact topic.  In food manufacturing, fat free often means they’ve replaced the fat with sugar.  Your body uses sugar for fuel at first, but when you consume more sugar than your body needs (and we all do! most of us in excess), it is converted and stored… as fat.  So, while it’s factually correct for companies to say that their food is fat free, it’s also hugely misleading.   It may be fat free, but it’s also what’s making you fat. 

And in case you think I’m just trying to scare you, listen to this stat from the documentary: The average person eats 150lbs of sugar per year.  ONE-HUNDRED-FIFTY POUNDS OF SUGAR PER YEAR. 

It’s not fat that makes you fat, people  We need fats.  It’s sugar that makes you fat.  And it’s cheap and easy to make foods that contain sugar.  And it’s clever and effective to label something fat-free and not mention the added sugar. 

BOOM.  They’ve got us. 

So don’t be naïve.  Don’t believe everything you read/hear/see.  Do your research (I totally recommend watching that documentary, to start), and whenever possible, choose real, whole foods over anything that has to be packaged or marketed.

”The simpler I get, the healthier I get. If it’s made in a garden, I eat it.  If it’s made in a lab, it takes a lab to digest it. And if it has a shelf life longer than me, I don’t eat it.”

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8 Comments on “Health Buzzwords”

  1. Great post, Megan!!

    Have a lovely Friday & weekend <3

  2. I was going to do a similar post! That’s why I avoid packages food in general.

  3. I couldn’t agree more with this post….

  4. Love this post! As a nutrition person, I always have people tell me they bought gluten-free cereal, bread, etc since they are trying to be healthier. Until I tell them gluten-free doesn’t mean “healthy” but is rather for a food allergy/intolerance. They don’t really like that answer after they spent $6 on a box of cereal. I haven’t seen that movie, but I think this weekend will be including it! Have you seen “Forks Over Knives”? That’s also a good one about The China Study if you want to check it out. Thanks for the great words!

    • Haha you’re right about the $6 cereal. It’s all about knowledge though! We hear gluten-free in the media so much that I think it’s normal for people to associate it with “healthy.” That’s why I love documentaries like that so much… they are so informative. I haven’t seen the one you mentioned, but I am definitely putting it on my list of things to do this weekend! Thanks!


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