You know I’m slightly obsessed when it comes to healthy eating and exercising. There is no new food trend, superfood or workout I haven’t tried! But I found that at the end of the day it all comes down to eating clean and nutritious food. Easier said than done! Because the food industry, too, has realized that people are on a wellness trip and they are coming out with all kinds of “healthy alternatives”. Now when you enter a grocery store many packages are labeled superfood, sugar-free, no added preservatives, organic and so on. But don’t be fooled! These labels promise a lot but if you take a closer look, they are mostly false friends!
For example, last weekend I visited my parents and together we went to my favorite international food trade fair (I have to admit, it was not the healthiest day). One of the booths offered a “healthy” snack made out of quark. When thinking of quark you immediately associate bodybuilder drowning down this fresh dairy product for muscle growth. Quark is high in protein. Much more than Greek yoghurt. 100g contain approximately 14.1g of protein. So this quark snack should be healthy too, right? Wrong!
The package said that there are not artificial sweetners and preservatives added. I let them fool me and had a couple ones. Back home and back into my healthy regime, I became curious what was actually in this snack. Thus, I took a closer look at the ingredients list. It read something like this: 20% quark, sugar, modified starch, glucose fructose syrup, thickener and so on. One bar (35g) contains a mere 4.4g protein, 78g fat and 8.8g sugar and has 124 calories. In comparison, 100g of pure quark contain 14g protein and have 165 calories. Not only can you have a bigger portion but you also get a higher amount of protein with the same calorie intake!
And this product has not been the only one in the last year that I discovered as a fraud. Even tomato sauce where you only expect tomatoes and seasoning contains sugar. And a lot! When you start reading labels you are surprised how many things that are declared “healthy” are actually not.
The same goes for plant based milk. It took me years to find out that the milk alternative I thought was healthy contained not only sugar but all kinds of chemicals that were not serving my body at all!
Now I only buy plant based milk that is made from coconut, almonds, cashews etc. and water. Sometimes if there is no alternative available, I opt for the plant based milk version that has brown sugar or agave syrup added. But I find that you don’t need this added sugar. No wonder you are constantly craving sweet stuff. The consumption of hidden sugar has turned us into addicts.
The same goes for salt. So many store bought food options contain way too much salt. I decreased my salt consumption tremendously since starting my fitness journey. And I don’t miss it at all. Now when I go to a restaurant I find that the dishes are sometimes way too salty. It is really interesting to see how your body can adjust to certain things. Also I feel less bloated, even during THIS time of the month!
So all I wanted to say is: check your food labels! It may take a little bit longer for you to grocery shop (my mom was complaining that it would take her hours to check every label) but you get used to it and after a while you know which foods to avoid.
At the end of the day it is your body and it will respond to what you feed it with. If you have been trying to loose weight for a while now and just can’t get it off, this may be why! Be aware of hidden ingredients that mess with your fitness goals and you will start to look and feel amazing!
Start taking control over your life and stop being controlled by the food industry!