Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Is that Nutrition Advice For Real?

Well, this post might be all over the place and a bit rambly/ranty, but that's kind of how my brain seems to be working this week. I've been a little mopey and completely scattered. I had wanted to maybe share a new recipe. But that might have to come next week. Jason is hell-bent on making split pea soup, a vegan version of the kind he grew up eating that was made with ham. I do have some tofu marinating in a tandoori sauce - yes, I know tandoori is the method, but that's what the spice jars says ;-)

I stumbled across this article on Yahoo (by the editors of Runner's World) 25 Snacks that Boost Weight Loss Results. Some of the snacks listed actually included Pop Tarts, Gummi Bears, Fruit Yogurt, and Fig Cookies.

Anyone see a theme there? Processed, sugary-carbs. Yes, yogurt can be great for calcium and protein, but the fruit yogurts tend to be extremely high in sugar. Why wouldn't they say "Greek yogurt with fresh berries" instead? And I have heard of people eating Gummi Bears DURING a long run, but don't tout them as a snack for weight loss.

I have seen many articles on things not to eat for weight loss. And some of the things listed in the afore mentioned article like granola or energy bars, are quite often on the "do not eat" list, so it's totally confusing. Are they good or aren't they? Yes if you're working out for a lengthy amount of time (long run, long bike ride) and need the carbs for energy. Also, they could be fine as long as you pay attention to labels. But how many people truly do?

At one time I honestly thought I was a great label reader. Then I realized I was missing the sugar content, sodium levels, and even the types of fats. I was focused on calories. And some things that say "high protein" are anything but. Not all calories are created equal by any means. So just because it's lower calorie doesn't make it healthy.

Let's go back to the Pop Tarts for a minute. So that conveniently packaged Pop Tart might have "only" 200 calories, but what's the sugar content? What are the nutritional values? Vitamins, minerals? The article actually suggested that they are "vitamin-fortified." Check out the label for the Cherry Frosted Pop Tart and tell me where the vitamins are please. Also notice corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup  as the 2nd and 3rd ingredients.

Source

And I realize that it's up to us, the consumer, to take the time to learn about foods, to understand what we're eating. But, we also want to have a trusted source for information right? A quick, easy trusted source. Does that exist in the land of marketing and sales? And what about for a magazine like Runner's World or any other fitness magazine for that matter? This was just one quick example. Anyone have others they've seen recently?

Do you think you're a good label reader? Do you think most people are or aren't? And do people care more about the ingredients or the convenience?