by Mike Geary – Certified Nutrition Specialist
Author of best-sellers: The Fat-Burning Kitchen & The Top 101 Foods that FIGHT Aging
I was at the grocery store yesterday and had to shake my head at all of the deceptive labels with everything claiming all sorts of things that are supposedly “healthy”, but aren’t really.
One of the things that really disturbed me was that I saw several examples of healthy foods in their natural state, but I saw counterfeit versions of these foods claiming that they were healthier than the original…
Yet in reality, all of these “counterfeit” versions were actually MUCH worse for you than the original, and more highly processed… This is food marketing deception at it’s worst!
Example #1: Product claiming “Better than peanut butter” by being a low-fat peanut butter
This product is ridiculous! I can’t believe anyone would ever believe that this junk is better for them than natural peanut butter.
What I’m talking about here are the types of peanut butter that claim to be “lower-fat peanut butter”… But remember that “low-fat” many times just means more added sugars and carbs to replace the fats they took out. Not good!
First of all, if you buy a good simple peanut butter (organic is best), it is usually nothing but 2 ingredients… peanuts and salt.
Note: Remember to always avoid peanut butters that contain harmful hydrogenated oils. Peanut butter that contains palm oil is a better alternative than added hydrogenated oils… but natural peanut butter with just peanuts and salt is best.
Back to the counterfeit peanut butter… This counterfeit peanut butter which claimed it was “better than peanut butter” (trying to seem healthier than peanut butter based on it’s label claims) had a list of junk in it you wouldn’t believe. First of all, they strip most of the healthy fats out of the peanuts so that it is a “low fat” product. Ok, now you’ve just taken away one of the healthiest parts of the product…the appetite satisfying healthy fats that you need to control cravings and manage more stable blood sugar levels.
To make things worse, the healthy fats were replaced with TWO different types of sugary syrups as well as additional dehydrated cane juice (aka SUGAR), in addition to added refined starches.
This product has taken something as simple and natural as peanut butter, and turned it into what should really be called some sort of processed candy. Yet, they claim that it’s healthier than peanut butter because it’s “lower fat”. And somehow they get away with deceiving people like this. Don’t be their fool!
This overly processed peanut butter may be lower in fat (by removing the healthy fats), but it’s also higher in sugar and total carbohydrates, bringing the calorie total pretty close to regular peanut butter, and having a much higher blood sugar impact than just plain high-fat peanut butter.
Example #2: Product claiming to be “better than eggs”.
I won’t get as detailed on this one because I’ve talked extensively about this entire topic in several other newsletters.
But basically, this product was just egg whites with a bunch of added chemical colorings, flavorings, and other nonsense, including fake added vitamins.
Again, this product has essentially ruined a good thing by removing the healthiest part… the YOLKS! And yes, the yolks ARE the healthiest part of the egg. Anybody that tells you different doesn’t understand much about REAL nutrition and are still brainwashed in 1980’s and 90’s low fat dogma.
The important thing to look for in quality whole eggs are cage-free and organic, and also the diet that the hens ate. Most commercial egg farms are a disaster for the health of the hens, as they are crowded inside hen houses and never see the light of day, and are fed unhealthy amounts of grains and GMO soy.
Your best bet is to find a local farmer that you know allows the hens daily time outdoors to roam freely on land and eat a variety of greens, bugs, etc. I understand that not everybody can find a local farmer that does this type of thing… so what you want to look for at the grocery store is organic, free-range eggs, and also brands that claim higher amounts of DHA or omega-3’s.
A slight improvement over standard eggs is if the hens had flax seed or algae feed included in their diet to increase the omega-3 content of the eggs. These eggs will have a better ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats and possibly more vitamins and minerals than hens that ate nothing but corn and soy.
If you missed my previous article about the TRUTH on whole eggs vs egg whites, you can view it here.
Example #3: A product claiming to be “better than butter”.
This was essentially chemical-laden margarine loaded with highly processed and deadly trans fats and refined vegetable oils (known now to be almost as harmful as trans fats), yet it had the nerve to claim it was “better than butter”, simply because it was lower in saturated fat (which is actually healthier).
Who are they fooling!
Even low quality butter is healthier than ANY margarine. One problem with butter can be pesticides and hormones from improperly raised cows in confinement.
For this reason, you always want to choose organic butter, and preferably, if you can find “grass-fed” organic butter, then that is the absolute healthiest butter for you. In fact, a little known fact is that adding a little butter to your steamed vegetables helps your body to absorb more of the vitamins and minerals in the veggies. It’s true…having veggies with a fat source aids your assimilation of vitamins and minerals. If you missed the article recently about why healthy grass-fed butter can even help fat loss, read that here.
Another factor in favor of butter:
Due to the content of stable saturated fats in butter, this makes butter one of the healthiest oils or fats to cook with. Oils high in polyunsaturated fats are the worst to cook with due to their highly unstable nature, which contributes to excess free radical production and damage to the cells of your body. For more info about this topic, here’s an article I did about healthy vs unhealthy cooking oils
What about the saturated fats in butter?
No, the saturated fat in butter is NOT bad for you. If you’ve been reading my newsletters for some time, you know that we’ve already beaten that topic to death. If you’re new to this newsletter, you can go back to this page to see why saturated fats are a perfectly natural part of the human diet and always have been: Evidence that saturated fat is NOT bad for you
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