Yes, even the "healthiest" of foods can deceive you

Meghan Salinas, Staff Writer

Remember being a kid at the dinner table begging your mother for the sugary Dr. Pepper to go along with your dinner and you had to settle for apple juice because your mom said, “No, hun, you will be up all night, Dr. Pepper is loaded with sugar.”

Your mom was completely right about the Dr. Pepper, but was she thinking about the amount of sugar in apple juice?  Or how about this situation, remember playing soccer as a child? Let’s use the sport soccer because who didn’t play soccer as a kid? After you’re hot and sweaty you go to the sidelines for a team snack consisting of apples, oranges, fruit roll-ups, or snack sized cookies and usually Gatorade.  Is Gatorade the best option after physical activity or should you just stick to that old-fashioned H20?

Here are the truths behind some common health food misconceptions:

1)      Flavored yogurts

photo courtesy: pixabay.com

photo courtesy: pixabay.com

Yep, I cringed when I heard this one too. What is wrong with a bit of blueberry flavoring? The truth is that the amount of added sugar in these types of yogurt blew my mind.  According to an article on Mashable about health food misconceptions, “flavored yogurt is basically eating glorified ice cream that has a few beneficial bacteria in there.” Instead of settling for flavored yogurt why not buy plain greek yogurt and sweeten it up with honey or even some fresh fruit?

2)      Energy/Granola Bars

photo courtesy: pixabay.com

photo courtesy: pixabay.com

This one is tough because many college students skip the caf during breakfast and settle with one of these because of how convenient and healthy they may SEEM. These bars contain chocolate, peanut butter or even have a yogurt coating.  The culprit is the amounts of artificial sweeteners in each bar. These bars are filled with fructose corn syrup and food dyes which are the worst for you. Instead, grab a fresh apple with peanut butter or raw nuts.

3)      “If you exercise you can eat whatever you want.”

photo courtesy: pixabay.com

photo courtesy: pixabay.com

Yeah, WRONG. Picture this: You do an amazing one-hour workout filled with cardio and weights but then you come home and “treat yourself” to some potato chips. Well, I’m sorry to say but that hour that you spent sweating and working hard is down the drain. An article by the Food Network puts my point in perspective: “If you order a medium fry from McDonalds you better be swimming laps in a pool for an hour to work that snack off.” Instead, stick to eating lean meats after a workout.

4)      Fruit juices/Gatorades

photo courtesy: freeimages.com

photo courtesy: freeimages.com

Unless you are a professional athlete it is suggested that you put down the Gatorade and drink water. According to sources, Gatorade can cause tooth decay, affect testosterone levels, causestomach issues and hamperweight management.  The amount of sugar and high fructose corn-syrup in Gatorade will make you just crave more sugary drinks or foods. Water should be the go-to re-hydration drink of any child, teen or even collegiate-athlete.

5)      Cereals

photo courtesy: pixabay.com

photo courtesy: pixabay.com

Unless you are purchasing Raisin Bran, then I suggest you look at the nutritional facts on every box of cereal you buy. Most cereal advertisements seen on TV promise how “heart healthy” they are, or say they help “lower cholesterol.” The fact is simply that almost all cereals you see and buy have excessive sugar levels. “The amount of sugars in cereals is the same amount of sugar you could find in a jam doughnut”, according to an article from realbuzz.com. Think twice before buying these cereals because you could be harming your body without even intending to.