“Healthy” May Not Be As Healthy As You Think!
Now, of course, you want to be the healthiest version of yourself and I know that you are really trying to make the best food choices.
For example, you are starting your day on a healthy note by grabbing a small container of Strawberry yogurt out of your refrigerator. You know, the kind that the famous actress (Jamie Lee Curtis – 2010 Activia® TV Commercial Ad) eats every day to keep her digestive system in check. And you think to yourself, well if it’s good for her, then it must be good for me too! Perfect!
Plus it contains strawberries, and everyone knows that this succulent fruit is one of those “superfoods” packed with antioxidants. Plus, you want to make a “smart” choice by choosing the “healthiest” yogurt version possible, so you decide on sugar-free as well.
Before your first bite, your senses begin to awaken with the creamy milk, sweet strawberries and that sour aftertaste that gives yogurt its characteristic punch. Mmmm…
But is what we taste, really what we get in that single serving container…or could there be more than what we bargained for?
Let’s look at the label of ACTIVIA® Light Strawberry Probiotic Yogurt. After all with words like “light”, “strawberry”, Probiotic”, and “yogurt”, it MUST be super healthy!
“Cultured Grade A Non Fat Milk, Strawberries, Water, Modified Food Starch, Contains Less Than 1% Of Inulin, Acacia Gum, Modified Corn Starch, Kosher Gelatin, Pectin, Natural Flavor, Carmine (For Color), Malic Acid, Sucralose, Calcium Lactate, Xanthan Gum, Acesulfame Potassium.”
Well, that is certainly quite a bit more than you bargained for I’m sure! Let’s break down a few of the higher ranked controversial ingredients:
Cultured Grade A Non-Fat Milk: From cows fed with tainted feed and injected with hormones and antibiotics.
Strawberry: Coming from chemically-ridden crops treated with pesticides.
Modified Corn Starch: A hidden source of GMOs. And in this product, it is listed as an ingredient not once – but twice! Lucky though Dannon has an Activia alternative that is non-GMO though all the other ingredients are still listed on the label…which is not so lucky after all.
Carmine: A color additive derived from cochineal beetles. In January 2011, the FDA began requiring that this ingredient is listed on food labels because although considered a safe natural coloring, there were a number of reports of allergic reactions. However, it is still a safer alternative to synthetic artificial food dyes which still haven’t gotten the attention of the FDA.
Xanthan Gum: Interestingly, if you are eating yogurt for the probiotic health benefits which include aid in digestion, you may be doing yourself a disservice. In some, xanthan gum may cause diarrhea.
The following two so-called “healthy” sugar alternatives are anything but healthy. From my article “Beware of “Power” Products Sold in Health Food Stores!“, summarizes the danger of these substances.
Sucralose: Sucralose, better known as Splenda, was once believed to be the artificial sugar savior for all those looking for a sugar alternative. And just like everything that is artificially made to mimic nature’s perfect design, Sucralose has fallen way short of being the magical “sugar” bullet. Once thought to be a good option for diabetics, new research is now proving this to be dangerously incorrect. Furthermore, so many people have experienced Sucralose side-effects, that a new sickness has been coined, “Splenda Sickness”. Don’t take my word for it; listen to the people who have experienced everything from abdominal pain, emotional disturbances (including anger, depression, and anxiety), bloating, dizziness, fatigue, muscle weakness, and more! See consumer reviews.
Acesulfame Potassium: Now, this artificial sugar is a bit more controversial. Though the FDA has approved it as a “safe” food additive, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has a very different opinion, finding it to be a probable carcinogenic ingredient :
“Acesulfame-potassium (ace-k). Roughly 200 times sweeter than sugar, acesulfame-potassium, or ace-K, is used with aspartame in Coca-Cola Zero and Diet Pepsi. In the mid-calorie Pepsi Next, it is used with sucralose (and high-fructose corn syrup and sugar). Besides being used in foods, it is sold in packets under the Sweet One brand name. The manufacturer’s safety studies of acesulfame-potassium conducted in rats in the 1970s were of mediocre quality but suggested the ingredient might cause cancer. CSPI recommends avoiding ace-K.”
To see another example of a so-called “healthy” product, see Could the “Disease Gene” be Linked to Processed Food?
The addition of all of these unnecessary and potentially harmful chemicals is yet another example of why we should all be eating organic. When it comes down to it, yogurt should have only a few ingredients: whole organic milk, organic sugar, organic flavor extract (such as vanilla) and live yogurt cultures. Don’t you agree?
The point of this example is to reinforce the amount of added chemicals that go undetected by our palate in foods that people genuinely believe are good choices. Remember, if a product is marketed as being a “health food” or contains the words “all natural” on its label, you should still be compelled to read the ingredients. So, only if a product is labeled as organic can you trust that it is more than likely free of food dyes, GMOs, and other harmful chemicals.
Though I have to tell you, if you are like me and cherish your health and body, ALWAYS read labels no matter what! 😉