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'Healthy' foods might be quietly packing pounds on people

Posted May 7, 2014

The fight to stay fit often drives people to eat healthy foods. But Consumer Reports found that some low-fat snack options can be laden with sugar and other additives.

First on the list: air-popped popcorn. Eaten plain, the snack is high in fiber and low in calories. But most people pile on the toppings, said Consumer Reports senior editor Tod Marks.

"The minute you soup it up with sugar, with salt, with cheese, that's when you run into a problem, and you take a healthy snack and you render it unhealthy," he said.

Low-fat yogurt is another example. It can be healthy until toppings like cookie crumbles and chocolate are added. One brand of yogurt by Müller had 26 grams of sugar and 6 grams of fat.

But yogurt isn't the only food marketed as healthy that is high in sugar. Packaged smoothies, like those by Naked Juice, are some of the worst offenders.

"When you read the nutrition facts label, you find out it actually is about 500 calories per bottle and 34 grams of sugar," said Marks of the smoothie drink.

Marks said it's better to blend smoothies at home and top yogurt with fresh fruit to control the amount of sugar.

Other unhealthy "health" foods:

-Hazelnut chocolate spreads. Unlike peanut butter, these mixes have far less protein than sugar and oil.

-Packaged turkey and chicken meat. Oscar Mayer Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, for example, has 510 milligrams of sodium in just 2 ounces. That's 21 percent of the daily limit.

-Veggie chips. Although they sound like a healthier option, Consumer Reports warns the snacks are usually made of potato flour and can have as much fat and sodium as regular potato chips.


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  • Hal Price May 9, 2014
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    No worry, let mrs. obama tell you how to eat. She knows more than you on what you should be eating.

  • Obamacare returns again May 8, 2014

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    I have a bad habit of going to the grocery store hungry and pikcing up anything that looks good without even reading the labels. I have a pretty good idea of what to avoid, but sometimes I'm shocked when I get home and actually look at the nutrition facts. :O

  • Fanny Chmelar May 8, 2014
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    LOL. Sure!

    When I cook from scratch I have to salt things as I serve instead of while cooking - otherwise he'll just shake salt on it (without tasting) and that just adds to the sodium I put in.

    The time I made a delicate Japanese stir fry and he shook salt onto it I snapped at him "at least sprinkle some soy sauce on it instead!!!" Talk about insulting the chef and the food!

    His biggest problem was being raised by alcoholic parents - so he ate nothing but processed and prepackaged foods. He never learned what real food should taste like. My 5-cheese mac-n-cheese is snubbed for the orange stuff. Greek yogurt with fresh fruit? Nope... store brand that's fillers and sugar. So I buy lower sodium prepackaged foods that he likes (like Zatarain's) - then I add lots of fresh vegetables and what not to up the flavor (and then I hide the packaging so he doesn't see :) )

    6 years and I'm still trying to retrain his taste

  • Obamacare returns again May 8, 2014

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    Will you do my shopping too? :)

    Everything these days has so much sodium in it. :(

  • Fanny Chmelar May 8, 2014
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    My boyfriend hates when he grabs something off the store shelf and I make him read the label. The part he doesn't hate is that he lost 25 pounds by knowing what he's eating.