If you’ve turned on your TV in the past week you’ve no doubt been inundated with ads and messages from some of the biggest packaged food marketers around. The New Year is like Black Friday for the billion-dollar weight loss industry, as this is the best opportunity to catch new dieters. Marketers from commercial diets to pills and yogurt want your attention, and your dollars, as you make an effort to stick to a resolution to better yourself; a resolution that for most people has to do with losing weight.
As you start making changes this week, be a conscious consumer and don’t accept those advertising claims at face value. The more Yoplait, Diet Coke, and frozen foods you toss in your cart, and eventually in to your mouth, the more you’ll continue to fall short of your goals.
Yes, the package says they’re healthier. It even says things like fortified, low-calorie, natural, or a host of others that they get away with via some tricky loopholes in food labeling. They’re nothing more than a clever disguise.
“These foods are ‘nutritious’ because they are fortified by adding a few nutrients,” said Mary Hartley, RD, our resident dietitian. “Because so many other nutrients are removed during processing, they pale in comparison to natural foods. The foods do not contain any particular ingredient to promote weight loss; rather, it is either the small portion, or single serving, or boring repetition recommended by the manufacturer that relatively reduces calorie intake.”
Those fewer calories you’re consuming are also empty calories, meaning they’re void of nutrition. So you’re feeding your body unnecessary calories and not getting anything else out of it.
Some of the biggest culprits falsely advertising their weight loss capabilities, include Special K, Yoplait, diet soda, Slim-Fast, and Lean Cuisines. Continue reading to see why they’re on our list, and what the healthier alternative is.