If you’re like me then you expect the best in people. And you trust that when someone tells you something, it’s the truth. Call me old fashioned but that’s the way my world operates.
So when I recently found out that there are companies within the health and food industries that seem to have completely different aims and values but are somehow intimately intertwined, I was shocked. It was like finding out the Easter bunny didn’t exist when I was 8 years old all over again. Just wrong.
To give you a taste of what I’m talking about, Nestlé, famed candy bar producer, owns Jenny Craig – queen mother in the weight loss world. Hershey, best known for their milk chocolate bars, owns Dagoba – an artisan chocolate producer that only works with quality, organic ingredients while remaining sustainable. And soda giant Pepsi owns Naked Juice, which produces some of the healthiest, all natural juice beverages on the market. (more…)
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.
U.S. News and World Report is famous (and in some cases infamous) for ranking products, institutions and services of all kinds, be it cars, colleges or diets. Yesterday, they released diet rankings in a number of categories, most notably the best commercial diets and the best diets for weight loss. They also created a list for both the best diabetic diets and the best heart-healthy diets, and a list of best overall diets.
U.S. News reports that they spent six month researching diets, and then had a panel of 22 health experts score the diet on seven different criteria. The diet was judged on its nutritional completeness, its safety, its ability to prevent or manage diabetes, its ability to prevent or manage heart disease, short-term weight loss, long-term weight loss and how easy it is to follow.
It’s little surprise to us that Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig topped both lists, as multiple studies have shown these two diets to be effective. Below are the top eight diets from the best commercial diets and the best diets for weight loss.
Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.
Calorie Counters want to know whether or not it is wise to cleanse the system with a detox diet. Here are a few of the readers’ favorite “Ask Mary Q+As” about spring cleaning.
Should I fast to prepare my system for a change?
Fasting is unnecessary. Your system does not need to prepare for change. In a fast lasting longer than a day or two, the body starts to breakdown some of its muscles and organs to generate fuel for the central nervous system. Because muscle is a major calorie burner, less muscle could lead to lowering overall calorie requirements, which could make it more difficult to lose weight in the future. And then, due to feast-or-famine thinking, food deprivation could lead to overeating when food becomes available again. Instead of fasting, it’s best to just go ahead and begin to eat a balanced diet of wholesome food at a lower calorie level.
The Unilever Corporation, manufacturer of the Slim-Fast line of diet supplements and scores of other products is conducting a nationwide voluntary recall of all Slim-Fast® Ready-to-Drink products in cans, due to the possibility of contamination with Bacillus cereus, a micro-organism, which may cause diarrhea and possibly nausea and/or vomiting, according to the corporation’s website.