Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Your Food is Lying to You.

Last year was when I really started cracking down on what I eat. But it's only been about six months since I started striving to be organic in my choices, opting for whole foods (fruits, veggies, lean protein - stuff from the earth) and trying to cut out all processed foods (i.e. most items that come from factories). Sometimes, the rookie organic in me falters, and it's usually because of cost (but really, what's the cost of keeping cancer-causing chemicals out of your body!?). This week, I got taught a lesson when I bought the "natural" version over organic.

NOTE: "Natural" means diddly squat when it comes to purity. That food can be natural like the mice feces that make their way into canned goods. Natural like the methane gas exiting cows and ripping holes in the ozone. Sorry for the pukefest...but really, natural means nothing!!

Here's the proof. This Kroger-brand "all natural" yogurt is "sweetened with Stevia," that no-cal sweetener marketed as being the pure version of sugar (more research has me skeptical on this claim, too - see below). So, I thought this would be a decent choice that, while not organic, would still let me have my sweetened Greek without a ton of sugar or chemicals. WRONG.

Check out the list of "natural" ingredients on this baby. While I definitely have seen worse, it's not quite the whole foods list you'd expect from an "all natural" product.

AND HERE'S THE SHOCKER. The big fib. The whopper of them all. Look at where STEVIA is on the ingredient list, and then, look at which other sweetener makes a cameo: SUGAR itself! There's actually more sugar than stevia in this yogurt! LIES! TOTAL LIES!

The lesson here: Keep your diet stocked solely on organic, whole foods, and avoid - at all costs - this fake, "oh, we're legit because we have some buzz words and green leaves on the packaging" crap.

Now, when it comes to STEVIA, it may not be as pure as even straight sugar itself. Many brands list "dextrose" or "maltodextrin" as the first ingredient. So make sure you always opt for pure, organic stevia. But what I've learned in all this research is NOT TO SWEETEN EVERYTHING, and if you have to, use organic honey or sugar because even though they contain calories (miniscule in small amounts), they are pure, and your body knows how to process them. We as Americans have to break this mentality that we need everything sweet, but for zero calories. 

So here's to conscious sweetening, sparingly!

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