Sometimes packaging and labeling can make cruddy food appear wholesome.  Food manufacturers know that you want healthy food, and they’ll use clever design to make you think their product fits the nutritional bill.  Here are some foods that are often perceived as healthy, but don’t quite have the right stuff for a nourishing diet:

Flavored yogurt:  Plain yogurt provides a healthy dose of protein, fat, and beneficial bacteria for your intestines.  However many flavored yogurts contain a ton of loaded sugar and artificial additives.  Kraft Breyers Smooth & Creamy Lowfat Strawberry Yogurt contains 39 grams of sugar in one 8 oz container.  That’s more than a Snickers candy bar!

Try flavoring plain yogurt with your own favorite fruits and honey; you’ll probably be more moderate with your added sweetener than Kraft Breyers was.

Flavored oatmeal:  Just like flavored yogurt, this food has a healthy base with loads of sugar and additives on top of it.  Quaker makes “Dinosaur Eggs” oatmeal, which is marketed towards children, that contains 19 grams of added sugar per serving.  Along with that it’s got partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil and a whole host of artificial coloring.

Add your own spices and fruit to rolled or steel cuts oats, and leave the dinosaur eggs out of it.

Breakfast cereal:  I’ve found that most breakfast cereals contain more bad than good nutritionally speaking.  The best cereal option is really no cereal at all.  From Cocoa Puffs to Fruity Pebbles to French Toast Crunch, it’s just all a hot mess!

As an example of tricky packaging, Cocoa Puffs advertises very loudly on the front of the box that it’s made with whole grains.  However it’s also made with flour and modified food starch, and only contains 0.7 grams of fiber per serving.

All of these foods are often eaten at breakfast.  Instead of a sugary breakfast that will make you feel like you need a nap, why not have a wholesome savory breakfast instead?  I like a lightening-quick breakfast taco with:
  • 1 corn tortilla
  • 1 egg, scrambled
  • ¼ of an avocado
  • Handful of spinach
  • Hot sauce

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