False advertising in the food industry

December 9, 2014

We let ourselves attracted daily by shinny commercials. On TV, on the streets, in different magazines, our eyes run like crazy after spectacular images, keeping them in our inner space until we arrive in a grocery store. How many times have we told ourselves, when in a supermarket, that a certain product must be good, just because we saw the add on TV? In my local bakery, a large LCD presents the classic food pyramid as being perfectly accurate, recommending up to five (5!) bread portions per day. In the local Mega Image chain, on the diet shelves, the agave syrup, known as being one of the most harmful sweeteners, has a special place. Now this is some false advertising! And the list can continue a lot with just as specific situations:

1. Low fat or free-fat products. The war against saturated fats, started decades ago, was probably the biggest nutritional mistake. In present days, most of nutritionists assume this mistake, promoting healthy foods like butter or cheese, but the supermarkets continue to promote as healthy tasteless yogurts, without nutritional value, thickened with starch and seasoned with considerable quantities of sugar, just to add taste.

2. Fresh juice is also associated with a healthy way of life, but it’s simply wrong. In a 500 ml bottle can fit 5 oranges, 3 grapefruits or 5-6 apples, totally squeezed of fibers, but keeping all the sugar in the fruit. You may consider that drinking fresh juice is a healthy choice, but all you have is sweetened water, with fruity flavor.

3. Wholegrain bread. Sure, maybe they used the whole wheat, but milled so fine, that all the fibers lost their role and your GI raises as quick as if you would be eating white bread. Of course, things are well marketed: a dark colored bread is immediately associated with a healthy diet, but the fluffy aspect will instantly give it away in the eyes of a knower, which will realize that there are dyes involved.
4. Margarine. Omega topped with omega, to die for. And if you watch the commercials, you will feel the urge to enter the first supermarket and make stocks for the entire year to come. The problem is that, even though margarine doesn’t have as much trans fats as it used to have, it contains a lot of refined oils, dried of any nutritional values.
Of course, the list is opened and can be continued through above and beyond with other processed foods, marketed as being diet-friendly. I am not condemning anybody, I have my own sins (such as deli meats) but I do try to chose my food as close as I can to its natural form and cook it on my own.


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