Monday, May 14, 2012

A False Sense of Healthy

I get a kick out of the subtle marketing efforts that attempt to make certain foods appear healthier than they really are. Food manufacturers are not the only ones guilty of doing this. Many of us use the same techniques to try and justify that it's not such a bad thing to eat certain foods. I've written previous posts about the topic of kidding yourself.

Little things are often said or emphasized to make us think a food is more natural or healthy than it really is. I'm not saying the foods listed below should never be eaten, but it makes me laugh when I hear people emphasize certain ingredients in order to justify that a food is healthy. Here are some foods I've heard people promote in the past as being "healthy".

Carrot Cake- it's made of vegetables, it must be good for you.
Fries with skins on and seasoned with sea salt -extra fiber!
Vegetarian pizza-It's almost like a salad without the meat.
Apple Crisp- it's made of oats and brown sugar, not highly refined ingredients.
Ice cream with real fruit chunks- no syrup or or sugary toppings.
Candy Bars- chocolate is an antioxidant!
Blueberry muffins- blueberries are good for your eyes.
Low calorie potato chips- they have half the calories of other brands.

Some advertisers also like to tell us their products contain no MSG, no cholesterol, low sodium, sugar free, no trans fats, etc. on the labels of some products that would never have had these ingredients in the first place in an attempt to make a food look even more healthy.

If you are going to eat a food that you probably shouldn't, then I will admit that the lesser of two evils mentality can be helpful. I'm not knocking lower calorie foods or healthier choices, I'm just saying don't go bragging about how healthy or how clean you have been eating when your conscience knows better.

When I find myself sounding like a politician, trying to justify that my food choices weren't so bad, I now just laugh about it. We have a family joke when we are guilty of stretching the truth and we now just say "Oh that's healthy".


Lindsay said...

Haha, how I wish all those things were healthy!! ;) Best thing to remember is that foods with only ONE ingredient are usually the healthiest!

Tom said...

I also forgot to mention that Cheesecake is very high in protein!