This is not a blog about celebrities, I am referring to trendy foods. These foods are consumed with pride among the “health fanatics” of the world. Topping yogurt with granola or paying extra for the 100% fruit juice may be a proud gesture of the health food junkies, but may not be the best move for their health.
For starters, granola has around 500 kcals per cup. That equals about one McDonalds Big Mac! I bet you never thought of it like that before. Now, maybe you top off your yogurt with a ¼ of a cup of granola, great (about 140 kcals added to the yogurt). One half cup of Bear Naked granola is almost identical in nutrients to 1 snickers bar. What has given granola such good reputation? I am not quite sure. It isn’t loaded with vitamins and minerals. It is high in fat and carbohydrates. It does have some fiber (so does the snickers), but in my opinion some fresh fruit would do the trick without the extra calories. I don’t want to ruin granola for you. You can eat it in moderation. Low fat versions exist and occasionally it can be a nice treat.
Another fake healthy food is 100% all natural, organic fruit juice. I love the words “all natural” and “organic.” When placed in front of anything it looks good! Juice is concentrated calories with vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Yes, those vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals are exceptionally important in your overall health, but come on people, eat the fruit!! One 8oz glass of O.J. contains juice from approximately 3 oranges. The fiber that comes from the whole fruit is left behind when made into juice. Most of you need 2-3 pieces of fruit per day. Most of you also struggle to get 25-35 grams of fiber per day (I know not all of you ;)). Why eliminate the most delicious way to get fiber by drinking your fruit? Also, who really stops with 1 cup of juice and feels full like they just ate 3 pieces of fruit? Juice in my mind is glorified soda pop!
Lastly, just like the juice, fruit smoothies although full of fantastic vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, smoothies typically contain 4-8 pieces of fruit minus the fiber. It is more than most people need and negates the fiber benefit from fabulous fruits! Okay, a smoothie can be a nice treat sometimes just like birthday cake, but don’t over indulge just because it has such a fabulous reputation thanks to great marketing.
Next time you see that health food junkie proudly carrying their granola topped yogurt, 100% fruit juice, and all natural smoothie, smile to yourself and be thankful you eat for your health not your image!
Nutrition from the dietitian
Blog of Abrea Nutrition.