Whole Foods vs. Junk Foods

Do you know the difference between whole foods and junk foods?  You might be surprised to learn that it’s not as easy as it sounds to know which is which!  Some foods purported to be health foods aren’t really as good for you as the advertisements claim they are.

The media has always relied on sensationalism to sell stories, products and services. Sensationalism, according to Wikipedia.org, is “a type of editorial bias in mass media which events and topics in news stories and pieces are over-hyped to increase viewership or readership numbers.” Aside from the national news, a very good example of this are those food products in the market which are being sold to consumers claiming to give a number of health benefits.

These advertising strategies most of the time strive to sell their products and earn, instead of giving their consumers good quality products and with real health benefits. Junk foods in the market today are claiming to be healthy by using phrases such as “no sugar added,” “gluten-free,” and “low-fat.” So many consumers have fallen for these strategies, not knowing that they actually do not contribute to better health.

These type of foods of course may be avoided. There are so many alternative products which do effectively work wonders on one’s health. Individuals who are health conscious or are trying to lose weight should consume whole foods vs. junk foods.

The following article written by Dr. Jennifer Landa and published at Foxnews.com, tells us to be mindful of unhealthy junk foods that disguise themselves as healthy through marketing gimmicks.

Whole Foods vs. Junk Foods

The growing number of overweight and obese individuals spanning the globe is prompting more and more consumers to seek healthier habits in an effort to avoid the trend. However, this proves to be a challenging feat, as food manufacturers use clever marketing strategies to disguise many junk foods as the healthy choice.

You don’t have to fall for marketing gimmicks. Protect yourself and your family with these tips for deciphering the difference between well-done marketing ploys and foods that will truly improve your health.

Buzz Words

Food manufacturers splash words like, “gluten-free,” “low-fat,” and “no sugar added” across the front of packaging to enhance the perception that the food is a healthier choice. In a 2010 survey, 50 percent of consumers said they believed foods marked as “gluten-free” are healthier than other foods. This common misconception has caused the gluten-free food market to erupt.   But the primary difference between gluten-free foods and other foods is the absence of wheat and the wheat protein, gluten. It is not necessarily healthier, but it is safer for individuals with gluten sensitivities or allergies. (Read the rest of the story here.)

Many consumers don’t always check the nutrition fact labels of food they buy.  As soon as they see  phrases on the packaging that promise health benefits, they just assume that they indeed are what they say.  As consumers we should be mindful of this, and watch out for those phrases.

Some food products that are being promoted as healthy are using catchy health phrases like “gluten-free,” “low-sugar,” and “low sodium.” However, consumers must know that the difference between gluten-free food products and other food substances is just the absence of wheat. Gluten is the wheat protein and just because it isn’t in the food doesn’t necessarily make that food healthier, it just makes it safer for people who have allergies to the protein.

On the other hand, those food products tagged as low-sugar and low-sodium do have lower sugar and salt content, but not low enough to be considered healthy. Foods tagged as having no sugar often still have sugar, just not enough to add a really sweet flavor. Having less sugar doesn’t mean it’s healthy as other substances are often added to help the flavor of the food since there is no sugar, and these are often NOT healthy for you.

Finally, those food tagged low-fat just means that they are either high in sugar or sodium to make up for the lost flavor.  Manufacturer’s have to make the food taste good so it will sell, while giving the ads for it buzz words that will tempt you to buy it.

To avoid being fooled by false advertising, it’s a smart move to check out nutrition fact labels or ingredient lists before buying. Remember to consume processed foods in moderation. What should be consumed in big amounts are vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber in whole foods.

The bottom line is, consumers should understand the difference between whole foods vs. junk foods. Whole foods are truly healthy, free from preservatives and additives – which builds up toxins and in the long run result to obesity and other diseases.

Superfoods are whole foods that are full of nutrients that are good for you.  To see a list of these foods, check out the list here.

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