Are You Fooling Yourself into Thinking Processed Food Items Are Healthy?

by Ruth Almon

I understand someone who eats healthy food.

I understand someone who eat unhealthy food, knows exactly what he or she is doing, and owns up to the fact that they don’t give a damn. At least they’re being honest with themselves.

The people I find difficult to understand are those who eat junk and talk themselves into believing that they are eating and are feeding their families something good based on absurd health claims, like the San Diego mom who sued Nutella. She felt she was misled into believing it was a healthy breakfast item.

Come on! You can say you like the taste of Nutella, but a health food?

If you want to know if a food is healthy, the best strategy is to ignore everything the manufacturer says and look at the ingredients.

nutella

The first ingredient (that means there is more of it than anything else) in Nutella is sugar. That is basically all the information you need. You don’t want to send your kids off to school on sugar.

Here is the complete Nutella ingredient list:

sugar, modified palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (from milk), soy lecithin: an emulsifier, vanillin: an artificial flavor

Modified palm oil is a bit of a mystery. How was it modified?

I avoid all products with soy lecithin. Soy in processed food is most likely genetically modified. Soy lecithin is basically a waste product from soybean production, which is highly processed to become a tasteless powder that can (and is) added to almost any processed food as a cheap and unhealthy filler. More on soy lecithin here.

An emulsifier is also a mystery ingredient. Which emulsifier? Some are more harmful than other. At any rate, it’s unlikely that it’s a natural ingredient.

Vanillin might sound natural, but they were nice enough to inform us that it is actually an artificial compound (C8H8O3). It comes from the lab, not the vanilla bean.

Want a healthy breakfast? Why not crack open a few eggs.

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Posted in Food for Thought
One comment on “Are You Fooling Yourself into Thinking Processed Food Items Are Healthy?
  1. Kitty says:

    The “Mystery” emulsifier you refer to is defined in the ingredient list as Soy lecithin which was included as an emulsifier. That’s why they put in the “:” colon. It appears to connect the two in the same way that vanillin and Artificial flavor appear to be connected by the colon.

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