You see these things advertised all the time, “Low fat,” “sugar free,” “low carb,” and “wheat.”  These words make it seem like what you’re eating is healthy for you, but I’m going to show you why that’s not true.

These words can literally kill you, so pay attention.

The food companies like to advertise in the way that’s most likely going to result in you buying their products, so they need to be as attractive as possible to you.

For decades, we’ve been told to avoid fat, carbs, sugar, and refined grains like white breads.  This means that we’re more likely to buy foods without those things in them.

What they’re not telling you, is all the other crap in the foods instead.

They still need to make the food look good.

They still need to make it taste good.

So, if they take out a bunch of crap they know you don’t want, they need to add something else instead to keep you interested.

Sugar-Free

This is a common one to come across, especially for those of you who like diet soft drinks.  You think that sugar is the enemy, which is completely true, so it seems like a great idea to have a sugar-free drink. 

But there are two reasons you should be avoiding that sugar-free drinks like the plague.  The first is the chemicals and artificial sweeteners. Those foods with no sugar are still sweet, right?  We’ve all had them before, so don’t pretend you don’t know.  They load those foods and drinks down with chemicals to make them sweet enough for you.

Chemicals that shouldn’t be going in your body, but the government hasn’t seen fit to ban them from foods yet. 

But these chemicals are actually the cause of the second reason we need to avoid these sugar-free foods.  They can actually make you fatter.  I’ll spare you the gory details but there have been studies done to support this.

People actually got fatter from drinking diet soft drinks.  The cause?  Your sweet tooth, of course. 

These chemicals are feeding your sweet tooth to satisfy your cravings, which just makes you want more and more sweet food.  Then you end up overeating unsatisfying, sugary food.

And then you’re buying bigger pants.  You might as well just drink water.  No calories and it’s completely free.

Only ____ Calories!!

“Oh, this only has 100 calories in it, that’s a good deal.” 

But this carries two problems, and one of them is the biggest problem us Americans have.  Let’s start with the easier one.

It may only have so many calories in it, but how satisfying is this food?  There are a lot of unsatisfying foods out there with a lot of calories but just as many with only a few calories.  So, if you take one of these foods with few calories and eat it, will it satisfy your hunger?

Most of the time the answer’s no.  When companies make foods and market them as “Only X Calories!” they usually need to take away a lot of substance to bring the calorie count down.  They can’t take away flavor because then you wouldn’t enjoy it, so they take away the substance.

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More importantly, these are normally foods that we love to eat because they’re not good for us.  This means it probably wasn’t a satisfying food to begin with, which means we’ll still be hungry after eating these foods.

Let’s take Wheat Thins as an example.  They have a reduced fat version that saves 1.5 grams of fat per serving.

But Wheat thins are not a satisfying food to begin with, so you’ll still be hungry afterwards.

Serving Size

Yeah, our servings have gotten way out of control.  Have you ever looked at the serving size on a bag of chips?  It’s usually says 1 ounce.  How often do you eat only one ounce.

Yeah, never.  You know the saying, you can’t eat just one!

The miniscule number of calories on that package is usually accompanied by a matching miniscule serving size.  So, you see, you actually end up eating more because those 100 calories aren’t enough for you.

And when they only put those 100 calories worth of food in the package to begin with, you don’t stop at just one.  You eat multiple packs or you go pick up something else to eat.

The real way to reduce your eating is to eat satisfying food like some baked chicken, green veggies and potatoes.

Just be careful of the serving sizes.

Protein Bars

So I was at the grocery store getting my shopping done and I always check out the sale table of Buy One-Get One stuff.  On there were a bunch of boxes of Atkins protein bars.  Out of curiosity I picked one up to look at the ingredients and my eyes bugged out.

There were more ingredients on that box than on my shopping list.

Now, I don’t have a big family to shop for, but I still buy enough food for a week.  The number of not only unrecognizable but unpronounceable ingredients was so shocking I dropped the box back on the table like it was COVID.

Now, I’m all for these kinds of foods, they’re quick and easy snacks and I eat them myself sometimes, but this was a diet company putting out this product.

Clearly, diets aren’t always the healthiest thing to do.

Lots of companies will put out products like this and show you some good ingredients on the front to make it seem healthy.  They’ll tell you how much protein it has and how little sugar, but they’ll hide the junk they throw in there.

It’s perfectly fine to eat protein bars, but look at the ingredients so you can see how much junk is in there before you buy it.

Typically, the less ingredients listed on the nutrition label the better, but watch out for the bad ingredients on the shorter lists as well.

If you can’t pronounce it, it’s probably not something you should eat.

Low-Fat and Fat-Free

You ever notice those foods at the store that point out, pretty loudly, that they’re fat free or low in fat?  Yeah, of course you have because you’ve got eyes.  Did you ever wonder if those are actually healthy for you?

This is a case of them trying to draw your attention to something that appears healthy, but then you don’t notice the unhealthy artificial ingredients and flavorings to replace the fat.

They’re chemicals.  Not something your body wants to have in it.  Not to mention these kinds of foods often end up giving you diarrhea.

If that doesn’t convince you, well, then you need help.

Besides these artificial things, they also use sugar.  I’ve even seen sugary drinks labeled “Fat-Free” to try to make it seem healthy, but then it’s got more sugar than a cookie the size of my head, and I’ve got a big head.

Just remember that foods have more than just one ingredient, pay attention to the whole picture.

Always read the ingredients on the nutrition label.

Whole Wheat vs Wheat

We’re all probably familiar with whole wheat foods, right?  I hope most of you are choosing whole wheat over regular wheat any time you can.  If you don’t know, the reason we need to choose whole wheat is because of the insulin spikes we get from refined carbs.

Long story short, insulin spikes make us fat.

Does that sound good?

Nope, not to me.   Whole grains are digested slower so we can avoid that insulin spike, which is why we must always choose whole grains over refined grains, like white bread.  But the big guys upstairs don’t like whole grains.

You see, the food industry likes to save money, so they’ll use words to trick you into believing you’re eating whole grains when in reality there’s a quite a bit of refined grains in there.  We’ll hit the biggest one first.

Getting Wheat bread should be a good thing, right?  Yeah, except the term wheat only refers to the type of flour.  Every restaurant asks you “White or wheat” but white flour is wheat flour, just not whole wheat.  What they do is dye white bread to look darker and then call it “wheat” bread.

If you look at the ingredients of these breads, it doesn’t say “Whole Wheat Flour,” and that’s the key.

They can do it because they’re not saying it’s whole wheat, and we just got used to the term “wheat” being used for Whole wheat.  Next time you need to decide between white or wheat, ask them if it’s whole wheat.

Better yet, look it up online.  I know Firehouse Subs uses white wheat flour for its “Wheat” bread.  Which is a shame, actually, they’ve got good subs.

The other thing they can do is simply say, “Made with Whole Grains

That’s nice, how many whole grains does it have.  1?  2? The rest are refined grains.  Seriously, they don’t even need to have whole grains first on the ingredient list to say this, but they can put it right up front and center on the package if they want to.

Better wording to look for would be “Made with 100% whole grains” or “100% Whole Wheat.”

Or you could just look at the ingredients.

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