Fat-free. Sugar-free. Calorie-free. Healthy?
Eh, not so fast.
If what you are eating or drinking is free of fat, sugar, and calories then what has been put in it instead?
Oftentimes the “____ -free” label means you’re just swapping one thing for another, and that trade-off may be a less healthy choice.
Fat-free products typically mean you end up getting more sugar or more carbs that turn into sugar. To still have a decent taste, fat is replaced with artificial sweeteners and flavorings which provide no nutritional value. Real fats can help you feel more satisfied and help with the absorption of vitamins. You don’t have to completely avoid them.
Sugar-free products have artificial sweeteners instead. Again, artificial sweeteners and flavorings do not provide nutritional value. And these artificial additives can be toxic to your body over time. Aspartame is not your friend, and neither are any other artificial flavors or colors. People tend to eat more and drink more when something is labeled sugar-free also. I was a car hop in high school, and it used to surprise me how many people would order a 44-ounce diet soda several times a day. Sugar-free doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
Several European countries don’t even allow many of the synthetic flavors, colors, preservatives, and other additives in their foods or products in general for health reasons. So why do we?
There are American companies that remove banned additives from the products they sell overseas. And I have noticed that a few are starting to remove certain artificial flavors and colors here too. Show them you care about what’s in your food, and we’ll have better options.
Packages are labeled the way they are to get your attention quickly. Don’t make your decision quickly. Flip over that package and look at what they aren’t showcasing.
I know the easy thing to do is just roll your eyes, brush it off, and say you don’t care. I used to do that. I didn’t want to know. If it tasted good and it was allowed on the shelf, I figured it was okay. I know better now. So, I choose better now.
It doesn’t mean I never eat a candy bar or processed food. I just do so sparingly. I choose more real foods, and I avoid certain additives like the plague.
Please, worry less about the calories and more about the chemicals. Do your best to kick the synthetic additives to the curb and eat real food.