“BlogTops” are weekly blog posts that myself, my good friend Fei, and hopefully you will join us in discussing topics that we feel the majority of millennials are dealing with or have dealt with in their lives. To keep it creative we pick one specific word for the weekly topic and then we are letting our imagination and creative writing take our blogs in whatever direction we so choose. It could be anything from generalizing the topic, to specific memories, to something serious, or funny. It’s anything goes! If you want to join along tag your posts with BlogTop on Twitter, WordPress, Tumblr, etc. and we will be sure to promote your blogs on social media!
This weeks blog topic is HEALTH.
Health is something that I do my best to take seriously. In my fantasy world I eat all the donuts, chips and cookies I want and then go run a marathon successfully. I look great, feel great and do whatever I want to my body and all is well in the world.
Reality check: Doesn’t work that way.In today’s day in age of eating cheap and convenient fast food and processed foods filled with high amounts of saturated fats, glucose and fructose aka sugar, sodium, and so forth makes it extremely difficult to maintain a healthy diet. Then on top of this issue of unhealthy foods there’s the sad fact a date with the television sounds much more appealing than one with your running shoes. I admittedly watched the whole Walking Dead marathon on Sunday in anticipation for the season 4 premier. Imagining myself running away from zombies counts as exercise right?
Reality check: Yeah… no.
These two issues are serious and are the biggest factors in the scarily high trend of risingobesity rates in the country. My advice to combat this in your personal life? Do your best to make small healthy changes and do it constantly. This post today is one way you can start doing this if you aren’t already:
READ FOOD LABELS CAREFULLY
I can’t stress the importance of this enough. As a marketing graduate who’s done school projects around misleading food labels I can tell you that labels are there to deceive, fool and manipulate you into buying products that aren’t healthy for you even though they are advertised otherwise.
Here are some examples of marketing claims on packages that are probably bogus when it comes to being an actually healthy product.
A product advertising fat-free has probably replaced all the fats with loads of unhealthy sugars and other additives. So sure, it’s fat-free, but it doesn’t mean it’s actually good for you.
The word natural is not regulated. It also has nothing to do with nutritional value.
That’s great! If we take a look at sodium for example… how much was actually in it before hand though? Reduced sodium just means it has 25% less sodium than the original product. It tells you nothing about how much sodium is actually in it.
Made with real fruit?
How much real fruit? There’s no regulation on how much needs to be in a product for it to be labeled this way. For all you know there is 0.001% real fruit.
Made with whole grains
Again like real fruit you need to look at how much whole grains are being used. A lot of products advertised like this actually use a lot of refined grains with a little bit of whole. Refined grains are simple carbs, when you’re looking to eat more complex carbs.
0 Trans Fat
What about saturated fat? That’s just as unhealthy as trans fat. It’s monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that you want to be consuming! Not saturated or trans.
I could go on, but it’s easy to research more misleading food labels to find out more advertising tricks companies use.
So while flashy packaging and advertising sounds and looks great I strongly recommend you do three things when shopping:
First, read the NUTRIIONAL LABEL. Don’t just look at the calories. Check out sodium, sugars, saturated and trans fats and so on.
Second, read the INGREDIENTS LIST. Can’t understand what half the products actually are? Yeah… probably not healthy.
Also, did you know there’s thirty or so different words that can be used in replace of sugar? Cane juice crystals? Sugar. Dextrose? Sugar. Maltose? Sugar. Syrup? Sugar. Words can be changed to mislead you.
Ingredients are listed in descending order based on weight. So sugar being the second ingredient and real fruit juice being the eighteenth? Yeah, it means there’s a lot of sugar and very little real fruit. Unhealthy. (But it’s made with real fruit!)
Finally, it’s extremely important you are reading the SERVING SIZE. There’s nothing more horrifying to see that something is “healthy”, but the daily recommendation of the serving size on the can is 1/4th of a can. Yeah that’ll be really healthy when you eat the whole thing because lets be real 1/4th of a can is nothing.
Hopefully these tips will help you shop smart and to shop healthy! I’ll be back next week with another BlogTop!