Last week, I was walking along the aisle of a supermarket with my friend and sharing why sugar is bad for us. He said he absolutely agreed that’s why he always chose right for sugar-free. Next second, he put a pack of "sugar-free" yoghurt into the shopping cart.
I joked with him, “I just witness a clownfish thought himself living in the Caribbean whole life and never realised it’s actually a fish tank with marine stickers background.” Is that package of “sugar-free” yoghurt really healthy for us? Does all the food with “sugar-free”, “fat-free”, “gluten-free” labels safe? The answer is “NO”. Be conscious on the following traps and stop being fooled by the food industry.
Sugar-free gets you bigger
“Diet” coke, “sugar-free” oreo, sounds less guilty? The truth is they make you fat even quicker. Beyond zero sugar, all the artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohol, chemicals load up calories and create direct damage to our brain, liver and other important organs. “Sugar-free” does not mean disease free but the opposite. Whenever you see any ingredients in the food labelling that you barely can pronounce, drop and throw it back onto the shelf.
Fat-free is another sugar bomb
Since the 80’s, government starts promoting low-fat diet to protect people from diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and more. Ever thought of how does a “fat-free” yoghurt tastes exactly the same as original one? SUGAR. Loads of sugar has been added to dial up the flavour. When food or drink is claiming “fat-free”, “low-fat”, “0% trans fat”, “reduced fat”, check the sugar also sodium level on the labelling. You would be surprised how many hidden sugar, carbs and salt you are taking in.
Gluten-free might cause pre-diabetes
Gluten is a type of anti-nutrient that damages our gut lining and cause digestion problem like bloating, constipation, diarrhoea etc. “Gluten-free” food becomes more popular nowadays as more people aware of their gluten intolerance. Watch out the starch level of “gluten-free” food, all the "wheat-free” starches like potato starch, cornstarch, tapioca etc spike up our blood sugar level far higher and quicker than whole wheat. In addition, be alert of all “gluten-free” cookies, chips, pizza, brownie etc. They can be highly processed contains cheap grains, refined oil, artificial sugar and GMOs. “Gluten-free” label does not equals to “healthy”, choose wise.
Natural can be toxic
Food and beverages with the claim “natural”, means nothing artificial is included. Yet, it does not equals to hormone-free, GMO-free or organic. It could be misleading especially comes to packaged food. Those with claims of “natural”, “all natural”, “100% natural” like juice, ice-cream, chips can be high in sodium, sugar, fat. Even food with high fructose corn syrup (one of the most addictive sugar) can be labeled as ‘natural’ in this era. Always remember, food industry is all about politics that make you buy no matter what.
Furthermore, “non-GMO”, “high-fibre”, “low-calorie”, “cholesterol-free” etc are all other misleading labelings around the corner. There are really lots of traps in the market when comes to food safety guarantee. Always remember this to keep yourself safe:
”If your great grandmother didn’t eat it, you shouldn’t either."
How to eat safe?
First of all, always read the food labelling whenever you purchase a packaged food. Check the sugar, sodium level, we just need 6-9 tsp (1tsp = 4g) sugar and 1500 mg of sodium per day. Check also the ingredients, avoid all the hidden unhealthy substances that never existed before.
Secondly, choose REAL food and WHOLE food. Buy food from the local, buy organic. Instead of fooling by all the labels with misleading concept of healthiness, be responsible on your own health and better choose food without package if it is possible.
Finally, work with a professional health coach who can give you a holistic advice on how to eat and live your life to the fullest. No matter how consciousness you think you are on the health journey, there are always blind spots. As a life coach, I can help you spot them directly and steer you onto the right track fast. Feel free to reach me out for further advice.