We consider ourselves smart people who know how to make healthy food choices, but experts warn we’re easily duped by marketing that makes some foods seem healthier than they actually are. We think grabbing a granola bar must be better for us than eating a candy bar, but that’s not always the case when you look at calories and sugar.
“Buzzwords trick people,” explains Lisa Young, an adjunct professor of nutrition at NYU Steinhardt. “Gluten-free organic cookies are still cookies.” And that’s why reading nutrition labels is the key to knowing what we’re really eating.
Here are some seemingly healthy foods compared to what we assume is an unhealthier choice.
- An 8-ounce container of Noosa Coconut Yogurt has 300 calories, 13 grams of fat, 30 grams of sugar, and 12 grams of protein. But a half cup of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream only has 260 calories, 15 grams of fat, 23 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein. And it’s actual ice cream!
- A Clif Cool Mint Chocolate Bar has 250 calories, 5 grams fat, 5 grams fiber, 22 grams sugar, and 9 grams protein. And you’d assume that would be healthier than a York Peppermint Pattie, but it actually only has 140 calories, 2.5 grams fat, and 26 grams sugar.
- Not all salads are created equal, especially when you add croutons, cheese, and creamy dressing. A Chopt Mexican Caesar salad has 595 calories and 35 grams of fat, but a Shake Shack Single ShackBurger only has 550 calories and 37 grams of fat!
- A quarter cup of Planters Nut and Chocolate Trail Mix has 267 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 3 grams of fiber and you’d think that would be healthier than the same amount of Peanut M&Ms, but they only have 220 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 1 gram of fiber. So read those nutrition labels, folks.
So just eat the burger!