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Innovative Ways Companies Hide Unhealthy Ingredients in Healthy Food

· Heart of Innovation,Heart Healthy Eating



Foods that are considered “healthy” and labeled as “natural” contain many harmful
chemicals used as food preservatives and flavor enhancers. Dietitian Melissa
Hooper joins hosts Kym McNicholas and Dr. John Phillips, along with guest
co-host Nurse Practitioner Kay Smith to reveal hidden hazards companies have
creatively hidden in food that are labeled in a way that makes you think you
are making healthier choices. We all know that fresh, local ingredients are
always the best. But our store shelves are stocked with boxes, cans, bags, and
jars that might be more attractive with creative labeling! How do you know if
your go-to favorites have ingredients also found in jet fuel and embalming
fluid? Dietitian Melissa is going to refine your radar for those harmful
man-made chemicals that acidify your body pH, which in turn accelerates bone
loss and inflammation. Even more, she will also reveal the truth about the
ingredients you may 'think' are 'healthy?' Some of the key topics are below:

Healthiest Supermarket Shopping Spot 

Freshis best. So, most of your time in the supermarket, according to Dietitian
Melissa, is in the produce section. But there are still hidden hazards here. One
listener brought up the important question about the affordability of organic
fruits and vegetables and when it’s necessary to buy organic. Dietitian Melissa
explained that it’s important to consider buying organic when it comes to
fruits and vegetables that may be tougher to clear any pesticides used in
growing the items. Produce with sides and deep crevices are the toughest to
clean. A good rule of thumb is the EWG’s Dirty Dozen List. You cansearch online for the 2022 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce which lists the items with the greatest amount of pesticidesfound on them such as strawberries, celery, collard greens, spinach, apples,
grapes, and more. Those are the items that need a greater scrubbing with a
natural produce cleaner or simply buy organic.

Food Label Basics 

DietitianMelissa kicks off the discussion on innovative ways companies hide unhealthy
items into so-called healthy by talking about the marketing angle. She says there are looser guidelines for marketing than on an ingredient label. So, an item marked ‘healthy’ or ‘natural’ may not be such. Healthier? Maybe. But not necessarily healthy for you. Labels can also appeal to you as ‘healthy’ because they focus on what’s NOT in the ingredient list. But what’s in the ingredient list might be more harmful than the ones omitted. For example, some alternative
cheeses that advertise that they’re soy-free, dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, and preservative-free may make you wonder what they’re not free-of that could still be shaped like or possibly remotely taste like or melt like cheese. Dietitian Melissa says it’s important to look past the label and look straight at the “Nutrition Facts.”

DietitianMelissa goes through the basics of the “Nutrition Facts” label. She explains
why vascular patients need to check the serving size, calorie count, fats,
cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, and sugar. One point she made about fats is
that nutrition labels don’t always list unsaturatedfats, which are healthier, but they do list saturated fats, which should be minimal,best if less than one gram. She spent a lot of time focused on sodium levels in food. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that Americans consume more than 3,400 milligrams (mg) of sodiumeach day, on average, which is well above the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendation of less than 2,300 mg of sodium each day aspart of a healthy eating pattern. Dietitian Melissa emphasized theimportance of choosing products that have less than 250mg of sodium per serving. Of course, less is more. Same goes for sugar. Sugar is especially prevalent in low-fat items. It’s a key point near and dear to the heart of Nurse Practitioner Kay Smith who strongly believes the global diabetes epidemic started during the low-fat food craze when companies started replacing fat with sugar. Companies use dozens of names for sugar soit’s important to do an online search of words in ingredient lists if the food label indicates a level of sugar in it but you can’t spot it under the
ingredient list. Dietitian Melissa prefers natural sugars such as stevia extract, agave, monk fruit, and dates. She suggests steering clear of high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners labeled as saccharin, sucralose and aspartame. Shealso isn’t a fan of sugar alcohols because she says they can cause digestive distress. 

Plant-basedTrend Hazards 

The heart-healthy diets focusing on whole foods have driventhe plant-based food craze. But "Plant-based" doesn'tautomatically mean "healthy." Nurse Practitioner Key sparks the
conversation talking about the rise of ‘Vegetarian Butchers’ in the United Kingdom, with soy as the main ingredient. Dietitian Melissa is not a proponent of processed soy, especially for those who might be at-risk of upsetting their hormone balance. She also says to check the label for other ingredients she believes are the worst plant-based ingredients which include artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, synthetic preservatives, refined grains such as white flour, corn grits, and white rice. Dietitian Melissa says the best plant-based products are those that use whole grains, vegetables, and proteins such as nuts, lentils, peas, and chickpeas. Dietitian Melissa is particularly fond of pea protein because it contains all the nine essential amino acids. 

Mediterranean Diet Red Flags 

Hundreds of studies have found theMediterranean Diet to be beneficial for those looking for a heart-healthy diet option. What’s hidden in products claiming to be part of the Mediterranean diet include unhealthy oils and saturated fats. Just because an oil claims to be ‘heart healthy,’ doesn’t make it heart-healthy. Check The Way To My Heart’s new “Food For Thought” handbook for healthier eatingdesigned for patients with leg artery blockages known as Peripheral Artery
Disease. It includes an entire section on how to choose the healthiest olive oils. The book could be helpful for anyone concerned about inflammation in any of their arteries including coronary.  Itprovides a jumping off point for a discussion with a registered dietitian to
personalize the best diet plan for you.