Margarine of Error
I spy with my little eye some lofty promises around what looks like a candy bar.
“Get 35% of your daily fiber, antioxidants Vitamin E and zinc, plus whole grains in this delicious flavor from the folks at Kellogg’s FiberPlus®. With tasty ingredients like real peanuts and peanut butter, plus a chocolatey drizzle on top and dipped in more chocolatey goodness on the bottom, these bars make nutritious snacking a real treat.”
Have phrases like these ever caught your eye on a box of food? A high-sodium, sugary kids’ cereal may read, “Made with whole grains! Whole grains support a healthy heart!”
While whole grains do support a healthy heart, whole grains like plain oatmeal, brown rice, and whole wheat are healthier grain choices than a sugary cereal. A bag of chips may say “Made with canola oil! Canola oil is low in saturated fat and reduces your risk of heart disease!” Of course, you already know potato chips are not really the way to prevent disease.
WORDS TO WATCH: these phrases can be deceiving
“Promotes”, “Improves”, “Defends”, “Guards against”, “Boosts”
HEALTHY GROCERY GUIDELINES: these phrases can be helpful
Less, Low, or Reduced (sodium, sugar, or fat)
Lean (cuts of meat)
Good Source of (fiber or vitamins)
The best foods have no labels at all. Foods like fruits, vegetables, herbs, beans and fish don’t need to convince anyone what great choices they are! When shopping, stick to the perimeter of the store, away from the packaged and boxed food.
These are just some of the lessons I teach in my weekly Cooking Matters at the Store tours with Manna’s clients. We have offered this class to now over 500 residents of Montgomery County! Of course, the juiciest discussion in my classes is always What’s For Dinner. That’s why I started Manna’s Healthy Recipe of the Month. If you would like to receive the simple recipes I collect and cook at Manna, just send me an e-mail: Lindsey@mannafood.org
Happy, Healthy New Year to You!