Thursday, July 11, 2013

5 Scary Food Secrets Corporations Don’t Want You to Know

Most people understand that super frosted breakfast cereal, double sized chocolate bars and Big Macs are NOT health foods.
It’s scary to find out though, that even when we think we are eating healthier, the large food corporations have tricked us into eating more junk food.
Luckily, these pitfalls are easy to avoid once you become aware of the tricks of the trade.
Here are five surprising facts:

1.  Fast Food’s “healthy” salads have even more calories than burger meals.
Why do consumers choose salads?  To be slim and healthy, right? But get this: Applebee’s Oriental Chicken salad has 1310 calories, 93 grams of fat and 1470 mg sodium. Surprisingly, the Big Mac meal with Coke has only 1130 calories, 58 grams fat and 1245 mg sodium.
I’m using the word “only” sarcastically. Still, that calorie difference is enough to fool any consumer! Both choices are unhealthy since they both have huge amounts of unhealthy fats.

2. Zero trans fat does not mean “zero” trans fat.
Twenty years ago, I started hearing about the dangers of trans fat or hydrogenated oils. Now everyone is afraid of these unnatural oils because they have been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other major health problems. Manufactures love trans fats though since they are cheap and mean a long shelf life for packaged foods.
You might think that a cookie box with “zero trans fat” boldly printed on the label would be safe. Wrong!
It turns out, manufactures can say “zero trans fat’ as long as a single serving contains less than .05 grams of trans fat.  Manufacturers simply reduce the serving size.  Instead of declaring a serving size of 4 cookies, they simply make it two or even one. Many people will eat 10.
You have to check the label. If it says hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil, just don’t buy it!

3.  Baby food is often worse than junk food.
If there is one area where mothers don’t compromise, it’s on good food for their new baby. Manufacturers spare no expense to market baby foods as healthy and safe.
Sadly, some baby foods contain as much sugar and saturated fats as chocolate, cookies or cheeseburgers!
In a survey of more than 100 foods for babies and toddlers, The Children’s Campaign discovered baby foods that were 29 percent sugar, and many that contained trans fats.
Once again: you MUST read the label!

4.  Healthy yogurts contain twice the sugar as your worst cereals.
Plain old yogurt – formerly only eaten by health food fanatics, has somehow been transformed in the public’s mind into the cool wholesome snack eaten by everyone.
They achieved this by adding sugars and artificial sweeteners and flavors without telling you.
In reality, a serving of General Mill’s Yoplait has twice the sugar as the junk food Lucky Charms cereal.
Yogurt is still a dairy product, and being fermented doesn’t necessarily help if your body can’t handle dairy. Our testing shows that just as many people are sensitive to yogurt as plain milk, and in many cases more so.
If you just have to eat yogurt, choose plain, or you guessed it — read the label. Here’s an easy rule to go by: Don’t eat any ingredients that your grandmother wouldn’t have heard of!

5.  Organic and health food companies are owned by mega corporations.
If consumers don’t want to eat the junk created by profit-mongering corporations like Coke, Kraft or Kellogg’s, they also may not want to support them with their consumer dollars.
It seems natural you might choose smaller ‘natural’ companies and feel good that your consumer dollars are supporting healthier, more environmentally orientated ideals.
It turns out the money is still ends up in the hands of the large food corporations.
‘Natural’ companies like Burt’s Bees, Tom’s of Maine, Odwalla,  Naked Juice,  Cascadian Farm and Green and Black’s organic chocolate are all now owned by large conglomerates that don’t have your health in mind – or the planet’s.

This Gorcery Store Blacklist article lists over 100 foods companies owned by the corporations who gave money to stop GMO labeling. The article also lists some smaller independent and  ‘still healthy’ companies.
What can be done?
You can avoid these sneaky food corporations by eating less packaged and prepared food.
This means buying whole foods, preferably from local producers or growing it yourself, and cooking it from scratch.
Your next best choice is independently owned restaurants where you know exactly what you are getting.


  1. with all of the bombardment of foods, what to eat and what not to eat... how do we pick the right foods? I mean, I am married and have 3 kids, 10 and under. I work swing shift so my shift changes every week. How do I shop? when things get crazy, what can we cheat and eat without getting the mega calorie salad?
    I just worked a 16 hr. day. I eat a home prepared salad for my midnight lunch. when the guys ask, where do you want to go to eat and the choices are McD's, burger king, taco bell, rally's, arby's. what can we choose to eat? salad without cruton's and bring my own dressing to leave at work? I would like to lose about 30 more lbs. I lost 30 in the last year and a half by just not drinking soda.
    Thank you
    Tony R

  2. Yup, been there. Plain salads topped with a lean cuisine meal, Progresso soup or making soup yourself. I tried to limit calories to 900 per day. Good luck.

  3. Hi Tony
    You just have to take control and bring a healthy lunch to work with you. There is no other way of getting around it. We must make healthier food choices for ourselves and for our kids because no body else cares about your health. Our food has been poisoned from beginning to end and we are getting fatter and sicker than anybody else on the planet. Go organic or at least grab more raw foods like fruit and veggies. You can eat as much of these as you want with wonderful health consequences. But one thing I do suggest is that people get a food allergy test. I was eating very healthy things like garlic, onions, lettuce, turmeric..etc., and found out I had a sensitivity to them and an allergy to other healthy foods. I've been on an elimination diet and have felt so much better and have even healed certain conditions of mine. It is obvious that the choice is ours and only ours. With so many health problems at my age (44) I found it was absolutely crucial to my health to get a different mind set about eating and start getting serious about my health before I die from complications from my problems. Pretty soon it was easy to choose salads with olive oil over French fries and those are my favorite junk food. I did struggle here and there but sickness for many years finally motivated me that my problems were not going to go away unless I took control of my health. Plus when you feel better for the first time in a long time that too is its own motivator. I always ask myself when I wake up now, am I going to choose to eat to be sick today or choose to eat to be healthy today? It took more of an effort on my part to make sure I had healthy foods available but definitely worth the trouble. No more fast food. I pack baggies full of carrot sticks or celery, nuts, seeds and a raw organic trail mix with no added sugars or salt and non roasted nuts and things that is really quite satisfying. I also eat a lot of fish these days particularly the ones lowest in mercury and have cut my beef consumption down quite considerably. I eat no processed foods at all. Only fish, occasional beef, fruits, vegetables and like I said a healthy trail mix with nuts and seeds and berries. It will take some effort on your part but it can be done. Sooner or later our health demands it.