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Faux Health Foods UNBLEACHED FLOUR. THAT CERTAINLY SOUNDS HEALTHY...
 
The chemicals used to whiten flour are harmless and bleaching actually improves flour's baking quality -- unbleached flour isn't any better for you than bleached -- if you want a real nutritional boost, use whole-wheat flour.
 
NATURAL FOODS. WHAT DOES "NATURAL" ACTUALLY MEAN?
 
Consumers see "natural" and think "more wholesome" but for food products that aren't meat or poultry, there is no standardized definition of "natural" -- it's what the manufacturer says it is -- so read the label to get the real story.
 
FRUIT-JUICE SWEETENED SNACKS...BETTER THAN THE ONES SWEETENED WITH "REGULAR" SUGAR?
 
The juices added to these foods (apple, pear, and grape) are nutritional "lightweights" and these juices, along with honey, cane, maple syrup and fructose are no more healthy than table sugar. They're all the same in your body.
 
FREE-RANGE POULTRY -- DOES THAT MEAN THAT THEY'RE PESTICIDE-FREE?
 
Not necessarily -- the USDA's only requirement for the free-range label is that the poultry has "continuous access to the outdoors." It doesn't mean it's leaner, tastier, less disease-free. It also doesn't mean it's pesticide-free or raised with antibiotics. If you want that, make sure you look for labels that say that -- also, free-range birds are almost always much more expensive.
 
CHIPS MADE FROM CARROTS OR BANANAS CERTAINLY SOUND HEALTHIER...
 
If they're fried, they're all the same -- if you want to save fat and calories, switch to baked chips.
 
HOW ABOUT THESE FRUITY DRINKS?
 
They're often little more than water, sugar, and fruit flavoring -- even pure juice blends are not very nutritious -- if you want a truly healthy drink, have some skim milk, it's a perfect non-fat package of calcium, vitamins, minerals, and protein.
 
SPINACH PASTA OR PASTA MADE FROM OTHER VEGETABLES?
 
Eating vegetable pasta is NOT like eating pasta with vegetables -- they're not much different than regular pasta except for the color and price -- you'd only have to add a teaspoon of cooked spinach to a serving of regular pasta to get the same amount of beta carotene in a serving of spinach pasta.
 
THESE ENERGY BARS, THEY MUST BE BETTER FOR YOU THAN A SNICKERS...
 
They may be better than a Snickers but there's nothing special about them that makes you feel more energeticup Energy on a food label simply means "calories." Eat them if you like them, but if you're looking for energy, have a piece of fruit, a bagel, some low-fat granola, or a breakfast bar. If you're looking for extra vitamins and minerals, take a multi-vitamin or mineral pill.
 
© 1997 Delia Hammock
 
© 1997 Lifetime Entertainment Services. All rights reserved.
 
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