On a mission to whip herself into shape, Kate Kowalczyk tossed out the junk food and stocked up on her idea of good-for-you staples like yogurt and low-fat cookies.
Despite her persistence, the 35 pounds she was trying to shake wouldn't budge.
It turns out those "healthy" foods were just as fattening as the chips and soda they replaced: The yogurt was filled with Reese's Pieces and the low-fat cookies were brimming with sugar that kept her hunger on razor's edge.
As concerns grow over rising obesity rates, so does confusion about the difference between what is healthy and what aids weight loss — with many believing the two are interchangeable.
According to a survey by the Washington-based Food Marketing Institute, 59 percent of shoppers were trying to eat a healthier diet last year, up 14 percent from 2000. Forty-two percent of those shoppers said losing weight is a health goal that influences their purchases.
But confusion is rampant about what healthy means; the same survey found 20 percent of respondents didn't know what "organic" meant, except that it was "better for you." But even foods labeled organic or "natural" can have just as many calories.
"It's all in the advertising — you see this bright packaging that says it's good for you," said Kowalczyk, 34, of Troy, N.Y.
Steve - Exactly! You really have to know your stuff when you shop. Marketers know what they are doing, and they can get around any labeling law to make something seem healthier than it really is. If you take anything with you to the store, remember, the less number of ingredients on the label, the better. Less ingredients usually means it is a real food.
You always have us to use as a resource. We have tons of information at nutritionalconcepts.com, including a Natural Foods Shopping List. We have associates that can take you shopping and educate you in a hurry.