I was watching TV last night this commercial came on for Pop Tarts. It was a little clay mom with a clay kid, and she was making him a little clay pop tart for breakfast. And an announcer came on and said “Poptarts, baked with real fruit!”
Oh my. A look at the ingredients list does in fact list real fruit: 2% or less of dried strawberries, apples, or pears, listed after corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and sugar. This is the nutrition data for frosted strawberry Pop Tarts—look at the nutritional target map! Not filling or nutritious. Baked with real fruit indeed.
Most people wouldn’t blindly believe that this statement makes them healthy, but there are a lot of brands that make similar claims for healthy food that people believe all the time. It’s important that you know what’s in your food, you personally know how to make good choices in packaged food, that you’re not just relying on the company to tell you how nutritious it is.
Remember that the health and food industries are in fact industries and are trying to make money any way that they can. They’ll use any allowable claim to make it more appealing to you, the buyer. 2% or less real strawberries in there? Slap on “baked with real fruit!”
Sometime they don’t even have a viable health claim to put on the box, it’s just the company name that sounds healthy. I asked my lovely Tumblr followers to come up with healthy sounding brand names being sold in their own grocery stores, and we came up with Lean Cuisine, Slim Fast, Wheat Thins, Slim Jims, Nature Valley, Vitawheats, Kashi Go Lean!, and a whole bunch of others. It’s not that they aren’t healthy, it’s that the company or product name can make you overlook the nutritional content whether it’s actually healthy or not.
Know what you’re really putting in your body. Make sure that there are substantial nutrients backing up that calorie count—or know that there aren’t and still eat it if you want it, honestly the point is just to be aware. You can eat a three-thousand calorie wad of nutritional nothing called Health Monster if you’d like to, just know what’s in there.
My guess is bacon grease and chocolate.