By MOLLY RAISCH
Fake. Phony. Scam artist. No matter what you call it, being at the wrong end of a health hoax is never fun.
You might expect sneaky marketing claims from fast-food chains, but these seven foods are more along the lines of a sucker punch.
'HEALTH' FOODS THAT AREN'T HEALTHY
Sure, their commercials make the spread sound like a wholesome mix of hazelnuts, skim milk, and a touch of cocoa, but it turns out Nutella's about as healthy as a Milky Way. One woman was so appalled when she realized that two tablespoons of her go-to breakfast spread packed in 200 calories, 21 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of fat, that she took the company to court…and won. (In fact, if you bought a jar of Nutella between January 2008 and Feb 3, 2012, you're entitled to a refund.)
But Nutella isn't the only nutrition sham at the grocery store. No matter how you slice it, a number of "healthy" foods fall seriously short on their promises. How many of these fast-talkers are fooling you?
"All-Natural" Breakfast Cereals
Kashi, Kellogg's "natural" brand, is currently under fire from consumers over the fact that the ingredients used in their cereals aren't completely natural as their marketing implies. In fact, scientists from the Cornucopia Institute recently detected GMO material in 100 percent of the soy in Kashi GoLean.
While Gatorade may be beneficial if you're putting in an extremely hard workout—like marathon hard—most of us are just getting an unwelcome dose of sugar, salt, and loads of sketchy artificial food coloring. Plus, a new study in the journal General Dentistry suggests that sports and energy drinks are responsible for serious tooth enamel damage and decay.
The reason you feel a boost from your bar is most likely due to the copious amounts of sweetener added to it. Many companies disguise just how much sugar is hidden inside by using various types of sugar—like high-fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, and cane juice—to try and fool you. Case in point: PowerBar ProteinPlus Chocolate Brownie bar, which offers up 30 grams of sugar from at least three different sugar sources.
"No Artificial Preservatives" Meats
Oscar Mayer recently announced that it will no longer be using artificial preservatives in their "Selects" line of hot dogs and deli slices. While we applaud the weiner company for taking out nasty chemicals like potassium chloride and sodium nitrate, that doesn't mean that these foods are now healthy. Processed meat is still processed meat, and a daily serving of bacon or salami can up your risk of death 20%, according to research from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Bottled Green Tea
We've touted the benefits of green tea for years, but those sweetened, bottled beverages aren't what we've been talking about. Some mass-produced bottles have only a miniscule amount of the powerful catechins, and they're loaded with sugar. SoBe Energize Green Tea, for example, offers up more than 50 grams of sugar in one 20-ounce bottle.
We're not saying that egg substitute is necessarily bad for you, but they're not necessarily better for your cholesterol than the real thing—something most of us assume. A new study from the University of Connecticut found that people who ate whole eggs actually increased their HDL (the healthy cholesterol) more than those who ate egg substitutes.
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