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3 Steps to Identify Healthy Imposters

Want the shortcut to healthy eating? Learn how to identify the "healthy imposters!"

There's nothing worse than thinking you're making healthy choices and maintaining healthy habits but not seeing the results of your new decisions and actions. Most often, you've been unknowingly sabotaged by "healthy imposters." Unfortunately, these imposters can derail your weight-loss & wellness goals and, over time, can accumulate negative health consequences.

What's a Healthy Imposter? 

It's an unhealthy, processed food pretending to be healthy food. Manufacturers take advantage of labeling loopholes, substitute artificial imitations of healthy foods and add stimulants into processed foods, all attempting to impersonate healthy foods. And unfortunately, so many of us can be easily fooled when we don't understand how we're being manipulated into thinking manufacturers have fixed the unhealthy aspects of foods we enjoy and transformed them into healthy foods. 

3 Steps to Identify Healthy Imposters 

  1. Ignore the front of the package because manufacturers use the front of the package as a promotional space to convince you to "buy." Instead, flip the box over and look at the back. Never Trust; Always Verify! Never trust health claims on the package; always verify what's inside.
  2. Ignore the Nutritional Facts on the back of the package; it doesn't adequately reveal all "added sugar" and sweeteners, hidden-sugar substitutes & chemical imposters. The nutritional content is a composition of the ingredients. If the ingredients are imposters or fake versions of key nutrients like Fiber and protein, the value and function aren't the same, so the quantity doesn't matter. Nutrition Fact numbers only become relevant after you check the list of ingredients for imposters, smuggles, and substitutes.  
  3. Read the List of Ingredients. The fewer the ingredients, the better; less is best. If you don't recognize the ingredient and it isn't something you have in your pantry at home, look it up. If you don't use it for cooking or baking at home, It's likely a smuggler or imposter. You'll be looking to avoid the items listed below, as they are the most commonly smuggled unhealthy substances.  

Ingredients and Substances to Avoid:

  • Artificial Fiber is a chemical or plant-based concoction that attempts to mimic the health benefits of Fiber. Still, it isn't as effective as intrinsic Fiber or Fiber that's part of natural food because fake Fiber only performs one function. Natural Fiber in fresh fruits, veggies, beans, and legumes performs multiple health functions. Most importantly, artificial Fiber can cause choking and other health hazards, so the FDA is beginning to attempt to regulate these and change labeling requirements. Ovvia® Members can watch my video on the Limitations & Hazards of Imitation Fiber in the Member's Video Library.
  • Protein Concentrates typically deliver concentrated amounts of lactose, which can cause excessive gas, bloating, and digestive distress. There's also growing debate about whether these protein alternatives are nutritionally complete. Ovvia® Members can watch my videos about how too much protein can cause weight gain in the Member's Video Library. 
  • Sugars using alias names, chemically composed of artificial ingredients or naturally harvested as an alternative to sugar cane. They're just as unhealthy as sugar and sometimes worse. Most are more powerful and interfere with your body's taste preference for healthy, natural foods. These are also known as "added sugar," Unfortunately, the most potent concoctions use such a small amount they're undetected on the "added sugar" section of the Nutrition Facts label. Ovvia® Members can watch the three-part video series about Sugar Sabotage in the Member's Video Library to learn more about how to spot added sugar and its negative cumulative health consequences. 
  • Flour, Starch, Corn Starch, and other Thickeners are commonly added to baked items like bread, crackers, desserts, cereals, and even potato chips. Flour and starch of any kind are fast-acting carbohydrates, just like sugar. It's an unhealthy carbohydrate, and any food pounded down into flour is a fast-acting starchy carb that will reliably spike blood sugar. Ovvia® Members can watch the three-part video series about how grains have changed to learn why flour is unhealthy and what bread to buy.
  • Gums and Fillers are commonly added to sauces, condiments, dressings, dips, and dairy products: cheese, creamer, ice cream, and milk. Look for the most common: guar, xanthan, and carrageenan; all can cause excessive gas, bloating, and digestive distress. 
  • MSG, monosodium glutamate, perpetuates appetite, hunger, and cravings. It's commonly added to chips, crackers, soups, broths, stocks, sauces, marinades, and seasoning mixes.

Learn More 

In this podcast episode, I teach you more about "healthy imposters."

Ovvia® Members learn more by watching over 100 educational and informative videos in the Member's Video Library, including the abovementioned videos. Emerson is live with Ovvia's Interactive Members each week to answer questions, instruct, encourage, and accelerate learning. See Membership Options and join today!

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