Deceptive Products and the Swap Cop

You know Remy from the kid’s movie Ratatouille? If you’re not up to date on Disney rodents, he’s the rat that has an odd power to tell if food is poisoned. Well the other day, I bought a box of Good Earth caffeine Free Sweet and Spicy Tea, assuming it was clean by the organic looking package, and the words “natural” and “antioxidants” on the front, plus soothing image of two people gardening on a sunny day. Without so much as a glance to the ingredients, I added it to the cart. When I took a sip, I knew something was off. Not having eaten artificial flavors for over a year, I was super sensitive and could tell right away. The truth is, the picture should be two people in a laboratory combining chemical compounds to make artificial flavors. Because that’s not the last, not the fifth, not the fourth, but the THIRD ingredient in this tea.

It’s not so much the artificial flavors that bothered me, although I do hate them. Although you want to avoid them as much as you can, having an artificial flavor on a few occasions is not the end of the world. What bothered me is how deceptive the packing was, with health claims lathered all over a not healthy product. I have been noticing this trend more and more, so decided to put together a health post:) Here are some deceptive products, and  a homemade swap/ product swap for each!

Deceptive product #1: Good Earth Tea

 Ingredients: Black tea, artificial flavor, rosehips, chamomile,
 cinnamon, lemongrass, peppermint, jasmine tea,
papaya leaves, anise seed, ginger root, orange
peel and orange oil.

Product Swap: Tazo Passion Tea! Just as much bold flavor, no artificial anything.

Deceptive Product #2: Yoplait Light

Obviously, this is anything but healthy. It may be lower in calories, but it’s stuffed with Aspartame, sugar, and dye. Yummy.

Product Swap: Voskos Honey or Chobani Plain/Vanilla– Still on the less expensive side, these yogurts are natural and have less than 15g of sugar! Plus, they happen to be amazing:)

Homemade Swap:

DIY Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt

Deceptive Product #3: MorningStar Grillers. They have good intentions, but are essentially wannabe healthy burgers. 😦 You would be better off with a burger!

Water, textured soy protein concentrate, corn oil, contains two percent or less of autolyzed yeast extract, vegetable gum, natural flavors from vegetable sources, maltodextrin, soy fiber, salt, carrageenan, potato starch, onion powder, caramel color, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, konjac flour, sunflower oil, sesame seed oil, soy sauce (water, soybeans, wheat, salt), concentrated onion juice, ascorbic acid, vinegar powder, citric acid, aspartic acid, modified corn starch, malic acid, succinic acid, tartaric acid, lactic acid, wheat flour, soy lecithin.

Homemade Swap: Veggie Burgers! Easiest meal ever, and so healthy! Choose your base (ex. quinoa), your veggie (ex. mushroom, beets, carrot, spinach), your binder (ex. flax egg, egg, tahini), and your flavor (ex. Italian, Southwest, BBQ). Food process, bake for 25 minutes, and enjoy!

Product Swap: Sunshine Veggie Burgers– vegan, filling, and so flavorful! Here’s my review:  Dr. Praeger’s is a good way to go, too!

Deceptive Product #4: Nature Valley Chewy Bars. I’m getting a little picky here. There’s a lot more that could be wrong here, and I love that oats are the first ingredient. But a close second is High Maltose Corn Syrup, sugar, barley malt, sugar again, honey and fructose. That’s sugar listed 6 times!!

Homemade Swap: Easy Energy Bars! I make a batch of these at the beginning of the week to have on hand. They are fresh, soft, chewy, and with no added sugar!

Product Swap: Perfect Foods Bar. I chose to list this bar here because if you’re used to very sweet and chewy bars, this will satisfy you. Plus it has fruits, veggies, and almond butter.

Deceptive Product #5: Smart Start Cereal. Because there’s nothing more intelligent than breaking the fast with than a big bowl of polydextrose, BHT, and artifical flavor. Mmm.

Ingredients: Oat Bran, Rice, Sugar, Oat Clusters (Sugar, Toasted Oats [Rolled Oats, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Molasses, Honey], Wheat Flakes, Crisp Rice [Rice, Sugar, Malt, Salt], Corn Syrup, Polydextrose, Honey, Cinnamon, BHT for Freshness, Artificial Vanilla Flavor), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Malt Flavoring, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Baking Soda, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Niacinamide, Zinc Oxide, Reduced Iron, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), BHT (Preservative), Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D.

Homemade Swap: Hearty Granola or Muesli. Easily a favorite breakfast of mine! I pour it over yogurtor eat it dry, and it’s even healthy enough to enjoy a good sized serving with almondmilk or milk.

Product Swap: Ezekiel Cereals, Kashi Island Vanilla, Galaxy Granola, Mom’s Best Shredded Wheat, Kashi GoLean– the list could go on forever! And that’s always a good thing in the world of health- I love selection! 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post! Maybe you already knew about all of these products, or maybe you feel like you’ve been cheated, too. Either way, it’s always a good reminder to read the labels!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend:)

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Deceptive Products and the Swap Cop

  1. I love this post!! I feel the EXACT same way when I look at those products in the store–it makes me so angry that they are plastered with “healthy” claims when their ingredient list is a living nightmare:P I completely agree with you about the Mornningstar veggie burgers; they have too many artificial and processed ingredients for my liking…Cereal claims drive me crazy too– sugary cereals such as Cocoa Puffs are marketed as “healthy” because they have “fiber and whole grains.” Really?? What about the corn syrup, artificial flavors, and BHT??? And two grams of fiber per serving is rather pitiful:P Well, enough ranting, thanks for sharing such a wonderful post!!

    • My pleasure!:) I completely agree with the fact that the cereal claims are so false! I used to eat Lucky Charms like no other once I heard there was fiber in them! Of course, I only ate the marshmallows, which ensured I wasn’t getting even the pititful amount of fiber haha!

  2. Fabulous post! What a wonderful way to educate people on what they are putting into their bodies. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. I love this! I totally agree that there are so many products out on the market that look “healthy” but are nothing of the sort!

  4. Love this post! Totally true too; you have to, have to, have to read the labels. Just because you buy t at whole foods or trader joes doesn’t mean it’s always good for you.

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