Many foods claim to be healthy and nutritious, when in fact, they are truly junk food. Companies market these junk foods as being healthy due to added vitamins and minerals, as well as having zero trans fat. However, this is simply a marketing tactic to lure people into purchasing their products. In fact, it can be hard to find foods that don’t contain a healthy-sounding additive. Consumers need to be aware that many of these foods simply have deceptive labels that trick consumers into believing they are buying healthy foods, when in reality, the foods are rather unhealthy.
A great example of this marketing trick is the cereal industry. Many cereals claim to have added whole grains, be an excellent source of fiber, and be enriched with necessary vitamins and minerals. When looking more closely though, cereals are processed, unhealthy, full of sugar, and the added vitamins are synthetic. And let’s not forget the protein bar (or as I like to call them candy bars) craze of the 90’s and early 2000’s. If we didn’t learn from that, will we ever?
Synthetic Vitamins and Minerals
Along with cereal, snacks such as crackers, cookies, pudding, milk, and juices are fortified with synthetic vitamins. Synthetic vitamins are manmade vitamins that mimic naturally occurring vitamins. Including vitamins and minerals in your everyday diet is crucial, but consuming all of your vitamins in the synthetic form does not equate to consuming natural vitamins. Take the apple for example: there are over 300 naturally occurring phytonutrients that are very difficult to encapsulate. In addition to the natural pigments in the skin, pectin, the fiber found in apples are super beneficial to digestive health.
Refined flour and flour-based products are almost always fortified with vitamins. Why do food manufacturers have to add the vitamins and minerals? Because processing food removes the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. If food manufacturers left processing out of the production process, many foods would already have naturally present vitamins and minerals. Instead, natural vitamins and minerals have to be replaced thanks to today’s highly processed food market.
When looking to consume a diet well balanced in vitamins and minerals, always turn to natural food choices. Our bodies are meant to eat natural foods with naturally existing vitamins. Many synthetic vitamins have been found to have little to no health benefits because they are not easily absorbed. The body, on the other hand, readily absorbs natural vitamins. The body will better receive vitamins from fruits and vegetables than vitamins from a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch – and you’ll be eating less sugar and unhealthy fat as well!
Often times, people who receive their vitamins synthetically have an unbalanced, unhealthy diet because they choose to eat the sugary cereals and processed fruit snacks instead of natural, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, legumes, and lean meats. Eat your fruits and vegetables and stay away from refined flours and processed foods. When looking for whether a food has been fortified, turn to the ingredients list. If the vitamin or mineral is listed in the ingredients list, chances are, it has been added as a fortifier, and is not a naturally occurring vitamin or mineral.
Top Five Tips to Avoid Processed and Fortified Foods
- Replace refined flours with sprouted grains and bread like Ezekiel 4:9 Food For Life
- Replace protein bars with real food. Opt for a piece of seasonal fruit and one serving of raw nuts or seeds instead. You’ll also save money by doing this…
- If something sounds too good to be true–it usually is. Don’t buy into deceptive marketing like Pepsi’s new fat-burning soda.
- Eat foods from the ground or those that make a sound. Think about it: do packaged foods grow out of the ground?
- All foods that are fortified (yes, I said all) are processed. Keep 95% of your diet clean by consuming power foods like: vegetables, fruits, lean protein, nuts and seeds.