Did you know that when a food has a healthy sounding label, people tend to eat more of it? Think of the last time you bought something that was “low in fat” or had fewer calories; did you eat more or less of it?

Label-confusion-blog

This “healthy label” myth has proven to lead us to consume unnecessary added calories. For example; using two or three spoonful of reduced fat dressing when normally, you might just use less of the regular version…

By eating more foods with the terms “reduced, low or free”, than you would eat of their original versions, you could possibly increase your calorie intake, and make you more likely to gain weight.

Studies have also shown that people tend to eat more foods labeled with “natural” or “healthy” in the titles.

So how would you know what labels to watch out for? Here are a few tips:

  1. In most cases, when fat is reduced in foods, sugar is then added to compensate for the taste.
  2. “Organic” is a farming method and not a health claim. Organic foods are not always lower in calories, sugar, fat, and salt, than non-organic versions.
  3. Yogurt is a great snack, but when its “low in fat or fat-free” it usually means it contains higher amounts of added sugar…
  4. Fruit juice -even pure fruit juice- is loaded with sugar and at the end of the day, is not equivalent or as beneficial to you as eating fresh whole fruits.
  5. Granola has healthy ingredients listed on the label yes… but it’s also very high in fat, sugar, and calories.
  6. Sea salt contains just as much gram for gram sodium as table salt. So while you might feel like sea salt is the better healthier option, just know that it contains just as much sodium as regular table salt.

How about using soup as a smart and easy addition to your eating plan? Studies have shown that those who eat soup have a lower body weight and lower waist circumference; they also eat less calories overall than people who don’t. They also tend to eat less fat and they consume healthier nutrients such as fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Enjoy this soup recipe for a quick and easy weeknight meal. Just go easy on the sodium content.

Broccoli soup

Ingredients:

  • 30 mls or 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • one shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • one head of broccoli stems, chopped
  • 1 liter or 4 cups of no salt added broth
  • 2 mls or half a teaspoon of salt
  • 2 mls or half a teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 60 mls or a quarter cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Directions:
  • Add oil to soup pot on medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and sauté for one minute. Add broccoli,broth,salt and thyme. 
Bring to a boil reduce and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until broccoli is tender. Use immersion blender to puree in a pot or add to a blender and puree until smooth. Serve in soup bowls and garnish with cheddar cheese.