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Beware of Imposter Health Foods

For weight loss, read nutrition labelsWith constant buzzing of what’s new and popular in terms of health foods today, making health- conscious, wise decisions at the grocery store is an important aspect to your weight loss. New Jersey weight loss patients need to make sure they know the facts about possible health food scams before giving them the green-light at the grocery store. Remember, manufacturers are trying to make a profit, and you are their number one target!

On your next trip to the grocery store, make an extra health-conscious decision and read your labels before trying these three health food fads.

Bogus Blueberries

Blueberries amongst other types of berries have become extremely popular lately with their ‘super fruit’ benefits, but beware of imposters at the grocery store. Many food companies are labeling products as “blueberry” when in fact they’re only manufacturing the products to look like real blueberries. Falsely mistaking the imposters for the real nutritious choice could cost you an abundance of sugars, starches, hydrogenates oils and food dyes—not the healthiest ingredients when you’re trying to maintain weight loss.

Look for these phony blueberry warning signs:

  • If “blueberry” is far down on the list of the ingredients, it probably doesn’t contain 100 percent blueberry.
  • If any red or blue dyes are included on the list of ingredients, true blueberries may not be included.
  • If any modifiers such as “crunchlet,” “bit” and “cluster” come before blueberry on the package, it’s a red flag.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Not

Lately, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has been climbing the ladder as yet another top health food craze and mostly for good reasons. This highest grade of olive oil comes from the first press of olives within less than 24 hours after being harvested—meaning it has not been chemically treated with any additives. However, you have to watch out for shams—a study in California found that two-thirds of common brand-name EVOO were actually regular olive, canola or nut oils. This is an expensive little scam considering consumers usually pay twice the money for EVOO—that is when it’s real or in this case, even when it’s not so real.

Confirm olive oil is real EVOO:

  • True EVOO has a fruity smell much like fresh olives, so do the sniff test!
  • Look to see if it’s packaged in a darker bottle than other olive oils.
  • Make sure there is only one country of origin listed.
  • Look for the USDA Organic stamp somewhere on the bottle.

Not-so Buzz Worthy Honey

Honey has becomes super popular amongst health food addicts looking for the next craze. Honey is known to have several health benefits—it’s nature’s energy booster, a great immunity system builder and a natural remedy for certain ailments. The key to its buzz-worthy benefits is pollen. Pollen is a great, natural source of antioxidants; however, most honey on the market is ultra-filtered and therefore has little to no pollen.

Get all of honey’s health benefits:

  • When scanning your label, make sure honey is the only ingredient—this means no sugar, corn or rice syrups.
  • Look for an organic honey to make sure you’re getting all of the added pollen benefits of pure honey.
  • Get it straight from the hive to the jar instead—many local natural food stores or farmers markets in Denville and Hackensack sell honey.

When you’re trying to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle, it is okay to be curious about the latest health food trends, but it’s also important to be knowledgeable. Do your research before trying new fads and make sure to always read the labels of the products you buy to ensure quality. If you still have questions about which health foods are right for you, don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Chhabra.