I recently stumbled across an advertisement for Karo syrup from the 1940s. Karo syrup is a corn syrup often used as a sweetener in baking. Essentially, it is refined sugar and has no nutritional value.
The ad shows an image of a baby and says that babies need Karo syrup to “grow big and strong.” The ad also explains how doctors want moms to know how important Karo is.
It’s easy to look at these old advertisements with misleading messages and laugh at how naïve people were in the past to believe these ideas. But unfortunately, we’re being just as misled today. Many foods and products are being promoted as healthy alternatives, when they are, in fact, not nutritious options. Often they are high in sugar and contain other depleting or inflammatory ingredients.
Common foods marketed as “healthy” that are not include:
- Protein bars
- These are usually far higher in sugar than protein, but the label “sugar bars” would probably not sell very well.
- Flavored yogurts like Noosa or Yoplait
- Orange juice or other fruit juices
- Overnight oats
While these foods are usually too high in sugar to be a healthy snack/breakfast/meal, they can be a wonderful alternative to processed sweets when you are desiring a treat. So while I wouldn’t have Noosa yogurt, granola, or overnight chocolate oats for breakfast, they are perfect when I’m craving something sweet.