Oh hey! Welcome back to My PHAT Life! OMG! Have you heard about the new protein cookie that is out??? It is plant-based with 16 grams of protein! I may have found my new snack! But If you turn the package over, you see that this cookie has 220 calories per serving (half a cookie), 8 fat, 28 carbs, 11 sugar, and 8 additional added sugars! Ummm…have you really found a good snack or did a gimmick get you? What are gimmicks? Gimmicks are what advertisers use to get people to buy their products. There are a lot of companies that use what is “IN” right now to get people to purchase their products. But do you really know what you are putting in your body?

This is where learning to read a nutrition label comes in. Advertisers tend to use enticing words to get our attention. These days living a “healthier lifestyle” is all the rage. So, what do advertisers aim for? Healthy wording in bold letters that will capture your attention while making your grocery rounds or just looking for a healthy snack. It took me a long time to start reading nutrition labels and I am still learning. When I do not know what an ingredient is, I will look it up, sometimes lol! All transparency over here –I am not perfect, but I will say that learning to read labels has helped me to realize what foods are “better” than others. Let’s look at a few common words that advertisers use in their gimmicks. IMG 0924SQSMall

Organic: Ok, so I know we all have seen this posted on every food nowadays! Organic does not mean healthy! Organic refers to certain agricultural practices. Studies have shown that while organic practices do have a better environmental impact, there is no strong evidence that organic foods are superior to traditional foods.

Gluten free: We know that this means the product contains very little gluten. Gluten is a grain found in barley, wheat, rye, and a few other things. Gluten free diet was originally used to reduce symptoms of celiac disease, which only affects .5 percent of the United States population. There have been no studies to show that a gluten free diet has any benefits for people who do not suffer from symptoms of celiac disease or allergies to wheat.

Protein: Here is a big one! These days, everybody is looking for the product with the most protein. Protein is great for muscle recovery, among other things.  But did you know that eating excessive amounts of protein can cause you to gain weight if you are not doing some type of physical activity. Excess protein is stored as fat! Yes, fat!  So, be mindful of what you are eating and how much.

Low Fat: Just because a product is labeled “fat free” or “low fat” does not make it healthy. When fat is removed from a product it can change the way the product tastes. To give that product its “taste” back, additional things are added, such as added sugar, refined carbs or artificial sweeteners. The things that are being added are more likely to make you gain weight than the actual fat in the product itself.

Sugar Free: of course, we all have picked up the items that say sugar free because we are trying to kick the sugar habit or lose weight, right!? Well in a lot of sugar free items, the sugar is replaced with artificial sweeteners that can be more harmful, than helpful. They can also lead to weight gain if consumed too often.

Let us do a little test to see how this works in the real world! We will use the cookie I described in the beginning and use a glazed donut for comparison.

Protein Cookie Glazed Donut
Per Serving (HALF cookie) Per Serving (WHOLE donut)
220 calories 190 calories
8 grams fat 11 grams fat
23 carbs 22 carbs
11 sugar 10 sugars
8 grams added sugar 0 added sugars
8 grams protein 4 grams protein

Now let’s be clear, I am not saying the donut is healthy but compared to the protein cookie, you might as well eat the donut if the cookie is the other option!

These are just a few of the gimmicks that are out there but there are many more. Advertisers will use whatever tactics needed to sell a product. Moral of the story –try to pay more attention to the labels on the back of a product. Do not let the gimmick get you!

 If you have any questions or even want to inform me about things I do not know (I am always up not learn new things), just shoot me a comment below my video on YouTube or hit me up at @Transforming_insideNout on Insta!

As always, have a great day and STAY ACTIVE!!! ?


More about the author:

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Hello! Welcome to My PHAT Life. My name is Brittani and I am a senior at UAB majoring in Kinesiology, minoring in Psychology. My fitness journey started three and a half years ago. I was on vacation with my daughter at Universal Studios. She was so excited to be there, as was I. She wanted to ride everything, and I was so excited to ride with her. Unfortunately, that did not happen. I was too big for many of the rides, so instead of us enjoying all the rides together, she rode alone or with my wife. That was my breaking point, enough was enough! Things had to change, and they did. I took control of my life and my health. Three and a half years later, I am ready to ride ALL the rides with my daughter!

Join me in My PHAT Life as I share four of the most impactful things, I have learned throughout my fitness journey. Stay tuned for more blogs and videos!