I almost never quote articles here at An American Housewife but when I read this one yesterday I felt I was sitting at the table having coffee with the author and we were both on the same page of venting about the stupidity of the FDA guidelines of what is 'healthy'. I wanted to reach through my computer and high-five her!
I remember the moment when my oldest child was in high school and came home to tell me the powers that be decided to revamp their snack and juice machines. In order to be healthy (cough cough) they were removing all the soda's (ok) and diet sugar-free soda's and replacing them with juice drinks like apple juice.
Bless their hearts; they probably thought they were doing a good thing.
I already knew about the amount of sugar in 'juice' which is why for the most part, my three children did not grow up drinking it. Seeing people filling their babies bottles with apple 'juice' drinks made me ill but just try telling the average person that apple juice isn't really healthy (or that their tiny babies don't need apple juice) and you'll not have a receptive audience.
Think if it says "unsweetened" that it doesn't contain sugar?
An "unsweetened" cup (8 oz.) of apple juice has 24-26 g of sugar.
Exactly as much sugar per ounce as a can of Coke.
I have posted about this site I love that gives you great visuals to the amount of sugar in various food and drink - I heart them! SugarStacks.com
The thing is, most people tend to 'grab and buy' and don't realize their healthy cranberry juice is probably sweetened with grape and apple juice concentrates, contributing to 36 g of sugar per cup.
And don't even get me started that most juice (and foods in general) are crammed with high-fructose corn syrup.
"It is known, that too much added sugar of all kinds — not just high-fructose corn syrup — can contribute unwanted calories that are linked to health problems, such as weight gain, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and high triglyceride levels. All of these boost your risk of heart disease.
The American Heart Association recommends that most women get no more than 100 calories a day of added sugar from any source, and that most men get no more than 150 calories a day of added sugar. That's about 6 teaspoons of added sugar for women and 9 teaspoons for men.
If you're concerned about your health, the smart play is to cut back on added sugar, regardless of the type."
Now... about that article I mentioned! I'm not a big fan of our government in general but the FDA is ripe for revamping.
6 Insane Things The Government Says Are Healthy
In case you missed it, the nutrition-conscious folks over at the FDA have proven themselves to have a pretty whacked-out definition of the word "healthy." Case in point: The agency attacked Kind bars—a snack made mostly of good-for-you nuts, seeds, and dried fruit—for using the claim when it technically shouldn't have.
Because believe it or not, any food that packs more than 5 grams of fat and 2 grams of saturated fat cannot, by law, call itself healthy. So, according to the government, Kind bars are out. Almond butter and olive oil are out. Even avocados and salmon, which are widely considered to be two of the healthiest foods you can possibly eat, are out.
It's so insane that Kind decided to fight back by issuing a petition calling for the FDA to pull its definition of healthyout of the 1980s and into the 21st century.
Hopefully it works, but until then, we're stuck with some pretty weird healthy—by government standards—foods. Take a look at this list. (And no, there isn't something wrong with your monitor.)
1. Frosted Breakfast Pastries
Think a pastry made with refined flour, filled with neon colored goo, and topped with icing and sprinkles is the stuff that healthy breakfasts are made of? So does the FDA. At just 190 empty calories, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, and more than 4 teaspoons of sugar, these babies are clearly a health nut's dream.
2. Sugar-Free, Fat-Free Chocolate Pudding
Who cares if it's made of modified cornstarch, maltodextrin, and aspartame? This delectable dessert has zero grams of fat and saturated fat and only 13 percent of your daily sodium. Eat it for a treat—or heck, maybe you should have it instead of that fat-laden salmon for dinner.
3. Sugary Breakfast Cereals
You should probably start your day with a bowl of refined flour–based loops or flakes that pack 10 grams or more of sugar per serving. Because they're really low in fat and sodium and are fortified with nutrients—like calcium, iron, and vitamin C—that you could never find in real food.
4. Frozen Bagels
At 230 calories of purely empty carbs, this is about as wholesome as you can get. Just don't ruin the thing by slathering on any fatty peanut butter or almond butter so you actually stay full for more than five minutes. Because then it won't be healthy anymore.
5. Fat-Free Strawberry Milk
Whole milk packs 8 grams of fat and 5 grams of saturated fat per 8-ounce glass, so it's clearly not healthy. But fat-free strawberry milk, which delivers 5 teaspoons of sugar per serving, totally is. FDA, you're blowing our minds.
6. Chewy Fruit Snacks
Leathers, gummies, you name it. As long as they contain at least 10 percent of your daily vitamin C, these babies are healthy. The fact that they also contain nearly 2 teaspoons of sugar per serving along with a generous dose of artificial colors? Irrelevant. So you definitely shouldn't feel bad about picking these over actual fruit.