I have a really hard time reading articles from big media outlets that try to give health and nutrition advice.
Generally, it's because the advice is really, really bad. I seriously doubt that people writing this stuff know much of anything about good nutrition.
But today I've just had it! I'm calling the supposed health "experts" on Yahoo! Health out! People are actually reading these articles. Their reading them and then using the information as justification for the nutrition decisions they make.
One article today was from Yahoo! Health called the 5 Vending Machine Snacks to Avoid and 5 Healthier Options (but they only give you 4).
Granted it's not going viral or anything but this article has been shared on Facebook 230 times as of this writing. To me that's 230 times TOO MANY! I'm also sure that the number of shares will continue to go up as the day goes on.
The foods they tell you to avoid are no brainers. Things like Lay's Potato Chips and Entenmann's Jumbo Iced Honey Buns. Really... that's Earth Shattering stuff right there! You mean I shouldn't be eating a Entenmann's Jumbo Iced Honey Bun every day for breakfast?
But besides naming the obvious bad foods we get to the worst part of the article which is the four "better" options.
Here they are along with my commentary on why you should avoid them all together.
1. Triscuit Originals - The justification they gave is that a serving has 6 grams of fiber and only 240 calories. We need to wake up on this fiber thing. Nothing... and I mean nothing... holds a candle to the fiber you get from good ole veggies and fruits... nothing!
If you want to get your dietary fiber from eating boxes of sawdust then go ahead and eat Triscuits. The two main ingredients for Triscuits are wheat and soybean oil. No thanks.
If you're a paleo/primal/gluten free person then absolutely avoid these. They used to be a staple in my diet and I used to be 33 pounds heavier with chronic digestive issues... thanks a lot whole wheat fiber!
2. Chex Mix (Traditional) - Palm to face! Are you kidding me? They say in the article... "Made from breakfast cereal, which makes it seem healthy, but it's nutritionally similar to other salty snacks. Still, a better choice when you're in a crunch." Ummmm... No! You would be better off fasting and not eating anything if Chex Mix was your only option.
Here's a nice list of ingredients from the Chex Mix Traditional label... Enriched Flour, Degermed Yellow Corn Meal, Vegetable Oil, Sugar, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Maltodetrin, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate and Freshness Preserved by BHT. How about... eat an apple!
3. Peanuts - I will admit that this is a better option versus most of the crap in a vending machine. But if you're trying to go for optimal nutrition then peanuts are anything but an optimal choice. Please go read about aflatoxins in this article on Marks Daily Apple. A better option would be to store some almonds or pine nuts in your desk drawer.
4. Trail Mix - This is a really bad option unless you've been hiking for days without any food. Most people are sitting at their desks staring at a computer when hunger strikes. So going to the vending machine and loading up on a mix of peanuts, M&Ms and raisins is not a good idea.
We already discussed peanuts (see above) and their poor nutritional value. Now you want to add the sugar spiking affects of M&Ms and Raisins on top of that? Not a good idea. Chances are you'll be going back to your desk to eat your snack and your body will do nothing but go into fat storing mode.
Stay clear of trail mix unless it looks more like this... and even then you should take it easy on it.
So there you have it... nutrition advice from mass media.
The main problem with these types of articles is not the outrageously bad advice and information in them... even though that is a BIG problem.
The main problem is the fact that new ones come out every single day. People read these articles to find useful information and instead they get horrible advice that hurts their health and keeps them from achieving their goals.
Help Us Fight Back Against Bad Nutrition Advice... Share This Post!
We will continue to do our part to share information and advice that is GREAT for your health. Let's show mass media that good advice can't be held down and help us by sharing this article. I would love to see it top the 230 mark that the unhealthy article received. You rock!
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