People are big on eating healthy these days. Supermarket aisles are packed with products screaming “low fat!” and “sugar-free!” while fast food chains serve up salads and apple slices and friggin’ oatmeal. But just because a product claims to be healthy doesn’t mean it isn’t secretly plotting to kill you in your sleep. Take, for instance, the six items below. Wait’ll you see the dirt we have on yogurt and smoothies…
The key phrase here is “tea-like.” Because while these drinks say the word “tea” right on the label, drinking one to achieve the health benefits of tea is kind of like eating a Big Mac to achieve the health benefits of lettuce and tomatoes.
Sure, there’s a little bit of tea in these drinks, but it’s severely outweighed by the amount of sugar added to the beverage to make it delicious and desirable to the hordes of sweet-toothed consumers who suck it down by the gallon each day. A bottle of Snapple Iced Tea, for instance, contains 25 grams of sugar or more. That’s almost as much as a can of Mountain Dew (31 grams), which, as we all know, destroys your teeth, shrinks your testicles and turns you into a mindless video game drone with no chance of ever getting laid again ever.
Crazy high sugar levels aren’t the only shady things going on in these drinks. According to Consumer Reports, many of tea-like beverages deliver only a fraction of the antioxidants and other health benefits you get from drinking real brewed tea. So just brew some damn tea already. The British have been doing it for centuries and look at them. Oh… we see. OK, stick with the bottled crap.
It’s mostly liquid, so it should be easy on the waistline, right? Not really. The main reason soup tastes so good is that’s it’s loaded with sodium, which, it turns out, is pretty bad for you when consumed in excess. Just one serving of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle—a freakin’ American classic—boasts 870 milligrams of sodium, or 36 percent of your daily recommended intake.
Keep in mind, that’s just one serving. Look at any standard-sized can of soup and you’ll notice it actually contains two servings or more. And since you’re not three years old, chances are you’re going to eat the whole can, along with the entire 1,740 milligrams of sodium hidden within its rich, soupy goodness.
Is it possible to feel betrayed by a food item? If so, soup just cut us deep.
First off, frozen yogurt contains just as much sugar as ice cream. A half-cup of original tart from the ultra-trendy Pinkberry actually contains more sugar (20 grams) than the same serving of Ben and Jerry’s vanilla (19 grams). Which we could probably live with, if it weren’t for the fact that for a long time, Pinkberry wasn’t even legally classified as yogurt. When Pinkberry opened in 2006, the company was immediately greeted by skepticism over its claim of offering an “all natural” frozen yogurt product. Wary critics demanded to see Pinkberry’s list of ingredients, but the company wouldn’t oblige until a lawsuit in 2008 forced them to reveal what was in the yogurt.
Turns out it took 23 ingredients to form Pinkberry’s product, including a lengthy rundown of corn syrup-based sugars, preservatives and hard-to-pronounce chemical additives. As University of Minnesota food science professor Dr. Gary A. Reineccius remarked to the New York Times following the suit, these far-from-natural ingredients were “there to make something smooth, sweet and tangy that would otherwise be gritty and flavorless in a frozen state.”
Then the LA Times sent a sample of Pinkberry’s yogurt to a lab for further analysis. The lab reported that the yogurt actually contained too few live active cultures (the stuff that makes yogurt good for you) to be legally considered yogurt. So Pinkberry had been selling a delicious chemical knockoff, and people loved it. The company has since altered its recipe enough to call it yogurt and limited its use of additives, but who knows what all the other dozens of frozen yogurt chains across the nation are feeding people? Long story short: If it tastes amazing, looks like ice cream and is labeled “healthy,” it’s probably too good to be true.