Healthy Eating? Find Out What Could Be Hiding In Your Foods

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

Do we need to be a detective to find out which foods are healthy?

Magnify Glass


In yesterday’s Washington Post,  Jennifer LaRue Huget, blogger for “The Check Up” writes about the new unhealthy line of Kraft Lunchables.

Kraft calls the new line “wholesome,” but are they?

Turkey and Cheddar Sub Sandwich seems like it could be a healthy choice, but actually it is filled with fat, sodium and sugar.  Here’s a complete list of ingredients that may shock you.

Digging a little deeper

I’m curious now to find out what’s behind the “New Deep Dish Cheese Pizza.”  Here’s how it’s described:

You won’t have to dig deep for our Deep Dish Pizza, made with Kraft 2% Mozzarella and 2% Cheddar, deep dish crust made with whole grain, Tombstone Pizza Sauce, Tree Top® Applesauce, Mini Nilla Wafers, spring water and Tropical Punch Kool-Aid Singles.

It doesn’t sound so bad, does it?  Low fat cheese, whole grain crust, pizza sauce, applesauce, mini Nilla Wafers, spring water; what’s so bad about that?  One more ingredient includes Tropical Punch Kool-Aid Singles.  Hmm…what was wrong with just the water?  Why add all that sugar?

Okay, I’m digging deeper now to read the ingredients.  Well, take a peek, and you decide.  The long list of ingredients isn’t healthy.  The Deep Dish Pizza is filled with fat, calories, sodium, cholesterol, and sugar.

Read the Ingredients

It’s really important to read the ingredients and not just the label.  The packaging and wording are created in such a way to capture your attention and it gives the appearance that it’s healthy, but in fact it is not.

Playing detective

You could actually make a game out of this with your kids.  Take them food shopping with you and have them take the “Food Label Challenge Test.”  (I just made that up).  Show them the package and the front label, ask them if they think it’s healthy or not.  Have them read the ingredients, you may be surprised at what you find!  The little gumshoes may enjoy the challenge.

So remember, make sure the next time you’re out food shopping, read the ingredients, not just the front label. Playing detective might not be such a bad idea; you may be surprised at what you find in your foods.

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