I was on a supermarket trip with one of my clients a few weeks ago, and I was showing her how easy it is to find out if a product is healthy or not.
Just as she was about to reach for the Actimel because she thought it was ‘healthy’, I asked her to have a look at the ingredients. And I took this photo with my phone so that you can learn too!
This product, like many others, claims to give you health. Yet, when you look at the ingredients it seems to do the exact opposite.
Here’s an analysis:
- The top ingredient means it is the most quantity, so from this pic the product has skimmed milk and sugar more than anything else! If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that sugar lowers immunity for up to 15 hours after consumption and messes up hormones, and milk is just another disaster for health (find out why in my blog post about Life After Cheese )
- It goes on to list more dairy in its ingredients in the form of cream and skimmed milk powder. Not good (skimmed or not)
- It also contains ‘natural’ colour in the form of an E-number which I don’t like. Note: there is no restriction on using the word ‘natural’ so anyone can just plaster it on their product. Look up the dangers of E-numbers
- And ‘nature-identical strawberry flavour’ – although I’m told that’s derived from strawberries, I’m still not happy with the sound of that.
So where’s the ‘health’ in all of this?
They might be referring to the beneficial bacteria in the form of Lactobacillus Casei Defensis. Note how it is the smallest ingredient in the product (therefore the least significant). Also, some health experts argue that the presence of sugar in the product makes the bacteria consume it and cancels out their positive effects.
Read the ingredients!
This is the perfect example of how we as consumers have become incapable of reading ingredients for ourselves, and therefore depend on the product labeling (i.e. marketing department) to direct our health.
Next time you’re in the supermarket, make sure you turn the product around and read what’s actually in it. Use your common sense to determine whether or not it’s suitable.
Another example we ran into is the maggi stock cubes. These have MSG (monosodium glutamate) and hydrogenated oils. This means you should run away as far as you can!
Don’t just take my word for it, look it up for yourself!
Enjoy your shopping and Ramadan Kareem!
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