MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – We’ve all seen the claims – eat this for better health or add this for better nutrition.
Even junk foods are now disguised as being good for you.
So, this Monday we’re getting movin’ by giving our grocery list a face lift with some help from Kowalski’s dietitian, Sue Moores.
We all know we need to eat our fruits and vegetables, but what about fiber, Omega-3’s and whole grains?
These so-called “superfoods” can be super frustrating to nutritionists.
“The more claims made on it, the more you should think, ‘red flag,'” Moores said.
Many foods on store shelves now over promise and under deliver.
So, Moores has some tips so you don’t get sucked in.
“Really just look at product labels,” Moores said.
Those veggie chips don’t have many vegetable packed nutrients.
“That first ingredient on there is potato flour, that is not a nutritionally robust ingredient,” Moores said. “And vitamin A is at 0 percent, so in all that processing you lost all the nutrition.”
Same goes for those juices and drinks claiming you’ll lose weight or get more energy.
Moores said drinking your meals might actually make you hungrier.
“When we drink, we don’t get many of our senses engaged and we don’t get that satisfaction nearly as quickly as if we chew our food,” Moores said.
As for multi-grain, that just means different grains in a product.
For a better option, chose whole grains.
“Whole grains like quinoa and freekeh and millet is a groovy grain coming up,” Moores said.
But if you buy it in cracker form, just know whole grains don’t make up 100 percent of the food.
“This is 30 grams weighted, and it says it’s got 12 grams of fiber, so about half of the content of this is whole grains. Half is not,” Moores said.
When you talk brain or heart health, you probably think of Omega-3’s.
But there are two kinds. Fish based and plant based.
“Flax seeds, and walnut and chia seeds. They’re wonderful, but the research isn’t there that it helps your heart,” Moores said.
Many products skip fish based Omega-3’s for taste and cost.
“It’s best to pick the natural sources of Omega-3 than go to the fortified, or enriched foods that have Omega-3 in them,” Moores said.
We also need more fiber, but the type we’re eating can make for an unpleasant feeling later.
“The kind of fiber they’re putting in is usually chicory root or inulin or maltodextrin, just names that you maybe wouldn’t know are fiber. But they’re really pretty gassy fibers or bloating fibers,” Moores said.
To feel fuller longer, and reap the health benefits of fiber, Moores has these recommendations.
“Some of the best sources of fiber are produce, fruits and vegetables, with the skins and seeds eaten. As well as whole grains and beans. Beans probably one of the most undersold foods,” Moores said.
When it comes to superfoods, there isn’t just one out there.
Moores said ignore the claims from processed products and stick to real foods that are packed full of super nutrients.