Health Check Controversy

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It has come to my attention that “healthier” options in processed foods are popping up everywhere. It seems most companies are coming out with an updated healthy version of a product they sell, on some of which you will find the Heart and Stroke’s Health Check symbol. I am a big advocate of heart and stroke research; however this health check program can be misleading. The Health Check program was put into place to try and help Canadians make healthier choices in grocery stores and restaurants. Each product was to be evaluated and if the product met certain criteria it was given the iconic healthy check symbol. Although, after some research, I found a blog written by a Canadian doctor points out many products that have the health check that are just not healthy. Often products are still full of sugar, sodium and strange chemicals we can’t even pronounce! Here is the link to his blog if you are interested:

http://www.weightymatters.ca/2013/02/the-heart-and-stroke-foundations-once.html

Now I am sure some of you are thinking “Well now what do we do? How do we know what to buy?”. The answer is simple.

1)Buy fresh. Fresh veggies, fruit, meat, etc. and use these ingredients to make your own snacks and meals. Something as simple as a banana/apple with 2 tbsp of natural peanut butter will give you way more nutrients than a store bought granola bar.

2)Read the ingredients and health information. Anything with sugar,glucose-fructose, palm oil, and any ingredients you can’t pronounce…put it down!! Here are a couple tips when reading labels:

  • The less ingredients the better- 5 or less is ideal!
  • Limit the amounts of bad fats. Trans fats should be ZERO.
  • Sodium should be less than 5% of the DV.
  • Watch the serving size…the nutrition information may only be for a portion of the package.
  • The more vitamins and minerals the better…but doesn’t necessarily mean the food is healthy.
  • Some labels will say “high fibre” when in reality the food only contains 2g. Aim for 4g or higher.

Here is a link to some very delicious muffins, granola bars and other snacks! These don’t take much time and are much healthier than anything store bought, lets not forget they are very delicious!

http://www.cookincanuck.com/2012/01/low-fat-granola-bars-with-bananas-cranberries-pecans-recipe/

http://fitandhealthywithdebbie.blogspot.ca/2012/10/banana-oatmeal-breakfast-muffins.html#.UnKqiXBqCm4

http://blog.jchongstudio.com/2013/10/pumpkin-muffins-with-chocolate-chips.html?crlt.pid=camp.81jZou0noji5

http://www.dailybitesblog.com/2012/10/04/almond-chai-breakfast-clusters/

http://onceamonthmeals.com/skinny-monkey-cookies/

Enjoy and love always 🙂

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