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We’ve all heard it. We’ve all done it…never judge a book by its cover. However, what I am referring to isn’t about books. Yes, what I am referring to is “health food stores. With the massive jump in health food stores popping up on every corner (so it seems), more and more people get the assumption that anything between those four walls are fair game. Wrong!!!

In this blog I am only going to scratch the surface with this ever growing issue.

The other day I was in my local health food store doing my weekend grocery shopping and I noticed a trend in everyone’s baskets. There seemed to be an abundance of “health” protein bars, “health” baked chips, some “all natural” sweets…and a few other things. Me being in the fitness industry, I became very skeptical of these products and decided to go check them out for myself (the fiancé wasn’t happy it took me two hours to buy three things). As I started to evaluate the nutritional value chart on the back, my jaw dropped! These so called “health” products were nothing short of a candy bar. Sugar ranging from 13 grams a serving up to, an astonishing, 31 grams of sugar. Chips, with loads of preservatives, harmful oils and simple carbohydrates.

Don’t get me wrong, there were floods of shoppers in the produce section, two thumbs up to them. However, 8 out of 10 people (yes, I counted) had these products in there basket, it baffled me as to why?! Then it dawned on me. The store they were in was a health food store, and the package said “healthy dessert”, “organic protein bar” and my favorite, “0 sugar”. They didn’t bother to flip it over, the just judged the book by its cover.

This got me thinking! How many people do this? How many people believe they are eating right or healthy because the packaging says so?

Here is my lesson today, read the nutritional labels. Find out for yourself if this so called, “organic protein bar”, is in fact good for you. I know there is a vast majority of the population that has no clue how to decipher a nutritional label. My advice for you, bring it to your trainer. They will be able to tell you if it’s good for you (or at least they better be able to). If you do not have a trainer, get one who is fluent in nutrition. If you do not want a trainer (for some reason), use the resources you have at hand…the internet. Look up what you are putting in your body. If you do not know what a certain oil is, look it up. If you are not sure how many grams of sugar you should be having in a day, look it up. DO NOT just wander through a health food store being fooled by pretty packaging.

One things I learned in college nutrition classes was to shop the parameter. This is where the fruit, vegetables and fresh meat would be. However, this is not the case anymore. Stores are getting smarter by placing certain things on the parameter to get shoppers on an “impulse buy”. Use what I explained above.

You only get one body, know what you are putting into it!

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