When we think of low-calorie cereal bars or diet soda, we think that they are a healthier alternative for people looking to lose weight or are watching their daily calorie count. While we know these are not foods that are going to help us build muscle or bulk up, we are given the impression by their marketing that they are not going to be bad for us either. Unfortunately, we are misinformed and the marketing behind these types of foods is so strong that many of us have been fooled.
The global food retail industry is a massive profit generating industry which is worth $4 trillion dollars a year. Like many industries, profits matter and the generation of high revenue is key to its success. This does not always end well for food consumers and can often come at a cost to their own health and the healthy food choices they think they are making, but really they are not.
Take diet soda for example. It might seem like the lesser of two evils by comparison to its full fat counterpart, but it is far from it. We know that diet soda options are nowhere as nutritious as drinks like Coconut Water, but what we may not know is that they are heavily laden with artificial sweeteners, one of the worst being Aspartame which ranks 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Aspartame has also been found to prolong sugar cravings rather than satisfy them. Researchers who undertook a study over ten years at the University of Texas, found that diet soda drinkers had a 70% greater increase in the circumference of their waists, compared to people who never drank diet soda.
For more insights into the ‘diet’ foods that appear healthy, but really do not help you have a look at this infographic produced by Evoke.