If you've ever been shopping and wondered if those foods labeled "low-fat" or "reduced calories" are good for your diet, you're not alone. On the Jan. 22 episode of his talk show, Dr. Mehmet Oz explored diet food deceptions. Plus: Get his green drink smoothie recipe to kick-start your day.
Before you head to the grocery store or health food store, take note of these diet food marketing deceptions, says Dr. Oz:
- Reduced fat or low fat: If you see this on the label, beware. Manufacturers sometimes replace fat with sugar, which can actually make a product less healthy.
- Cholesterol-free: This term is meaningless, because some foods are naturally free of cholesterol.
- Trans-fat-free: Here's another way that companies can deceive you, warns Dr. Oz. Even though the label can say "zero trans fat," it can still contains small amounts. You'll need to check the list of ingredients carefully, looking for artificial trans fats such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Grocery stores and health food stores also contain shelves of pre-made green drinks and smoothies. Think that they're all great for your waistline and health? Wrong, says Dr. Oz. Some are so full of sugar and corresponding calories that they can actually derail your diet and cause your weight loss to stall.
In addition, some fruits are naturally higher in sugar, such as grapes, mangoes and bananas. If you buy a pre-made green drink or smoothie, look for one that has only one-third fruit and two-thirds veggies. Even better, because these drinks can be so expensive, consider making your own.
Try kick-starting your day with Dr. Oz's Green Drink recipe below.
Makes 3-4 servings (about 28-30 oz)
- 2 cups spinach
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1/4 head of celery
- 1/2 bunch parsley
- 1 bunch mint
- 3 carrots
- 2 apples
- 1/4 orange
- 1/4 lime
- 1/4 lemon
- 1/4 pineapple
Combine all ingredients in a blender.