We participated earlier this week in the American Dietetic Association’s Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. The expo includes a showcase by food companies boasting their healthy products to masses of dietitians and future dietitians.
Some products are clearly healthy and make sense, but others obviously have no room in a nutrition conference being held by America’s leading dietetic group. But then again, the conference is sponsored by Coca Cola, Mars, and a few other junk food companies, so what could we expect. Here is a sampling of good products and bad bad products:
Unsweetened Teas – both Coca Cola’s Sokenbicha brand, and smaller Guayaki Yerba Mate add nothing but tea leaves and flavorings to water, to create a flavor that is very common in countries such as Japan, but difficult to appreciate by sugar laden taste buds of American consumers. Keep trying, after a while you won’t be able to get back to suagry drinks.
Blueberries – what can we say – the local, sweet, delicious, antioxidant powerhouse.
Nuts – the pistachio board put together an impressive booth branding “the green nut.” Almonds also had a nice presence.
Unsweetened Greek Yogurt from Chobani - a great way to start the day, add your own granola or diced fruit.
Hidden Valley Light Ranch Dressing – designed to encourage kids to consume veggies, this dressing has more chemicals than a teen has zits, including phosphoric acid, artificial colors, MSG, artificial flavors, and a few more.
Kellogg’s Corn Pops – including 2 and half teaspoons of sugar, trans-fats, and BHT, a controversial preservative.
Frito Lay Potato Chips – yes, they are made with only 3 ingredients. Yes, they are lower in sodium than pretzels. No, they do not belong in a a nutrition expo, where one would expect foods that dietitians should recommend to clients. But PepsiCo, parent company of Frito-Lay is an expo sponsor…
Gimme milk chocolate candies fortified with vitamins and minerals -This can’t be real. They’ve taken candy and fortified it. Wrong on so many levels.
Naked juice, Juicy juice, and other sugary beverages – yes, they’re made without any added sugar, but the sheer amount of beverages offered at the expo creates an environment where offering juice as a soda alternative for daily consumptions seems like a smart choice. The fact is, juice should be considered a once in a while treat, not a daily hydration solution.