Fox News Segment: “Healthy” Food Fat & Sugar Pitfalls

There are so many foods out there that are assumed to be healthy for you, but in actuality, have some alarming fat and sugar levels. We broke down these foods on Fox News Chicago’s “Good Day Chicago” with Melody Mendez this morning and provided you with healthier alternatives. As always, my journey starts at my favorite grocery store, Plum Market in Old Town.  With 100 percent organic produce and over 100 locally sourced brands, there are endless healthy choices on-site. It was a simple experience for me to walk in, snag some uncommonly found no-sugar added dried fruits, unsweetened coconut flakes, and more ingredients, to help prep my food…I LOVE SIMPLICITY! After all, walkin’ this baby bump around, arduously trying to find healthy options, is not ideal.

Melody and I discussed granola, pre-made smoothies, trail mix, muffins, and nut butters. Granola is such a common high fat, high sugar, processed food. You need to really be careful when making choices. KIND Snacksmakes it a no-brainer by providing you with several tasty 100 percent healthy grains cluster options that are commonly found in stores. You need to look for whole grains, raw nuts or seeds (roasted means they have added fat thanks to the oils used to roast them,) no added sugar or a low amount of natural sugar (agave, pure maple syrup, raw honey, etc.)

Smoothies are another common food that can be super unhealthy if not made right. Chock it up to sugary yogurts and flavored milks with too much fruit and added sugar. Make your own to solve that problem!  It’s simple! We used 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, 1/2 cup of fresh berries, and 1 small banana- we tossed in 1TB of Chia seeds to add some healthier fat.

You remember trail mix from your childhood, right?  M&M’s, nuts, marshmallows, and more…a baggie of sugary goodness. Let’s change-it-up. We made trail mix with an equal mix of unsweetened coconut flakes, no-sugar and unsulphured dried apricots and cranberries, organic dark chocolate chunks, & raw pumpkin seeds. Forget the oily roasted nuts and seeds, the milk chocolate, and the heavily sugared dried fruits- those are empty and dangerous calories.

Next up- muffins! Have you ever noticed that muffins are the size of your head? These large and in charge sugary treats can be just as bad for you as donuts. Baking your own with high fiber flours and replacing the usual oils and butters with better-for-you ingredients like Greek yogurt and unsweetened applesauce, can change these into guilt-free treats. We love coconut flour or gluten-free buckwheat flours as the base!

Last up are the ever-popular nut and seed butters. Many people have transitioned to almond and/or sunflower seed butters as of late, avoiding the commonly blasted peanut butter. But, do you read the label when making the switch? Most people just assume it is healthier. Check out the makeup of these butters and opt for some with 2-3 ingredients. I love the Once Again brand for nut and seed butters because they are clean and simple.

We hope this helps you avoid the pitfalls of hidden fat and sugars and enables you to snack healthier, while still enjoying these food groups!

Here is the link to the segment @fox32news!