Today I’m posting about something I have noticed that should be changed- check out counters at supermarkets. One glance at the display of convenient on-the-go snacks and candy reveals numerous options- all filled with artificial flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, and dyes. While we may see these sugar-filled treats as a quick snack when we are in a pinch, they really don’t help us do anything quick at all. As a matter of fact, they slow down our metabolism and decrease our energy. Some of the options I’ve seen (candy bars and processed protein bars) include ingredients such as Yellow 6, Red 40, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and Partially-Hydrogenated Oil. Below, I explained why these ingredients, in our on-the-go snacks, are so harmful.
Partially Hydrogenated Oil- Many candies and bars contain this oil, which despite the label of “No Trans-Fat,” actually contains some trans-fats. However, if the amount is under 0.5g, it is still able to be labeled as “0g Trans Fat,” and therefore can be very unhealthy for us. Partially hydrogenated oil can increase your risk of heart disease, cause inflammation, and can raise cholesterol to a high level. (Source: American Heart Association)
Yellow 6 and Red 40- Artificial dyes seem to be in most everything, and can be very dangerous. They are linked to hyperactivity in kids, an increase in food allergies, and, in some cases, are linked to cancer-causing contaminants. (Source: FDA and forbes.com)
High Fructose Corn Syrup: High Fructose Corn Syrup is another common sweetener in packaged snacks and candy, and can also be linked to harmful diseases and illnesses. It is related to health problems including type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease. (Source: Mayo Clinic)
As you can see, these health effects can be pretty dangerous, and while they don’t happen all the time, they are still a risk. Besides, who would want ingredients you can’t even pronounce in your food? I know I don’t.
Although there are countless processed foods at check-out counters in supermarkets all around the United States, there are plenty of healthy options that could be advertised instead. Why would grocery stores want to advertise dangerous, harmful foods when they could sell nutritious, energizing ones?
One of my favorite bars on the go, Larabars, are made with very few ingredients and are certainly delicious! They contain just 2-9 ingredients, are made of fruits, nuts, and spices, and are certified organic, vegan, and gluten free, making them suitable for people with allergies. I would love to see more stores (some carry this bar at the check-out counter!) selling organic bars like these as an on-the-go snack.
Thanks so much, and comment your favorite healthy snack to substitute for check-out counter products. Do you think check-out counters should change their offerings? Leave a comment and let me know! 🙂