Thanks to consumer reports for some helpful food related tips. We’re all for unprocessed, close to the farm food as possible but we are a creative bunch when it comes to food.  Whether it’s growing food, cooking it, marketing or selling it, we all love to eat food.  We share that like the majority of our DNA. A delicious meal can work wonders.

Our  food choices make the biggest long term impact on our health, vitality, and quality of life.  So here are some of their suggestions. ( If you like applesauce and you want some, you should eat some. Just buy organic and make sure there’s no sugar added).  Let the “no sugar added” on a label guide you as you build some key criteria to know about the food you’re eating. The good news is that eating high quality, nutrition dense food impacts how your body responds – and how good you feel.

The report on unhealthy “health” food features 12 not-so-nutritious foods that can fool you into thinking they’re good for you, such as turkey hot dogs and even applesauce.

“If you’re serious about losing those extra pounds, then these foods should be strictly off-limits,” says Gayle Williams, editor, Food & Fitness.  “But for every unhealthy food choice, there’s a satisfying alternative that we recommend to replace it.”  Some examples from the list:

Applesauce: When sweetened, it has a lot of added sugar, as much as 200 calories in a 1-cup serving.

TRY THIS: Reach for the unsweetened variety and try adding cinnamon. Or better, says Williams, eat an apple.



Turkey Hot Dogs: They tend to be surprisingly high in fat—higher, even, than regular hot dogs. And some are loaded with sodium and nitrates.

TRY THIS: Consider a turkey breast sandwich and go for the version with the lowest amount of fat.



Vitamin-Infused Waters: Sure, they have added nutrients but they’re often packed with sugar and sometimes caffeine.

TRY THIS: Reach for plain old water or sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon, lime, or orange. Yeah, gotta say that works. It’s also my favorite strategy when being served water when eating out.



Banana Chips: Yes, they’re made from good-for-you bananas but they’re usually fried in coconut or palm oil, unhealthy sources of saturated fat. No wonder a serving can reach 210 calories and a whopping 13 grams of fat.

TRY THIS: A banana has lot of nutrients and zero fat.  Again, if you’re on the go or backpacking, a real banana isn’t your solution. Why not just get dried banana chips? Who’s deep frying these things anyway? Maybe the South.  Keep it as close to the plant as possible. Drying is a lot closer than frying. Geez.

Couscous: Regular couscous is a processed, refined grain, just like white pasta, delivering minimal nutritional value. 

TRY THIS: Whole-wheat couscous or opt for a whole grain like quinoa or brown rice.  Other excellent grain options are becoming more popular.



Vegetable chips: While they may contain the colors of the rainbow, they don’t count as a serving of veggies and they’re unusually high in fat and calories.

TRY THIS: Air popped popcorn or dried veggies and watch the fat and salt on the ingredients label. There are tons of healthy snack foods vying for shelf space. Watch the label. Less (ingredients) is more in most cases.


The complete list of health food pretenders is available in Consumer Reports’ Food & Fitness magazine and online at  Pick up a copy of the special Consumer Reports’ Food & Fitness magazine.


Getting to know our food is a life long affair. Why not make it as exciting and rewarding as possible?

The 25 Most Nutrient Dense Foods