It’s easy to get swept away by supermarket advertising, passing aisle after aisle of foods shouting about miracle benefits that will vastly improve your health. Unfortunately, most of these “functional” foods are really just processed junk food in glorified packaging with clever captions. But we’re health suckers. Sales of “functional” foods totaled $37.3 billion in the United States in 2009, up from $28.2 billion in 2005, according to The New York Times.
A reporter from the The Daily Mail investigated six of these “super healthy” foods. Here’s a snapshot of what she found:
Actimel Fat-Free Strawberry Drink
- Actimel, which the brand touts as the “friendly” bacteria, is actually made up of sweeteners, artificial flavorings, and starch. Some research shows you actually gain weight by eating artificially sweetened foods.
St. Ivel Fresh Milk with Omega-3
- Organic milk or milk that comes from grass-fed cows, naturally contains higher-levels of omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re drinking “omega-3 enriched” milk, it probably means the cow was grain-fed to produce higher levels of fatty acid in their milk.
Benecol Cream Cheese Style Spread
- Benecol products claim to “reduce cholesterol” by blocking its absorption in the body. The problem is, it can also block the absorption of vitamins that we need.
Activia Fat-Free Peach Yogurt
- Because there’s no fat, this yogurt is full of thickeners like startch, guar gum, and xantham gum that have no nutritional value.
Flora Pro-Activ Light Spread
- “Light” means it’s an entirely artificial product made in a factory by mixing water, fatty acids, preservatives, chemical flavoring, and yellow food colouring .
NeuroSun Vitamin D Drink
- Whole dairy products, eggs, and fish are a much healthier source of Vitamin D than this syrup in a bottle, which claims to “provide all the benefits of Vitamin D without the harmful UV rays of the sun.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.