Few things are as frustrating as how little regulation there is over food labeling. You could come out with a 10,000 calorie piece of candy loaded with saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol and pretty much brand it however you want. Things get worse when products are backed by celebrities that have built-in loyal followings. Who wouldn't trust something endorsed by a superstar athlete like David Beckham, a woman with a killer body like Gisele or someone who has built her entire image as the poster child for a healthy lifestyle like Bethenny Frankel?
Arguably the biggest offender are products branded with the word skinny because it's a catchy word that appeals to many people and can literally be slapped on any product with no regard to nutrition facts. To that end, here's a closer look at some of the skinny products lining supermarket aisles.
Skinnygirl Dark Chocolate Multi-Grain Pretzel On the Go Bars
Don't be fooled by the name, like most food bars these are full of hidden sugars, carbohydrates and calories. In addition to having 180 calories per 46 gram bar, there are multiple types of sugar and a number of ingredients with corn/soy that may contain GMOs (corn and soy are two major GMO offenders). For a better option, try Health Warrior's Chia Bars, which were inspired by the book Born to Run and are loaded with nutrient-dense ingredients.
Grecian Delight Skinny Buns
While there may not be anything glaringly bad about the nutrition facts here, aside from 3g of fiber and protein, there is nothing contributing to a healthful diet, making these buns more or less empty calories. Further, a Pepperidge Farm bun of comparable size has nearly identical nutrition facts and ingredients. For a better option, one loaded with protein, fiber and sprouted organic whole grains, check out Ezekiel 4:9 (note the calories are nearly double, but so is the serving size).
Skinny Chef Superfood Sauces
When buying sauces and marinades, most people don't realize how small one serving size is, meaning that by the time you've covered your steak, you could easily have loaded on an extra 200 calories and 60% of the amount of salt you're supposed to have all day. These sauces, however, manage to be flavorful without loading in a ton of calories, salt, sugar or fat. In fact, all have half the calories of standard BBQ sauces, are very low in sodium (only 2-3%), made without HFCS and preservatives, and they’re free of the top 10 allergens including gluten, dairy and nuts.
Skinny Pop is loved by some of the most health-conscious people I know including Kira Stokes and Tanya Zuckerbrot. The thing you have to be careful about is that it's very easy to eat way more than a serving size, and at 155 per serving, it's not low in calories. It is, however, a lot cleaner in terms of ingredients. In fact, even though it tastes eerily like movie theater popcorn, it's covered in nothing besides a pinch of salt (less than 5% per serving).
Skinny Cow Salted Caramel Pretzel Ice Cream Bars
The problem with Skinny Cow products are the serving sizes. Sure, 160 calories may not seem like a lot when compared to the 290 of a similar Haagen Dazs product, but the latter is twice as large! Half the calories coming from fat and 35% saturated fat isn't great either. On the plus side, these are cholesterol-free and relatively low in sugar. A better option, however, would be to opt for a Zoku, Arctic Zero, Wink or Frozen Kefir.
While these vodkas may have around 75 calories per 1.5 ounce serving, versus regular vodka which has around 100, they also have lower alcohol content. A 1.5 ounce serving of Skinnygirl vodka is 60 proof, while most regular liquor brands are 80 proof. In the end, you'll end up consuming just as many calories, if not more.