Actually, we should be lucky to live in a country where the supermarket shelves never seem to empty and even the most exotic food is always in stock. Strangely, however, in industrialized nations, such as ours, the number of cardiovascular diseases is just as exponential through the ceiling as that of the overweight. In the face of the continuing organic cult and the no less existing worship of calorie-reduced light foods, it seems like sheer mockery that we as consumers of the food industry so duped. Spit meat, analogue cheese, colored olives, sham and packagings - the list of food scandals is long. We'll show you how to protect yourself from this obvious fraud.

Hiding sugar

The fact that the words "contains less sugar" only means that the word "sugar" is just a little further back in the ingredients list, suspect the least. To achieve this, it is sufficient to list the most varied high-calorie sweeteners, which were formerly grouped under sugar on the product back, individually on the packaging. Just processed foods such as cereal bars therefore shine with a flurry of synonyms for sugar. But even products such as hearty liver sausage, which would never be suspected of containing sweeteners, adorned with names such as glucose syrup, maltodextrin or barley malt extract, all of which have one thing in common - it is sugar. If you want to protect yourself, it's imperative that you scrutinize a product's list of ingredients as closely as possible, paying close attention to buzz words like glucose, maltose, fructose, and dextrose. Especially products, which according to the manufacturer are provided with the calorie-free herbal sweetener Stevia, deserve your special attention, since the Steviaanteil is often little more than 10%.

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The suffering with the light products

Light products are omnipresent in German supermarkets and promise conscious enjoyment without having to have a guilty conscience. But the appearance is deceptive, because the term "light" is not even protected by food law. Only the European Union sets a framework in which the food industry can give free rein to its creativity. For example, in order for a product to be labeled as "light", it is sufficient to reduce the amount of fat, sugar or calories by 30%. Of course, removed product components have to be replaced - that too has been regulated by the EU. Since fat-reduced foods such as cheese in particular lose their taste and texture as a result of the withdrawal process, the manufacturers help with gelatine, emulsifiers and binders, so that the result still meets the customer's taste. We often buy the saved calories through additional, often chemical ingredients that athletes in particular do not want on their plates. However, not all light products are bad, so it is important to look closely at the list of ingredients to find out which substitutes have been used. However, caution should also be exercised when consuming these products as they are less saturated compared to conventional foods and thus we consume more of them.

"Mess" at the meat counter

In the case of protein intake, the fun stops for every athlete, because neither bodybuilders nor footballers can do without high-quality protein building blocks. But what is commonplace in European meat factories is, in the truest sense of the word, a "mess". When we read "packed under protective atmosphere" in the context of food, we immediately think of a particularly high-quality product. However, what lies behind this positive term is nothing more than a packaging method that makes fresh meat look good on the outside, so it smiles succinctly on the counter. Arrived at home, we experience at the latest when roasting, that the just pink red beef steak inside is gray and tough. To avoid such surprises, we have no choice but to buy our meat directly from the butcher. Although the beef steak has its price from the butcher, we should nevertheless appreciate the value of the meat and forego the excessive consumption of artificially treated goods in favor of quality. Furthermore, when purchasing packaged meat and sausage products, it is important to pay attention to whether the packaging contains terms such as "compound" or "transglutaminase". In these cases, it is glued together, so-called molded meat, which may not necessarily be bad, but in return is not a high-quality source of protein.

A wolf in sheep's clothing

Precisely because of the fitness trend that has been going on for years, which does not omit any part of the population, many manufacturers have given their products a special image to give them a health-promoting image. Promises such as "supporting the immune system", "having lots of vitamins" or "lactose-free" suggest that we are doing our body something good by purchasing the product. But especially with foods with elevated mineral or vitamin content caution is advised. In the best case, many excess substances are excreted, but the overdose of calcium, for example, can lead to calcification of the kidneys. Since most athletes eat a balanced diet anyway, foods with added minerals and vitamins are not necessary and can remain safely on the shelf. In addition, food manufacturers often take advantage of the existing properties of a product and declare it "special" to charge a higher price. This phenomenon is particularly common in the field of lactose-free foods, such as certain cheeses. Consequently, only looking at the nutritional value table provides a remedy. In addition, increased awareness of products with "vital" advertising promise is strongly recommended.

Hidden additives

Products without artificial additives are the dream of every athlete. If we believe in the food industry, the dream is already a reality, as our supermarket shelves swell with products such as 'no preservatives' or 'flavor enhancers'. But here, too, the devil is in the details, because of the underlying regulation, only certain groups of substances are affected, but this does not mean that the manufacturers do not know how to replace them. Consequently, artificial additives have been replaced by substitutes that have the same mode of action. Behind the seemingly harmless term "yeast extract", nothing hides anything but a flavor enhancer, which consists largely of glutamate, but does not have to be labeled on the packaging, because by law only "pure" glutamate is considered a flavor enhancer. Without detailed knowledge of the numerous additives and their trivial names, it is hardly possible for us to recognize which product is actually free of additives. However, if the list of ingredients seems unusually long for the product contained, caution is advised. In addition, the salt content is a good indicator, because table salt is also nothing more than a flavor enhancer and on top of that for athletes anyway only in moderation.

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