Don’t fall for these three “health” tricks

At this time of year, a lot people try to lighten up and eat right. Fast food restaurants know it. And they try to entice you with their so-called “healthy” options. But don’t be fooled. Here are a few of the tricks they pull…

Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of ads for “healthy” egg-white sandwiches. McDonald’s is now promoting a new 250-calorie “Egg White Delight McMuffin” sandwich. They say it’s “destined to become a classic.” But you know it’s much healthier to eat the whole egg with the yolk. Not just the white. Even if you’re overweight.

I told you about study that compared whole-egg eaters to egg-white eaters. Both groups reduced their blood triglycerides. They also reduced their “bad” LDL cholesterol and increased their “good” HDL cholesterol. Plus, they improved their blood insulin levels and insulin resistance.

But there was a key difference…

The whole egg group showed greater improvements than the egg-white group. And the improvements in the whole egg group became even greater as time went on during the study.

Another fast food chain claims you can achieve healthy weight loss by following a “submarine” sandwich diet. I suspect many people who try to achieve permanent weight loss will find their plans underwater if they rely strictly on this “sub” diet. But there are those who swear by it.

I talk a lot about the benefits of limiting refined carbs. So you might think eating a flatbread or tortilla “wrap” is a good alternative to the submarine sandwich.

Granted, wraps are thin. So they look low-cal and low-carb. But depending upon the area it covers, a wrap may add 300 calories from carbs to this simple meal. Plus, most wraps are made with refined grains with very little natural dietary fiber. Of course, they do make “low-carb” wraps. But these wraps taste like plastic. And they’re highly processed.

How about the colorful, green “spinach” wraps? Or rustic red “pepper” wraps? Are they healthy?

Again, it’s a marketing trick to make you think you’re eating healthy. Look at the ingredients in these wraps. You will find the healthy “vegetable” ingredients at the bottom of the list. So the amount of spinach you get is negligible.

Personally, I just don’t enjoy eating wraps. I think they’re slippery, slimy, messy concoctions. And they defeat the purpose of a sandwich from the standpoint of taste, texture and enjoyment.

And besides, real bread just isn’t as bad for you as you might think. Real bread is made with a lot of air, which adds to the taste and texture. But it doesn’t add to the calories. (Although it may look like a larger portion of food.) Real bread is also great for soaking up sauces and other flavors.

In my opinion, a real sandwich provides a realistic, reasonably healthy option…if you choose the right bread. Skip the processed white bread. And submarine sandwich rolls. Instead, make a sandwich at home with bread that looks a little more like what the original Earl of Sandwich had made in the 18th century when playing cards.

When making a sandwich, I always recommend sprouted Ezekiel bread. A company called Food for Life makes it using certified organic whole grains. And I’m a big fan. In fact, it’s the only sliced bread we use in our home now. It’s convenient. So, you don’t have to bake your own bread. But it has all the nutritional benefits of traditional, oven-baked bread.

You’ll find the bread in the freezer section at the grocery store. They store it there because it doesn’t contain any preservatives, so it could go bad quickly sitting on the shelf with the other “enriched” breads. You should keep it frozen or refrigerated too.

Ezekiel bread is a great option for anyone who is trying to limit carbs in their diet without giving up all the bread. It has very few carbs and zero sugars, but with the great taste and texture of bread so you don’t have to give up real sandwiches. Ezekiel bread also tastes great in the morning with an egg and a little pat of butter.

P.S. In the upcoming June issue of Insiders’ Cures, I’ll reveal the big myth about low fat diets. It’s the central lie of nine persistent food myths that just won’t die. If you’re not yet a newsletter subscriber, now is the perfect time to get started so you won’t miss this important issue.