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The Truth About Your Food - By David Zinczenko

Simpler is always better. Think about it: Would you rather have your job made simpler, or more complicated? How about your relationship? Your finances? Those instructions to assembling your new IKEA bookshelf? Simpler, right? Okay, how about your diet? Wouldn't you prefer to make your diet simpler as well? Especially if you knew that simpler was also healthier? Then why do so many of us insist on choosing the most complicated foods we can find, when the simplest foods are always better?

Case in point: Let's say you had a choice between two seemingly similar products. Both had about the same number of calories, and had similar tastes. Based on these ingredient lists, which would you choose?

Beverage #1: Water; high fructose corn syrup; concentrated juices of orange, tangerine, apple, lime and/or grapefruit; citric acid; ascorbic acid; beta-carotene; thiamin hydrochloride; natural flavors; modified food starch; canola oil; cellulose gum; xanthan gum; sodium hexametaphosphate; sodium benzoate; yellow dyes #5 and 6.


Beverage #2: Fresh-squeezed orange juice.
If you picked beverage #2, you'd be getting three times the vitamin C and about one-eighth the sodium, as well as a nice hit of calcium. But if you picked #1, then you'd be getting a nutritional cocktail made up primarily of water and high fructose corn syrup, with a variety of scary surprises. (Canola oil?!)

Yet many of us pick #1 on a regular basis—those are the ingredients for Sunny Delight original, by the way—because we seem dead-set on complicating our diets. And complicated is always bad. Simpler is always better. (Speaking of nutritionally empty drinks, watch out for these gut-busters with ingredients most of us could never, ever pronounce—this shocking list of the 20 Worst Drinks in America. Take them in even as a weekly treat and you could be adding an extra pound or two of belly fat a month.)

Check out the four popular processed foods below. Each violates the Eat This, Not That! cardinal rule—which is to say, they're just too complicated. Wait till you discover some of the junk we found hiding in each.

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