Are we all being duped?

We all know that TV and other forms of advertising are out there for a reason.  Companies wouldn’t pay those clever individuals good money if they didn’t want to sell products to consumers.  The things we, as consumers, have to be aware of are the misleading elements that can often convince us to buy, based on great representation of a product.

Years ago, as a peanut butter addict, I switched to reduced fat peanut butter, solely based on the marketing of a peanut butter that didn’t have as much fat.  I didn’t do any further investigation, like look at the sugar content or calories.  I saw the commercial, heard the buzz words “reduced fat” and I was on a mission. 

Since then, I’ve done a lot of research, worked with a nutritionist and multiple trainers and I’ve learned how to eat better and what to avoid.  More importantly, I’ve discontinued my impulsive purchasing based on clever marketing.

That being said, I saw a commercial the other day advertising a brand of cereal.  It was a classic case of clever marketing and, had it been a few years ago, would have had me.  The cereal is advertising the fact that it has 6 or 9, I forget exactly, grams of protein per serving.  (You’ll see the exact number doesn’t really matter here, anyway.)  Do you know how much protein each of our meals should include?  How much you need over the course of a day? 

I once read that the CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends about 50 grams/day for a woman my age (38).  But, given the fact that I exercise regularly and strength train with heavy weights several times/week, I do need more.  I generally eat around 25 grams of protein for breakfast, before a workout. 

You do the math!  I’d need to eat several servings of this cereal or one serving of it, coupled with a few eggs/egg whites.  How many meals am I having here?  How many calories does this “meal” total?  Do you catch my drift?  Yes, the cereal would be easy.  I would have SOME protein, but not what we all really need to start the day.  Don’t fall for the market, on all products.  In the past, I’d have been guilty.  I’d hear “protein” and think I had an easy way out in the morning.

Here’s another example – a “Meal Replacement” Protein Bar.  I looked at a particular brand the other day (and they also have a drink by the same brand), that was marketing a bar that could actually replace a meal.  With 10 grams of protein (OK, better than 6 or 9), can we really call this a meal?  Surely, if it only has around 200 calories, you can supplement, but it can hardly be called a meal, yet that’s how it’s marketed.

Bottom line… Don’t fall for the buzz words used by marketers.  The products aren’t always what they claim to be.  We all look for the quick, easy way to have a meal sometimes, but be sure you are really getting what your body needs out of that meal.  As I’ve said before – Your food is your fuel and we cannot run on empty!

Carri Nelsen


About The Zone Magazine

The FREE, all digital, local magazine focusing on good news in Northern Baltimore County, Harford County & Southern PA. Visit our website.
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One Response to Are we all being duped?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Good advise—got to check what I’ve doing….too old to
    ignore my protien at this stage.{ oldest fellow blogger- Don L}

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