There are a few things that make me angrier than a wet cat!
Aside from people who run red lights, spam mail, and screen printed t-shirts that cost more than a day’s salary, one of things that makes me mad is misleading advertising!
As far as honey goes, it makes sense when you think about it though. Who wouldn’t want to capitalize on the naturally sweet, golden goodness of honey? I love it, you love it and so do branding agencies!
If you’re trying to incorporate sugar alternatives like honey into your diet, you might be surprised by what you read below. The last one’s a shocker! Check this out…
One place that’s rife with examples of embellishment is the breakfast food isle. However, to be completely fair, most if not all of the foods on our list contain some honey. That said, I believe you’ll a vicious and possibly misleading trend as you read on.
Honey Toasted Oats: (click here for nutrition data) The fact is that I could have taken just about any breakfast cereal with “honey” in its name and put it here with the same poor results. Almost every honey branded cereal I looked up, used a more processed sweetener like sugar or corn syrup as its main sweetening agent. Honey was included, but usually in much lower amounts.
Honey Oat Waffles: (click here for nutrition data) This product made the list because it was particularly offensive in terms of its lack of honey. It’s loaded with sugar, but contains less than 2% honey!
Bit-O-Honey: (click here for nutrition data) This food’s name is probably the most accurate of the list. When they say “bit” that’s exactly what they mean!
Honey Buns: (click here for nutrition data) If you’re consuming snack foods, you probably aren’t extremely worried about watching what you eat. Then again, all of us have a craving for sweets now and again and shouldn’t we be able to snack in safety?!
Honey Vanilla Greek Yogurt: (click here for nutrition data) In spite of what the commercial says, much of the yogurt for sale today is anything but a health food. That’s because they are LOADED with sugar. You might be tempted to reach for one with “honey” in the name thinking you’re optings for a healthier sweetener, but think twice! Many of them, including the one in our example don’t contain ANY honey!
Honey Mustard: (click here for nutrition data) Most of the dressings and sauces on the shelves in your local supermarket are guilty of the same embellishment as our example. If you are looking for “real” honey mustard, steer clear of the more commercial brands!
Honey Baked Ham: I have to admit, this one really hurt my feelings! Being from the south, Honey Baked Ham is a Christmas tradition and not likely one that I’ll give up even though it made our “naughty” list. However, this is one of the only foods on our list that contains no honey. I contacted the company directly since they don’t advertise the ingredients list on their website. Here’s what they sent:
The ham is cured with Water, Salt, Sugar, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Erythrobate, Sodium Nitrite.
The glaze has Sugar, Gelatin, Paprika (Color), Maltodextrin, Food Starch-Modified, Dextrose, Cinnamon, Spices, Natural Flavor [with Brown Sugar, Invert Sugar], Natural Flavoring.
This One’s a Shocker!
Some Honey: Yes, you read right. Some of the honey being sold to the public contains little to no honey at all! That’s because some honey importers avoid federal tariffs designed to protect American beekeepers by cutting their product with corn syrup so it can be sold as a liquid sweetener which isn’t subject to the regulation. It’s then repackaged and passed off as “pure” honey.
You Can Protect Yourself
If you’re interested in avoiding processed sugars or just embellished labels there are a couple, really simple things you can do to protect yourself.
- Read the label. That’s obvious, but few of us really take the time to examine the statements made by the producers of the food we eat. Slow down, read the ingredient list and if you didn’t already know, ingredients are listed by their quantity. The largest quantity ingredient is first and so on.
- Opt for Non-Sweetened Foods. If you interested in controlling the amount and type of sweetener used in your food then opt for non-sweetened foods and sweeten them at home. An example might be buying unsweetened oatmeal and adding your favorite honey to suit your taste.
- Buy from a Trusted Source. Here’s a source that we trust and a list of honey we’ve curated just for you.
Bonus Tip: If you want to avoid honey that’s been mixed with corn syrup or another foreign ingredient check the label for the Country of Origin. If the label states that the honey is from China or Argentina you might want to reconsider your purchase.
I want to know what YOU think! Are you as mad as I am about this kind of misleading information or am I just being dramatic? Leave a comment below with you opinion and be sure to warn us about other examples of embellished “honey” products as well.