Would Amanda Eat It?

Trainers get lots of questions.  LOTS.  And if you guys are on my Facebook page, you know that I’ve started a forum to take these questions every Wednesday (called #AskAmanda) so folks can get honest, informed answers about pressing (and let’s be honest, not-so-pressing) health issues.

That said, a lot of the questions I get are about specific foods and diets – what are the “best” fruits to eat on a low-carb diet? How much protein should I be eating?  Should I eliminate gluten or dairy?  But a friend recently sent me a picture of a snack and asked me point blank:

Would you eat it?

Ah, that tricky question.  Would I eat it  – as in, ever?  If I was starving on a desert island?  If I had just run a marathon?  Or mostly in my day-to-day life?  I took it as the latter, and a new feature was born:

Would Amanda Eat It?

That’s right, readers – every Tuesday I’ll be featuring a picture of a product/food item YOU send in (submit via Facebook page or tag me in an Instagram) and giving you the honest word on whether I, as a trainer, nutritionist, but also regular person, would eat it.

Today’s focus?  Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Powerberries.  So let’s take a look:

photo 1 (1)photo 2 (2)The good:

  • they are covered in dark chocolate, which is lower in sugar and higher in antioxidants than other forms of chocolate
  • they are low in cholesterol
  • they do contain some Vitamin C (but see below for the real talk)

The bad:

  • note that these are not a FRUIT product – no no, my friends, these are a “fruit juice” product, which basically means they extracted all the sugar from the fruit, discarded all the nutrients and fiber, and wrapped it in more sugar.  No bueno.
  • speaking of sugar, did you notice that 1/4 cup (which is a SMALL handful!) has 24 grams of it?  Yep, that’s more than HALF of the 40 grams you would want to have IN THE ENTIRE DAY.  For a handful.
  • the whole Vitamin C thing…yeah.  A serving has 30% of your daily needs, but consider this: a single orange (which is actually a whole food, and not just juice, and is filling and delicious) has 85%.  EIGHTY FIVE.  Suddenly the “powerberries” look a lot less powerful.
  • check the ingredient list – it’s a mile long, starts with sugar (a major red flag), and has things like “tapioca dextrin” and “soy lecithin,” which are at best nutritional voids and at worst harmful additives.  Again, not worth it for a tiny handful.

The verdict:

  • No way, Jose.  If I am going to get my dark chocolate and fruit fix, it’s going to be from an organic bar of at least 70% cacao drizzled over some fresh berries.

Just because I wouldn’t eat this product doesn’t mean I don’t eat any junk food ever (remember my tagline: healthy living with a side of indulgence!) – it simply means that if I am going to go down the sugar road, it’s going to be for something worthwhile (a scoop of freshly churned ice cream, for example) – not some juiced-up berries in a bag.

Would you eat it?  Tell me why or why not in the comments!

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