This afternoon I went to the local shopping mall to check out the half-yearly sales and also in search of a new food store which I had been hearing about from the girls at the boarding house. The store is the yoghurt equivalent of the Cold Rock franchise, choose your flavour of frozen yoghurt and mix in nuts, lollies and fresh fruit. As a former Cold Rock addict and lover, now sugar free I thought the idea of frozen yoghurt sounded like a great alternative. I love yogurt, and I love mixing stuff into it too! Perfect!
Anyway, when I arrived at the small stand in the food court it was a bit different than I had imagined. There was plenty of flavours, none of which were at all natural. The guy at the counter was very helpful and friendly, and gave me a small sample. There were only two labelled sugar free, so I chose the Maple Nut flavour. Sure enough it tasted like maple syrup, but it looked more like the soft serve ice-cream from McDonalds than yoghurt. Without thinking I grabbed a cup and filled it with the maple flavoured frozen yoghurt and then moved over to the toppings counter. As I am sugar free I bypassed the lollies, instead adding some nuts, sunflower seeds, strawberries and kiwi fruit. The man weighed my concoction and I paid before leaving the food court.
As I ate I wondered about what I was really eating. I quickly came to the realisation that I had fallen for a major marketing trap, believing that frozen yoghurt would actually be good for me. Frozen yoghurt is rarely actually yoghurt and I am pretty sure with the sweetness and consistency of this flavour it was packed full of non-sugar sweeteners and additive, colouring, emulsifiers and it can probably be guaranteed that the maple flavour wasn’t coming from any maple tree! What I fool I had been, and I really didn’t feel very well after I had eaten it, clearly my body was trying to tell me something. Even worse is in the mall there is lovely fresh fruit stalls selling fresh juices, smoothies and natural greek yoghurt with berry, passionfruit or muesli toppings.
After this rather large mistake I have promised myself to be really careful around marketing of ‘healthy’ products and foods. Next time I want yoghurt with toppings I think I will either make my own or stick to the fresh, natural and local company.
Keep healthy! And think about the marketing out there, aimed to entice you with their promises of healthy food…
Image from this site.