Natural food products not always a healthy option

Brighid Bugos

Diets Infrographic

It’s right before practice and you need some quick energy, so you grab a PowerBar. Then, you open the refrigerator to grab a bottled smoothie.
These might not be the healthiest options. According to The Guardian, fruit juices and smoothies are risky to good health because of the amount of sugar they contain.
Store-bought smoothies can contain fruit syrups or canned fruit rather than whole fruit.
Commercially made smoothies from restaurants such as Dairy Queen, Sonic, Panera and even Jamba Juice are laden with processed sugar and high fructose corn syrup. The smallest size, a 16 oz serving of an Aloha Pineapple Smoothie from Jamba Juice has 67 grams of sugar. The maximum amount of added sugar is between 25-37.5 grams daily, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
Football coach Rob Poulos advocates for more natural food.
“[The football team and I] do more natural routes,” Poulos said. “We do fruit; oranges and bananas cut up. We have [the players] eat that at half time.”

Natural Diets Pie chart
A survey of Sequoia High School athletes conducted by the Raven Report, asked athletes what type of energy bars they eat if any.

Similarly, PowerBars are a common choice among Sequoia athletes. In a survey of 42 athletes, 37.2 percent said they eat PowerBars on a regular basis. A PowerBar Performance Energy bar provides 240 calories per bar, and they are considered natural products. Yet only 5 percent of the ingredients in these products need to be natural for it to be considered a natural product.
“It’s so important to read labels because so often you do think you’re eating healthy or you’re doing things right, then you really look at what’s in them and you’re like ‘Oh,’” Foods and Nutrition teacher Laura Kuras said. “The best source of nutrients and [replenishment] is natural and straight-up foods. That is always the best way to go.”
“I think that’s kind of insane. I mean we live in California—we have so many resources available to us,” said sophomore Morgan Taradash, who often uses natural supplements like pea protein. “I don’t think that for something to be considered natural it should only have five percent. It seems like it should be way more.”