I tend to be real health-nut and I pride myself on eating healthy and always paying attention to what I am putting into my body. Before buying any new snacks or drinks, I make sure to look at the label to ensure that I am not consuming any kind of preservatives or diet sweeteners.
Unfortunately, this proves difficult in one circumstance for me: staying hydrated. I HATE plain water and really struggle to stay away from flavored drinks. The problem is, when you look at the ingredients for most flavored water brands, they definitely don't meet high health standards. That's why my new favorite drink right now is Hint, a naturally flavored water that comes in 16 delicious combinations, plus sparkling and caffeinated options. Hint helps me keep me hydrated and healthy while giving my taste buds a treat. It's SO MUCH BETTER than just water.
Luckily, Hint's ingredient list is always simple. Take my personal favorite blackberry flavor: purified water, blackberry and other natural ingredients from non-GMO plants. That's it. And when it comes to nutrition labels, Hint has zeros all the way down the list -- no calories, no sodium, no anything! Hint never uses diet sweeteners, preservatives, dyes or GMOs.
Here's how Hint compares to the top three zero-calorie flavored water competitors (and sparkling!). How does your go-to compare? (Psst, we left the worst for last so make sure to check out Bai bubbly at the bottom for a carbohydrate surprise!)
Vitamin Water Zero
OK, if you're already on the zero calorie flavored water train, then you probably know about Vitamin Water Zero. If you think all flavored waters are made the same, just take a look at that long list of ingredients on the Vitamin Water Zero bottle. One of the many synthetic ingredients you can't pronounce is the sugar alcohol erythritol, which is often made from GMO corn and has been linked to weight gain and stomach bacteria issues . That's not natural. Plus Hint comes in more sophisticated flavors like blood orange.
Dasani Flavored Water
Dasani also makes a zero calorie flavored water with just four flavor options. Dasani's water contains a lot of the big-name diet sweeteners health conscious people have avoided for a while now, like aspartame. But the biggest differences? One of those ingredients is causing a bottle of Dasani flavored water to have a whopping 70mg of sodium! That's almost twice the sodium in a can of Coke! Sodium makes you bloat, so watch out. Hint on the other hand comes in way more flavor options and has 0mg of sodium (which, duh! It's water).
Bai is one of the most popular flavored sparkling waters to rival Hint's line of bubbly beverages, which boast simple ingredients and zeros all the way down their nutrition list, just like their still counterparts. Bai on the other hand is a double offender: erythritol, just like Vitamin Water, AND enough carbohydrates that a single bottle of Bai would kick you out of a low carb diet.
Hint is a great way to get all the health benefits of water, including accelerated weight loss and improved cognitive function, with a kick of flavor. They even have a subscriptions service you can use to make sure you never run out, and cut down on trips to the grocery store! If you're already a flavored water fan, make sure to check out the label of your go-to brand and see if it has any of the same hidden health risks as the competitors above.
UPDATE 04/22/19: The folks at Hint are offering a special promotion to our readers! Follow this link to get 35% off PLUS free shipping!
Let's take a trip down memory lane – minus the bloating and bellyaches
Oh, processed foods of yesteryear, we hardly knew ye. As kids, many of us took for granted that one day, some of our favorite goodies would be long gone. As we sipped and snacked on stuff that was no good for us in the first place, we never even considered the notion that those delights wouldn't be around forever. We could have truly savored that final taste of artificial flavoring as we licked the tips of our fingers covered in colors not found in nature. Sigh.
Let's take a trip down memory lane – minus the bloating and bellyaches – and reminisce about some of those palate-pleasing processed foods that are now "extinct." Sure, new ones have taken their place, but these "oldies but goodies" deserve an encore. They may never return to store shelves, but they certainly deserve a more formal final goodbye.
Jell-O Pudding Pops
Jell-O Pudding Pops i.pinimg.com
It's hard to separate the thought of Jell-O Pudding Pops from the brand's former ambassador, Bill Cosby, but take the salacious current events out of the picture and try to remember those smooth and creamy frozen treats that made pudding really pop. Cosby helped make them famous, but kids and adults alike would probably would have gobbled them up without a celeb's convincing.
Through the 1990s, the pops were selling in stores across America… 'till they weren't. What happened? As per Culinary Lore, "The Jell-O name was licensed to Popsicle, the same people who make the inferior Fudgesicles, and they began marketing Popsicle brand Jell-O Pudding Pops." The shape and recipe were tweaked, and sales plummeted. Circa 2011, the pops popped off the radar. Alas, we'd have to consume pudding the old-fashioned way once again. Pass a spoon please.
Heinz EZ Squirt Ketchup
Ketchup that is easy to squirt is something we can jump on board with, but Heinz EZ Squirt Ketchup turned "easy" into "queasy." We all love dipping our French fries into the bright red condiment, but when Heinz went full-prism spectrum on us, the short-lived marketing concept went bust faster than we regretted buying a bottle of the questionable stuff in the first place.
Yes, kids loved the idea of purple or orange ketchup, and when the brand released 'Blastin' Green' to coincide with Shrek, they thought they found liquid gold. But fads are fun for a while until consumers long for food that doesn't resemble unicorn barf. By early 2006, red was the new black, once again.
We see pro athletes as well as teens who hang out at 7-11 slug back Gatorade like it's going out of style, but what did, in fact, go out of style back in 1989 was the brand's gum… Gatorgum. What sounds like a reptilian dental condition was actually a super-sour chewing "gum for active people" which claimed to quench thirst. If you ever had some yourself, you remember how it made your salivary glands ache as you eagerly unwrapped that first piece from a brand-new pack. The good old days.
Gatorade stopped making the gum, but their beverages are still being sold by the boatloads. We wised up and realized that gum really can't quench thirst very effectively after all.
Pepsi is as American as apple pie, but thankfully, apple pie has never been dyed blue, as far as anyone knows anyhow. So, why Pepsi… why did you have to take a good thing and make it a not-so-good thing? Pepsi Blue, a bright blue carbonated berry-flavored beverage was created in 2002 and only lasted in America for two years.
Cloyingly-sweet and extra-sticky, this drink may have made kids bounce off the walls as they marveled at their alien tongues, but parents weren't too pleased to learn that the freaky blue color was made using Blue 1, an "agent banned in numerous countries." Pepsi is unhealthful enough, were they trying to kill us?
Surely some dopey kid choked on a delicious Butterfinger BB and caused Nestle to shelve their tasty morsels of the traditional Butterfinger candy bar, ruining the fun for everyone. We all remember how much Bart Simpson loved his Butterfinger bars, so imagine his disappointment when the BBs were discontinued around 2006.
When eating a normal-sized candy bar seemed too daunting, chocolate and peanut butter fans could get a quick fix by popping those crispy BBs into their pie-holes one at a time. And lovers of the canned candy are pissed. There is even a Change.org page set up to petition to bring the candy back. Hey, everyone has a cause that tugs at their heartstrings.
Star Wars and cereal fans' worlds collided when Kellogg's introduced C-3PO's cereal in the mid-80s. Crunchy and honey-sweetened, the three-grain cereal shaped like little figure-eights was a kid-favorite breakfast treat.
Naturally, each box came with a prize inside, like trading cards and masks, making the eating experience more like a morning at the movies. The cereal had a nice 16-year "shelf life" but was canned in 2000. Maybe the lack of marshmallow bits was its downfall.
Carnation Breakfast Bar
Carnation Breakfast Bargbnfgroceries.blogspot.com
The on-the-go Carnation Breakfast Bar was a fan favorite, bringing great taste, nutrition, and a sweet treat to the breakfast table or lunchbox. Chewy and crunchy, the granola bar/candy bar/energy bar goodie was covered in chocolate and made breakfast fun.
There were various flavors to choose from including chocolate chip, chocolate crumb, granola with peanut butter, and caramel nut crunch. And according to the box, "One bar with a glass of milk (made) a complete meal!" Who needed eggs and sausage when breakfast came from a cardboard box?
From 1975-1993 Carnation Breakfast Bars were in the hands of hungry kids and adults alike, making us wonder what they've been eating since.