It comes as no surprise that Marilyn Monroe was not a natural blonde. In the 1952 film classic Monkey Business, Ginger Rogers wanted to pull that blond hair out by its black roots.
But did you know your 100 percent natural granola bar contains ingredients such as high-maltose corn syrup not something Mother Nature came up with? Or that you favorite natural lemonade contains butylated hydroxyanisole, a synthetic preservative that the Department of Health and Human Services Toxicology Program says is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen?
Most folks around 77 percent of you assume that if something is labeled natural, its close to organic, as far as purity goes. But in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration has no official definition of natural food. (In Canada, foods claiming to be natural must meet specific standards for content and purity.) The only statement the FDA has made about the word natural is to say it hasnt objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances. That hasnt stopped companies from misusing the word.
What can you do? If you do opt for prepared foods, read the label. Its only natural to want healthy, tasty foods that you can grab on the go. Our favorites? Apples, pears and oranges, any berry, walnuts, almonds and nonfat plain Greek yogurt. Just say no to products that try to pull the nylon (wool would be natural) over your eyes.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of The Dr. Oz Show, and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com.