PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Recently, chain restaurants Pizza Hut and Taco Bell announced the removal of artificial ingredients and coloring in its foods. It’s a growing trend among food manufacturers and restaurants, but will it make a difference to your health?

UPMC Sports Nutritionist Leslie Bonci joined “The KDKA Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway to shed some light on if the removal of the artificial ingredients and if they are healthier for you.

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When asked about if this is a breakthrough in the food industry, Bonci says, “What they are pulling out of the food is not changing at all. The calories, the fat, the sugar, or the salt content, is exactly the same.”

Bonci goes on to say that consumers may think that these foods are now healthier, but they still contain the same things that lead to weight gain.

Bonci says if Pizza Hut and Taco Bell wanted to make things healthier, they would find a way to put healthier foods and, “other colors on the plate that isn’t exactly a Lucky Charm.”

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Even though these food companies are taking out some ingredients for their food, it is not taking out the sugar or the fats that are with these foods.

When asked about the removal of the high fructose corn syrup and the unsustainable palm oil in some foods, Bonci says, “They are going to (just) use a different form of (sugar). So at the end of the day, it’s going to be the same. They are not taking the fat out of the food. Instead of using the unsustainable palm oil, they are going to use a different fat. So in the end, it is still going to be a high calorie meal.”

She says that there needs to be a balance of these meals. For example, if you’re going to have a pizza, share it with other people, or cut it into smaller pieces.

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