The Top 10 Foods You Thought Were Healthy But Are Actually Not
Diving into 2013 with some new health and fitness goals? Just be careful out there in the wild world of diet and nutrition. There are some real tricksters who will have you believe certain foods are good for you when in fact they are not only completely void of beneficial nutrients, but also may have some components that are damaging to your health. Why would people lie about this you ask? The big reason these falsities come into being are simple: Somebody out there is trying to make a buck or two or billion. The food industry has got some serious issues. I could go into great detail but this post is not supposed to be about all that. If you’re interested in hearing more on that topic, please leave me a facebook comment and I promise I’ll write on it soon. Back to unhealthy “health foods”… Here goes.
1.) Low Fat, Non-Fat, Fat Free, or “Lite” Anything: Bottom line, not only is fat naturally present in some of the healthiest foods on the planet, but it is also ESSENTIAL for life. We all need to eat fat every single day to survive and thrive. When fat is removed from foods, sugar and chemical additives are put in to make the food taste tolerable. These are MUCH worse for you than the fat would have been in the first place. In terms of dairy products, when the fat is removed from milk, your body processes what’s left in the milk the same way it processes sugars because the natural sugars in the milk are basically all that is left in the product. The fat soluble vitamins have gone away with the fat and your body will not process the protein that is left without the necessary fat. Mother nature put fat and protein in a pretty little package together for a reason and it just is not our place to be messing with that.
2.) Soy Anything: Unfortunately soy contains many components that can be detrimental to your health. Soy is considered a goitrogen which means it inhibits healthy thyroid function. This slows your metabolism and causes weight gain plus a weakened immune system. Be forewarned, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts are also goitrogenic only when eaten raw. These vegetables should be cooked to remove this effect. Goitrogens are still present even in cooked soy. Many other properties of soy make the proteins very difficult to digest. These include lectins, phytates, and trypsin inhibitors. Sorry for getting so geeky sciency on you. Soy is also estrogenic and can negatively imbalance hormones.
3.) Whole Grain Products: Cereals, breads, crackers, and other products that contain whole grains are almost always trying to pull one over on us, trying to make us believe they are healthy. The truth is, the food industry has an awful ton of genetically modified wheat and corn that it needs to sell so they just put it into everything. Even “whole grain” products are very processed and those grains are usually ground up into flour. It will be processed by your body much the same as sugar, causing blood sugar spikes. This is a recipe for poor long term health and difficulty managing a healthy weight.
3.) Egg Whites: All of the vitamins and minerals are located in the yolk of an egg and it is just a sin to toss those yolks. Some folks out there are hanging on to the old advice that the cholesterol in eggs cause heart disease. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most Americans are not getting the vitamins and minerals that they need each day. We need to focus on taking every opportunity for getting them in. If we do this, our bodies will work better, be energized, fit, and able to fight modern diseases. No discrimination, just eat the whole egg.
4.) Diet Soda: The fake chemical sugar like substances in diet soda are very scary in my opinion. Many who have studied the stuff believe it to cause brain damage and cancer. The phosphoric acid in soda battles against calcium in your body creating a major imbalance which leads to unhealthy teeth and bones. Of course the manufacturers and the FDA haven’t officially admitted anything. I don’t know about you, but I’m NOT willing to offer myself up as a subject in this science experiment. I’ll just take some real natural wholesome food instead please.
5:) Energy or Protein Bars: I am often asked and hard pressed to find a “bar” that is a true nutrition boost. Even the “natural” ones have brown rice syrup (aka glorified sugar) as one of the first three ingredients. Soy protein isolates are not an easily assimilated form of protein at all. Be aware, most of these are just candy bars with healthier sounding words on the package. Opt for raw or sprouted nuts and seeds or a piece of whole fruit instead.
6.) Protein Powder: Again with the soy protein isolates. They just don’t work. Most powders are made with super high heat processing which renders the protein that was there pretty much unusable by our bodies by the time it makes it into your smoothie. There are a couple decent protein powders out there made from grass fed whey that are minimally heat treated but they aren’t easy to find or get your hands on. Also once again, remember how mother nature graciously gave us protein and fat as a package deal? I’m on board with sticking to whole foods. Eggs in the morning take two minutes to whip up and are a perfect protein rich way to begin the day.
7.) Sports Drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, Vitamin Water, etc): FULL OF SUGAR PEOPLE! NOT HEALTHY! And they contain high fructose corn syrup too. Yuck! Even worse! More fake sugar made in a chemistry lab instead of a kitchen. Just don’t go there. The most perfect electrolyte packed beverages are simply water with lemon and a bit of real salt, vegetable or bone broth, and herbal teas. This is a case of more people trying to sell you something you don’t need.
8.) Vegetable, Canola, Corn, Sunflower, and Safflower Oils: If you could see the way these oils are manufactured, I highly doubt you’d want to eat them ever again. The high heat treatment that they are subjected too leaves them similar in chemical makeup to hydrogenated oils (aka trans fats), a big huge health no no. Stick to minimally processed oils and healthy animal fats like olive oil for dressings and low temp cooking, and coconut oil, butter, or ghee for sautéing and roasting.
9.) Flavored Water: Crystal light anyone? I know the whole zero calories thing is tempting but it’s just not worth it considering the fact that it’s yet another dose of dangerous fake sugars from the chem lab. This is what I like to call a “nutrition withdrawal”. If you’re going to have that crystal light, you better make some serious deposits in the form of fresh whole fruits and vegetables to re-balance your nutritional checking account. Water with fresh fruit, cucumber, or ginger taste great! After a while you will never miss the fake stuff and seriously wonder why you ever liked it in the first place, I promise.
10.) Dried Fruit: Now this one is okay as a once in a while treat food. It is a natural real food which I like, but the issue is how most people tackle eating these tasty little buggers. You can eat a whole lot of them, and these sweet little guys are a source of concentrated sugar. They can mess with your blood sugar just like candy and cakes can. Imagine what your dried fruit would have looked like when it was a full whole fruit, before it was dried. Just a piece or two would be a normal serving size of whole fruit. You can’t eat more of it just because it’s now shrunk in size. This makes the whole will power issue come into play since they are so yummy. Always eat your couple pieces with some nuts and seeds to help fill you up and slow the release of sugar to your bloodstream.
Good for you for wanting to get healthier! Now get out there, turn the package around and read those ingredients lists instead of the health claims on the front.
Taken from a great friend Cristin. Check out her blog: