Just as all that glitters is not gold, some “health foods” are actually not as healthy as you might think. Some are even downright unhealthy. Some of the problems you have encountered in the past when trying to lose weight might have to do with the fact that you have been hoodwinked into eating the wrong foods. Yep, not your fault.
For instance, fat-free yogurt often delivers 15 grams of sugar in a small 4 or 6 ounce serving. Add a long list of processed chemicals and preservatives, and you are probably doing yourself a disservice in believing the health claims of fat-free yogurt. You do not have to avoid the following 18 foods altogether – just realize that they are not anywhere near as healthy as once believed.
Quinoa is one of the few plant-based foods that delivers a complete protein experience. It is also excellent for providing healthy dietary fiber, vitamin E, iron, potassium, magnesium and other vitamins and nutrients. In its raw form it is exceptionally versatile, and is truly a super health food.
However, when you purchase processed quinoa pasta and chips, you are probably getting more white or wheat flour, rice and corn then you are quinoa. Reading food labels here is extremely important, as at least 4 major national food brands advertise quinoa pastas that have significant levels of those non-quinoa foods we just mentioned.
Big business plus political maneuvering created the misled belief that milk is good for you. It is horrible for you. Consider these disturbing facts:
- The USDA has found that milk contains millions of pus cells.
- Milk comes from cows which are unhealthy usually, and unhealthy chemical antibiotics and preservatives are added to boost shelf life.
- Milk actually steals calcium from your bones. Yep, the lie that milk gives your body calcium is unsupported. Milk and other dairy products come from animal protein. This causes an extremely acidic effect on your system. Your body pulls calcium from your bones to regulate your pH level in response. Milk actually promotes calcium loss.
- Drinking milk as a young adult has been proven to increase hip fractures in old age.
- A Harvard study showed that milk drinkers broke more bones than non-milk drinkers.
- Countries that drink milk have higher instances of osteoporosis than non-milk drinking countries.
Fitness and nutrition plans will refer to peanut butter as an excellent source of good fats and protein. But be careful here. When you reach for that low fat or reduced fat peanut butter, you are eating loads of the same kind of sugar that is used to make cake frosting and other sweet desserts! You are also looking at 90 to 100 calories in just 1 tablespoon.
Years ago people began turning to wheat bread rather than white bread. The reasoning? White bread offers almost no nutritional value, and packs so many chemical additives and preservatives you should not feed it to the ducks at your local pond, much less your children and yourself.
Wheat in its raw, natural form is very good for you. But there is a lot of white flour used in many wheat breads, even some that are listed as healthy multi-grain varieties. Read your food labels, because a single slice of wheat bread can pack as many as 60 or 70 calories, and can contain unhealthy ingredients.
We know what you are thinking. Granola? Granola is unhealthy? For the umpteenth time, reading and understanding the words that are on food labels is vitally important to ensure you are eating healthy food. Depending on the brand of granola you purchase, you would be better off eating dry dog food. Granola can pack hidden sugars and artificial sweeteners, and deliver 500 calories per bowl.
Don’t get us wrong here. In moderation, soy and tofu products are usually healthier than meat and dairy foods and milks. However, in recent years several major health studies have linked soy to memory loss, a reduction in mental ability, infertility, reproductive disorders, birth defects, heart disease and cancer. Wow. Pretty scary stuff. (* Bonus healthy food tip – read “The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food” by Doctor Kaayla Daniel, PhD and nutritionist.)
How in the world can dried fruit be bad for you? It is just fruit that has been dried. How is that bad? Once again, the wonderfully deadly art of food processing is the dangerous component here. The same sulfur in matchsticks joins loads of sugar to help preserve some dried fruit products for the long-term.
Wow, this one might really upset some people. You were taught that bran is a great alternative to white flour in muffins and confectioners. And sometimes, this is the case. Just make sure to read your food labels. That large bran muffin you just ordered could deliver as many as 400+ calories and 1/4th of the sodium you should ingest in one day. Oh yeah, there is also the high overall fat and saturated fat content.
Guess what dangerous, processed, unnecessary food shows up in extremely high quantities in most fruit juices? Yep, here is our good buddy sugar once again. When fruit loses its fiber, as it does when it is rendered into juice, your body recognizes it as sugar. With no dietary fiber, it is absorbed immediately into your body as soon as it hits your taste buds. Your blood sugar is spiked and you feel great, but that sugar can mean that weight gain and too many calories.
Room temperature olive oil is good for you. But when it is overheated, it becomes a cancer promoting carcinogen. That’s right, it can cause cancer! Cook with coconut oil instead, and reserve extra-virgin olive oil for unheated eating.
You probably know by now what you are about to read. Just like the low fat and reduced fat peanut butters mentioned above, “light” salad dressings have to replace the fat that is removed from the product with something. And that something is once again … sugar and artificial sweeteners.
You might as well eat a double cheeseburger. Honestly, smoothies purchased at retail outlets, even those boosting health claims, can deliver more calories than food you would never consider healthy. Unbelievably, the artificial sweeteners, sugars and syrups in store-bought smoothies can add up to as many as 1,000 calories. That is 50% to 60% of most people’s daily recommended caloric allowance.
Are you one of those people that believes fat-free means calorie-free? We hate to bust your bubble, but all fat-free means these days is sugar-packed and preservative-filled. In most cases, this heightened caloric intake and the way your body treats sugar combine to mean fat-free foods often times leads to weight gain, heart problems, circulatory issues and a long list of other ailments and illnesses.
You have seen the enhanced water products advertised seemingly everywhere on television and online. Do not fall for their health claims. Regular water is mixed with vitamins and a massive dose of sugar. Water is good for you. You need to stay hydrated. But the efficacy of vitamins is still debated every day. And you already know that you do not need more sugar in your diet. Steer clear from enhanced water beverages.
The word “energy” on any supposedly healthy food product should have you flipping that item over for a quick look at its food label. Energy bars are sometimes an excellent source of healthy fiber and/or protein. And when you make them at home, you control just what you put in them. But once again, sugar, as well as monosodium glutamate and other unhealthy preservatives, is often found in large quantities in many energy bars.
The problem here is with a clever word play that food manufacturers use to intentionally trick you into buying their less than healthy products. Whole grains are outstanding for delivering a healthy, natural dietary fiber. They help regulate your digestive system, which can lead to weight loss and fat burning.
However, multigrain does not necessarily mean whole grains. It simply means there are multiple types of grains in that particular food item. If you choose a multigrain product and whole grains are listed as the first ingredient on the food label, that is a good thing. Just remember that multigrain does equal whole grain.
Protein is good for you. Fish delivers a lot of protein, very few calories and carbohydrates, and is an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. So sushi should be really good for you, right?
Well, maybe not. You definitely should be eating a lot of fish in your weekly diet. But if you purchase sushi rather than making your own, you could be getting deep-fried, rice-dominant, mayonnaise-covered varieties that are anything but healthy. And how do you know the fish is fresh?
As we just said, fish is great for you. But that doesn’t mean a piece of fried fish on a white flour bun or roll slathered in unhealthy tartar sauce or mayonnaise is good for you. Stick with baked or steamed fish, and enjoy on a whole-grain roll with nutritious kale as opposed to iceberg lettuce, which has almost no nutritional value.
1 – The more processed a food is, the worse it is for you. Remember, anything in a wrapper has been processed to some extent. That means you need to read food labels diligently. Speaking of reading food labels, that leads us to our next point in identifying foods which are really not that healthy for you.
2 – Don’t believe everything you read. Reading food labels is definitely a smart way to find out exactly what is in a particular food. Just remember that there are dozens of different words for sugar, mono-sodium glutamate and other unhealthy food additives. Learn the aliases that these unhealthy ingredients travel under to keep from getting fooled by a deceptively simple name change.