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I was pretty annoyed when I found out many of the “health foods” I was eating were actually not that healthy. I’d unknowingly been putting poison into my body.
Turns out some foods are advertised as healthy, but can actually be quite harmful to our health.
They could be chock full of sodium, fat, and sugar, which could undo all the healthy lifestyle choices you’re making in other areas of your life.
It’s hard to realize the bulk of your diet, the one you believed was healthier than your friends diet, might have been really unhealthy.
The important thing is that you make changes now in your life both to your grocery list, when you’re eating out at restaurants, and when you’re coming up with meal plans at home.
Healthy eating is complicated, and false marketing claims and industry-sponsored advertisements can make it harder to navigate through the morass and mess of health food knowledge.
With so many gurus talking about health foods, and just repeating and parroting the same foods over and over again, finding an article like this to help you cut through the crap can be a relief.
Top 10 Unhealthy Health Foods to Avoid:
#1. Energy Bars
Just because energy bars come in a fancy package that says they’re chock full of minerals and vitamins, doesn’t automatically make them a healthy option.
Aside from being made with low grade protein, a lot of them are nothing more than candy bars in fancy wrappers. They can be loaded with white flour, artificial sweeteners, and high-fructose corn syrup.
If you’re eating a couple of energy bars for lunch to “be healthy,” you might want to rethink that approach. A lot of these energy bars are high in saturated fat, and they’re even low in fiber.
You’d at least expect an energy bar to be full of fiber, because it’s so easy to integrate high fiber ingredients into an energy bar… but for most of them that’s not the case.
#2. Whole Grains
In the fibrous portion of the bran of grain, there’s what’s called anti-nutrients and lectins, which can damage your gut. This is important because these components can cause inflammation, gut permeability and leaky gut.
Smoothies have a lot of fruit, so they get a good rap. However, a smoothie can go wrong when its main ingredient is fruit juice. Fruit smoothies might just have fruit juice, without much fiber content. The average smoothie is going to have as many calories as a meal, but it’s not going to satisfy you like a meal can.
#4. Sweetened Beverages, Sports Drinks, and Vitamin Drinks
There’s a lot of research that suggests eating too much sugar from sweetened beverages can increase the risk of developing serious diseases like diabetes and heart disease. The American Heart of Association says that we should not eat more than a 6.5 teaspoons of added sugar each day. Even the average vitamin water has an average of 7 teaspoons.
#5. Fat-Free & Reduced Fat Foods
Fat-free and reduced fat foods do sound really good, but people sometimes look at them as a chance to eat a lot more. What’s very troublesome is that when you remove the fat from foods, there has to be something that replaces the flavor. What happens is that excess sodium and sugar is often added in.
Agave syrup is mostly fructose and is so highly processed and refined that it bears NO resemblance to the plant for which it’s named. Fructose drives up uric acid, which is a direct pathway toward hypertension, insulin resistance, diabetes, kidney and liver disease.
#7. Breakfast Cereal
Even many of the so-called natural choices are contaminated with toxic pesticides, carcinogens, solvents, and GMO ingredients. All packaged, dry cereals are produced by a process called extrusion which involves high heat and high pressure to form the grain into the O’s, flakes, and other popular cereal shapes. Extrusion destroys most of the nutrients, including some of the chemical vitamins that are added to fortify the cereal.
#8. Fruit Juice
Fruit juices, even “fresh squeezed” orange juice is very high in sugar that’s separated from its beneficial fiber and therefore detrimental to your health.
Most all commercially prepared orange juices are actually highly processed into a liquid that bears little nutritional resemblance to fresh orange juice.
Most of these juices are pasteurized which decimates their vitality, then the juice is kept in giant tanks to ensure a massive supply. In order to preserve this massive supply, all the oxygen is removed along with the natural compounds that give oranges their flavor.
#9. Skimmed Milk
Even though guzzling down whole milk has been demonized as a healthy diet no-no for years, research shows that it could be a smarter choice than skimmed. Skimmed milk is far less nutritious than whole milk. The cream in whole milk has fat-soluble vitamins like K, E, D, and A. Research has shown that full-fat milk could actually speed up the metabolism and help you to burn more calories, and it could lower our risk of heart disease as well.
#10. Sliced Packaged Meats
These are often touted as the lean and healthy choices in their respective locations in various stores around the world. Don’t get me wrong, sliced turkey and chicken are an excellent source of lean protein and a good choice for a quick lunch or dinner, but many packaged lunch-meat slices are loaded with sodium and artificial preservatives.
Just beware of these foods when you’re shopping at the health food store. Not everything is as straightforward as it seems. Enjoy the funny expressions on peoples faces when you share the information you learned in this article with them.
Health by choice, not by chance.