There are a lot of foods out in the world that have been promoted as healthy, but they actually are not. Certain food products get advertised as healthy to make us believe they are good for us. The reality is that there are many unhealthy foods we perceive as “healthy.” Knowledge is power, so here are some “supposedly good” foods that you should stay away from.
Since tomatoes are prominent in many delicious recipes, this is hard to hear. You are better off using fresh, organic tomatoes to make those recipes. Why aren’t canned tomatoes good for you, you ask? Most cans contain BPA, which is a toxic chemical that leads to an increased risk of developing prostate or breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, malformation of organs in children, obesity, or other health problems. Tomatoes are naturally acidic and that causes the BPA to leak into the food. Some cans say that they are BPA-free. Don’t be fooled! Companies started removing BPA from products after severe pressure from the public, but they started using another product called BPS, which is just as bad. Avoid cans and go for glass jars.
We like eating salads with different flavors. Our taste buds have become used to salad dressings, but most all of them are unhealthy and counteract the nutrients of the vegetables. Most commercial salad dressings are full of sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oils, artificial chemicals, and trans fats. A great way to get the proper nutrients from salads is to make your own dressings. Apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil are the two best ingredients for a salad dressing base. Add the spices or herbs of your choice, or try this recipe.
Vegan Junk Food
It doesn’t mean it’s good just because it has the word vegan in it. It’s still junk food, which means it’s processed. Case in point.
You will find that many of these products have soy in them. Soy is commonly used to replicate the appearance of meat, such as burgers, hot dogs, or chicken. Soy is one of the most genetically modified (GM) crops that is produced in the country. In fact, it is said that about 94% of soy is genetically modified. Soy is abundant in most vegetarian processed foods, and is labeled as soy protein isolate or soy protein concentrate along with a list of derivatives. This includes soy burgers, soy oil, soy ice cream, and soy cheese. Not only is the food GM, but it contains unhealthy fats and other compounds.
Pre-made Smoothies or Juices
Those pre-made or store bought smoothies and juices aren’t as healthy as you think they are. These smoothies are not the best kept health secret. They are actually loaded with sugar and can contain 680-1,000 calories. The high sugar content in these can cause blood sugar levels to spike or drop, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Even those bottled green drinks aren’t giving you the healthy nutrients you think you’re getting. There can be as many as 50 grams of sugar in one of those bottles. You are way better off making your own smoothies or juices to actually get the nutrients from fresh fruits and veggies. Plus you don’t have to worry about pasteurization.
Trail mix is a great snack, if you make it right. Most people like the ease of grabbing a handful or a small bag of trail mix to snack on. The reality is that most trail mixes are high in calories, contain high amounts of sodium and sugar, have chocolate or candy-coated pieces, or have dried fruit, which contains sulfur dioxide and sugar. Most trail mixes are full of trans fats, refined carbohydrates, and simple sugars. Look for trail mixes that have unsalted nuts and no sugar. Better yet, make your own using raw, unsalted nuts and seeds and freshly dehydrated fruits.
Soy Protein Isolate & Unfermented Soy Products
The health facts you have come to believe about soy are lies. The number one problem with soy is that 90-95% of soybeans, from which soy is derived, grown in the US are genetically engineered. Most soybeans are designed to be “Roundup ready,” meaning they are supposed to survive lethal herbicides. The primary ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, can disrupt the female reproductive cycle. Whether or not you eat soy milk or tofu, you have to pay attention to labels because there are many names for soy additives. You can be eating genetically modified foods without even knowing it. Cracker, chips, bread, breakfast bars, and pre-made desserts all have soy products in them. In addition to soy protein isolate, you should avoid all unfermented soy products. You should only eat soy products if it is organic and has been properly fermented such as natto, miso, or soy sauce. Other than that, stay away from soy.
Whenever you buy food, be it organic or locally grown, look for the highest quality product you can get. Avoid foods that have been grown with pesticides, genetically modified organisms, and have added growth hormones. Seek out your local farmer’s market or organic grocery store to get the best foods you can. Places to get actual healthy food are more abundant and closer to you than you think.