Bad Health Foods
Fried foods, potato chips, and bakery desserts, are all foods you know to avoid when eating for optimal health. But ever wonder why you still can’t lose the weight and feel great even when you’re trying to eat healthier? It might be because some so-called health foods are not what they seem. If you really want to eat healthier, it’s important to check the nutritional facts on the items you’re purchasing and stay away from products that will hinder your goals. Here’s how to recognize some common health traps in three popular health foods.
Yogurt is a good source of calcium, protein, and contains probiotics that are great for the digestive tract, and can decrease yeast infections. But are all types of yogurt healthy? Unfortunately, they are not. Mostly all non-organic varieties come from cows that have been pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, which we humans are ingesting from all dairy products. They are also full of excess calories and sugar.
A lot of yogurt is a sugar trap that comes from artificial sweeteners like aspartame, Splenda, and high fructose corn syrup, as well as from processed fruit and sugary granola bits. You must look for a yogurt that is low in sugar. There is natural sugar in yogurt called lactose, so there will be some in it. Try eating non-fat or low fat plain yogurt. Greek yogurt has even more protein in it and is a thicker consistency. Add your own flavoring using fresh fruit, fruit jams, or a personal favorite, apple butter. Want a crunch? Add a high fiber, whole grain granola or cereal. This way you are controlling the sugar content and will be far less than the commercial kinds.
Don’t be fooled by “healthy” claims
Just because a yogurt has the word “immunity” on the front doesn’t mean it’s better at boosting your immune system than other yogurt. If you are concerned about boosting your immune system I’ll give you a tip: stop eating garbage processed foods full of artificial this and that, start exercising and get a good night’s sleep. That’ll build your immunity far more than a silly aspartame-filled yogurt.
Yogurt covered raisins, yogurt covered granola bars, and almonds. It’s like taking some wholesome yogurt, add it to natural fruit, nuts or grains and you’ve got a yogurt-covered health food. These must be healthy, right? Wrong! Check the ingredients, you’ll find that the so-called “creamy yogurt coating” is made up of sugar, partially hydrogenated oil, and artificial yogurt flavor! And that is supposed to be healthy? Come on people, let’s not be fooled any longer, and let us get more educated and smarter about this.
Is it worth buying organic yogurt?
Yes! Even if your entire diet is not organic, at least splurge the money on buying organic dairy, especially for your children. This way you will be avoiding hormones, antibiotics, artificial sweeteners and dyes at the same time! You and your families health is way worth it!
2. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter can be beneficial to a healthy diet, but buyers beware; not all peanut butters are the same. And some can actually do more harm to your health than good. Thanks to the trans-fat nutrition-labeling rules, companies can get away with claiming “0 grams trans-fat”, and still contain up to half a gram of it per serving!
Check the ingredients for hidden trans fat
If you see the words “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated oil” in the ingredients, you can certainly assume there is trans-fat in it. The old saying goes “don’t judge a book by its cover”. You must look deeper into it. The same goes for food and drink products, “don’t judge a product by its cover”. Trans fat helps peanut butter be smooth, creamy, and more shelf stable. But with its heart-damaging effects, it should not be consumed.
Hints to help buy the right nut butter
Keep you and your family’s health in mind and buy natural peanut butter or try almond butter. Check the ingredients first. The shorter the list of ingredients, the more natural it will be without the added trans fat oil, sugars, salt. One hint to help you when grocery shopping is that majority of natural peanut butters will have a visual separation of the ground peanuts at the bottom and the oil on top. It must be stirred when first opened to get that creamy consistency. The ingredients list in natural peanut butter or almond butter should only be peanuts or almonds, and maybe some salt. Plain and simple, natural and healthy!
3. Soy Products
If you have any knowledge or interest in health you know how controversial soy products are. Are they healthy for humans or are they not? Is soy a “health food” and safe for me to consume in my diet? The answer may surprise you. Plain and simple: Fermented non-GMO soy is O.K. and unfermented should be avoided.
Many Americans consume soy because of its good source of protein or possibly eat a vegetarian diet. However, soy should not be only looked at as a “good protein source” for the body. We must look at it as a whole and how it affects our whole body. If something is great for your heart, but damages your liver and kidneys…would you take it? Probably, and I would hope, not.
There are many reasons why soy products should be avoid in our diets that I will mention below. The exceptions are fermented soy products such as tempeh, misso,natto, and soy sauce. This does NOT include Tofu because it is not fermented, which makes it fall into the category of soy that you want to AVOID.
Health problems with unfermented soy
Phytic Acid Hinders Mineral Absorption
This fiber-like substance binds to iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium in your digestive tract. Your body absorbs fewer of those key minerals because the phytic acid essentially clings to them and excretes them out in your stool.
Trypsin inhibitors decrease absorption of proteins
Trypsin enzymes properly digest protein and soy interferes with the digestion process of it. Therefore, people eating soy as a protein replacement are not digesting it properly and are making a strong protein poop!
Goitrogens impair thyroid function
Unfermented soy is very goitrogenic that can lead to hypothyroidism or a “sluggish” thyroid. Americans already have enough thyroid issues, why would we eat something that is known to do further damage?
Phyto estrogens cause hormonal imbalance
Soy contains high levels of isoflavones which are a group of phytoestrogens that mimic estrogen in our body. Excess estrogen is linked to breast and ovarian cancer, can cause young girls to go through premature puberty and boys be delayed.
Soy is considered a GMO crop
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism which the genetic material has been changed by using genetic engineering techniques. With all the scientific research it comes down to this. Multinational companies have now taken various natural foods, like soy beans, and created a genetically foreign substance that our bodies weren’t designed to digest properly. This may be why it has been linked to infertility and cancer. Make sure the label clearly states it is certified NON-GMO soy through an identity preservation program.
So why is there so much hype about soy being healthy for us?
Because it is a BIG business! It’s a cheap, subsidized crop by the government, and has multinational companies invested in it. So of course they are going to advertise greatly and have it readily available to us consumers. Soy is in everything! Just pick up a product and look at the label. Bottom line is if you are going to eat soy, be certain it is fermented, non-GMO and be wise of the products on the market that have harmful soy hidden in it.
Yogurt, nut butters, and soy can be a positive asset to a diet as long as one knows what to look for. Now that you have a better understanding of ingredients to limit or avoid and how it can affect your body, it should help you in your journey.