There are many of us who diet or are planning to diet off those unwanted pounds, in an attempt to live a healthier lifestyle. We workout, go jogging or biking and try to eat the best foods that are available. Most of us are already aware that ‘bad foods’ such as: the whites, (sugar and flour), and trans-fats are not exactly the best health choices out there, especially when attempting to keep our weight down.
There are also a group of foods out there that we think are healthy, but can actually cause a damage to our bodies, and may even make us ill. Below are some of the “healthy foods”, which are not really that healthy.
Artificial sweeteners seems to be the ultimate bad food. A lot of people who are currently dieting, whether it’s a low calorie or low carb diet, will choose beverages or foods containing artificial sweeteners instead of pure sugar. Sugar as we know is certainly ‘bad’ and should be avoided at all costs, but replacing it with artificial sweeteners are actually worse for you and could even damage to your health.
Every type of artificial sweetener is bad for you, one of the very worst sweetener is a brand called NutraSweet (Equal, Aspartame). There are now over 92 different types of health related side effects associated with consuming aspartame. A list including: brain tumors, diabetes, birth defects, emotional disorders, epilepsy or seizures. There are more reports of adverse reactions to NutraSweet that’s been reported to the FDA than any other food or additives combined.
A better alternative to a chemically derived sweetener is stevia, which is a natural substance derived from a plant. It’s been safely used for centuries with no known side effects. Stevia can be purchased in most local health food stores.
Yes, Those Sports Drinks
Although these massive marketers would want us believe that those expensive sports drinks are what the body needs when working out, but the truth is that these tasty sports drinks are filled with sugar (glucose, sucrose, and fructose), as well as salt (sodium and potassium), and artificial flavorings and coloring. If you add a bit of salt to good ole Kool-Aid, then you basically have about the same thing. The best of course is drinking clear purified spring water or freshly squeezed juice while you exercise.
Energy and Sports Bars
Most of these so called healthy sports and energy bars are filled with ingredients not exactly good for our bodies, and are actually just a little better than chocolate or candy bars. Many of them contain a lot of sugar and/or artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and unhealthy synthetic nutrients. Check the ingredients before buying any energy or quick fix sports bar. Make sure they are made from pure natural whole foods, such as flax seeds or oats, fruits and use natural sweeteners.
Unprocessed Soy Products
We are led to believe anything containing soy is healthy. Well, this is one of the most surprising ones, as soy has been actively used for generations in Asia. But the way soy is processed now in North America, it’s very different than the way the Asians have traditionally prepared it. The raw soybean is a very hard product for our body’s to digest, so an extensive fermenting process was used, that broke down most of the components which were indigestible, making it a lot healthier to eat. Examples would be: soy sauce and miso. These are used in small quantities basically as a condiment or for flavoring, and not as a meal replacement.
Soy in North America is used as a meat or meal alternative, (such as in a textured vegetable protein known as TVP), and this can be very unhealthy since natural soy contains large amounts of anti-nutrients and toxins. Some side effects of anti-nutrients in soybeans are: problems in the pancreas, along with cancer and thyroid problems. Soybeans also blocks out the body’s ability to absorb essential vitamins and minerals.
Granola As An Unprepared Grain
For the past 30 to 40 years, granola has been identified as a heath food. But eating any unprepared grains, or grains that has not been soaked, fermented then sprouted properly, could cause dietary distress.
There are anti-nutrients that are present in grains (much like soybeans), such as enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid, that make these grains harder to digest. These anti-nutrients can cause problems such as: Crohn’s disease, colitis, and mental disorders. The failure to preparing grains properly is one of the main reasons that celactic disease is prevalent today.
So, other than granola, oatmeal is a better choice to our diets, provided you use whole rolled oats ( and not instant). Make sure you soak them overnight before boiling them for breakfast.
Excellent breads to eat should contain properly prepared grains, which include whole grain sourdough, or sprouted grain breads. You can find these in specialty natural grocery stores as well as health food stores.
If you are attempting to lose weight or eat healthier, keep in mind that just because someone happens to market a “healthy” product or even if a health food store sells it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a real health product. Do some research before you grabbing for that sports bar, the best bet is munching on an organic apple, or cherries, or some other natural food. Your body will thank you for it.