15 Health Foods That Are Actually Bad For You
More and more people aware of how important it is to avoid unhealthy food. However, there are some unhealthy foods that are considered healthy and that can be a great problem. Some of them may come as a surprise, like those marked as low fat or fat free. Surprisingly, many of the foods on the list are still unknown as hidden junk food and you will be quite shocked when you realize how many of them you buy on regular basis. So take a good look at this list of 15 health foods that are actually not so healthy and that you should avoid buying and eating.
1. Salad dressings are loaded with sugar, trans fats artificial chemicals and vegetable oils. Although the are considered to be based on vegetables and vegetables are supposed to be healthy, they are not so tasty on their own. Commercial salad dressings have such great and rich taste thanks to all these additives that are not good for our health. So try eating your veggies without additional flavor, because it adds too much junk to your healthy plate.
2. Lately, more and more people conclude that whole “war” on saturated fat was just a big mistake. It was based on few strong evidences from the very beginning, but many “low fat” and “fat free” foods have made their way to buyers just because people thought these foods were actually healthier. The things is, when you remove fat from foods, it becomes less tasty. To change that, many commercial food producers have started to add sugar to compensate the fat and taste loss. As you can see, this has nothing to do with your actual weight loss, on the contrary, it may be more harmful to your health than you think!
3. Fruit juices are believed to be very healthy. On most of them you can see how they contain great amounts of vitamin C or how them come from the ripest and extremely fresh fruit. But, the truth is- the juice you can find in the supermarket isn’t really fruit juice. In some cases these fruit juices don’t contain any fruit at all! They just taste like fruit because of the chemicals in them. So basically, you are drinking water with fruit-flavored chemicals. Don’t think that products that guarantee 100 % quality fruit juice are any better. The sad truth is- all of them are loaded with sugar.
4. Cholesterol lowering phytosterols probably sound like something good to your health. Phytosterols are actually plant versions of cholesterol and according to some studies, they have shown the ability to lower blood cholesterol in humans. Because of this, they are frequently added to processed foods and marked as foods that lower bad cholesterol. Some other studies have shown that even though they lower cholesterol levels, these phytosterols have negative impact on cardiovascular system and therefore may increase the risk of heart disease.
5. Whole wheat products are not always made of whole wheat. Whole wheat bread may even contain similar glycemic index as white bread. In fact, the whole story around whole wheat bread may be a bad idea. The reason for this is that the wheat we know nowadays is very unhealthy comparing to wheat our ancestors ate. In sixties, scientists made some changes in wheat genes to increase the yield. Because of this, modern wheat is much less nutritious and it may even cause health problems for people who are intolerant to gluten. They may even cause inflammation and cholesterol levels, so the best solution may be to avoid bread in general.
6. When you think of butter, you probably think of it as something extremely unhealthy, even deadly. Instead of eating butter, some health experts suggest margarine. Few decades ago, margarine was very high in trans fats. Nowadays, it contains less trans fats but still, it is has a lot of refined vegetable oils. But let’s define what margarine actually is. It is not food, but an assembly of chemicals and refined oils that make you think it looks and tastes good. According to some studies, people who have transferred from butter to margarine are more likely to suffer from a heart disease. So try to avoid margarine instead of replacing butter with it.
7. Low carb junk food may be the only worse thing than the regular junk food. However, many people still believe in power of low carb being printed on the bag of their favorite chips. This is because low carb diets have been very popular for many decades. But, don’t be fooled by quality of low fat junk food. If you take a closer look at the ingredients, you will see that there is no actual food there, just a bunch of chemical and highly refined ingredients. In short, everything that can seriously harm your health. Of course, low carb junk food is harmful when eaten regularly.
8. Sports drinks were initially made for athletes and people who exercise a lot. They contain electrolytes and sugar, which are good for athletes in many cases. On the other hand, most of other people who do not exercise on regular basis do not need any additional electrolytes (salts) and they most certainly do not need more sugar. Also, don’t be fooled by “lower amounts” of sugar in these drinks. The only difference between sports drinks and regular sodas is that sport drinks contain a bit less sugar than juice you buy in your supermarket. If you want to stay hydrated, try drinking water and avoid drinks with too much sugar.
9. Agave nectar is considered to be one of alternatives for sugar. It is also called agave syrup and it can be found in many health foods, but the problem is- agave syrup or nectar is not that healthy at all. The main problem with sugar in the first place is that it contains large amounts of fructose, which can give you metabolic problems when we consume it excessively. Sugar is 50 % fructose but agave nectar contains, wait for it, impressive 70-90 %. The conclusion is- agave nectar is actually not better than sugar, it is worse.
10. Vegan junk food is getting more and more popular since more and more people are becoming vegan and they kind of miss junk food from their past lives. Vegan diets are promoted in order to improve health, but vegan junk food is not as good for you as you may think. Many processed vegan foods on the market are often sold as a replacement for yummy junk food you know is very bad. The most important thing is to keep in mind that even though it is vegan, junk food is junk food. In other words, processed food will always be bad for your health, no matter how close to vegan it may get.
11. Processed organic food is another example of brands using the word “organic” just to make the buyers believe they are actually buying something healthy. Here’s one example: they use ingredients like organic raw cane sugar, which is basically the same as the regular sugar. It still contains the same amounts of glucose and fructose and it contains nothing nutritious whatsoever. So the real difference between processed organic and processed regular food does not exist. Processed food means a lot of additives in both cases. If you are not sure, just check the ingredients and if all you can see are chemicals, put down the bar and get away from the store.
12. Brown rice syrup (you may also know it as rice malt syrup) is another wrong sugar alternative. By wrong we mean it is not any healthier than regular sugar. Brown rice syrup is mad by exposing cooked rice to enzymes that break the starch into simple sugars. This sweetener has a glycemic index of 98, which actually means that the glucose spikes blood sugar very fast. Another reason why brown rice syrup is bad for you is because it is highly refined and has no nutrients. Also, there were some concerns about arsenic contamination in syrup, so maybe it is better to avoid these kinds of sweeteners in general.
13. People mostly use seed and vegetable oils, including soybean oil, canola oil and others. The reason for this is the fact that these oils have shown to lower cholesterol levels (in short terms, at least). However, keep in mind that cholesterol is actually a risk factor, not a disease. That means that vegetable oils cannot guarantee prevention of heart attack, heart diseases or lower cholesterol in some cases. There are even some studies according to which vegetable oils, despite lowering cholesterol, can increase the risk of heart diseases or even death. Instead of eating foods prepared with these oils try coconut oil and olive oil.
14. Gluten-free junk food is a real superstar in holy world of food. This is because about a third of the US is actively trying to avoid gluten. Since gluten has become the world’s biggest enemy, many food manufacturers have come up with a whole bunch of new gluten-free products that are supposedly the best food choice you can make. Don’t forget these products are still junk food, besides the fact they contain no gluten. These are highly processed foods and contain absolutely no nutrients. Instead of lying to yourself, eat foods that are naturally gluten-free and not gluten-free junk foods.
15. Many popular breakfast cereals are marked as healthy day start and are marketed towards children. Many of them also have signs such as “whole grain” and “low fat”. But at the second glance, the list of ingredients shows that only thing you can actually find in your box of cereals is sugar and some more sugar. Refined grains and artificial chemicals are also often included. The sad truth is, when a box says its healthy in lots of font sizes and styles, it probably isn’t. A regular oat meal is not as fun as colorful box of chemicals, but it can save your life if you think in long terms.