I love spying into other people’s shopping carts when I am standing in line at the grocery store.
I am not judging the junk food they are buying… but I do like to see what so-called healthy food they have picked! I see people often following the Canada food guide, buying things like skimmed milk, All-Bran cereal, orange juice, margarine and Nutrigrain bars. I always get this overwhelming desire to start grabbing these items out of their cart and yelling “Do you know what this is doing to you!!!!” Sadly, I just turn away and hope that one day they discover the truth behind all the food lies we have been told growing up.
I grew up with a health-conscious Mom who truly believed that she was feeding us the healthiest foods one could buy at the time, and you guessed it, it was much of the same food I listed above. The information around what is healthy and what isn’t is constantly changing and I get how overwhelming it can be. Luckily, in this generation, we have far more access to the truth than we have ever had thanks to the Internet. Although there is probably truth to be found with every type of diet out there – we know for sure now that there are some foods that have no place in our diet no matter which way you choose to eat. Today I am sharing with you the 10 top food lies that we have been told in the last century and hopefully I can reach a few of those people that are still believing in these lies and they begin swapping out from their carts for a healthier version.
Here are my top 10 deadliest ‘healthy foods’ from the last century!
When we were being encouraged to eat “low fat” we began swapping butter to try and save calories, money and be healthy, however, margarine is a bad choice for several reasons. The vegetable oils used to make regular margarine have a high concentration of polyunsaturated fats, which are unstable when exposed to light or stored for a long period of time, generating free radicals – which are responsible for the effects of cell damage, aging, heart disease, and cancer. Due to the hydrogenation process, they are full of trans fats (the bad kind of fat) that can mess up your immune response and fertility whilst increasing the risk of heart disease.
Like margarine, vegetable oils are highly inflammatory, usually genetically modified, partially hydrogenated and have been linked to numerous medical conditions. Ditch your canola and replace with other oils, like Coconut or Avocado.
The Agave tequiliana (tequila) plant is about 1 1/2 times sweeter than regular sugar but has the highest fructose content of any commercial sweetener on the market. Fructose is hard on the liver and puts our body into fat storage mode but it is marketed as a “healthy” sugar because of it’s low glycemic index (a number that represents the effect a particular food has on someone’s blood sugar). Don’t be fooled by this so-called health product. Agave is not healthier than honey, sugar, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), or any other type of sweetener!
When it comes to milk, the ideal choice for dairy (if you are dairy tolerant) is full fat, organic dairy. If you can get grass-fed dairy from cows not treated with hormones, bonus! Without the fat in milk, it effectively goes straight into the bloodstream – making it a poor choice for anyone conscious of their blood sugar levels. Vitamins (A, D, E and K) in milk are fat soluble, which means they need fat in order to be absorbed by the body. Also, calcium absorption is enhanced by Vitamin D, but the Vitamin D needs fat, so skim milk breaks the entire chain of absorption and becomes nutritionally empty.
Adding a little fruit juice to a recipe is one thing – but when you are downing cups of juice at an alarming rate you might as well just be drinking pop. You couldn’t sit down and eat 6 apples at once, but you could probably drink them without the benefit of any of the fibre. While glucose serves as a fuel for our body, fructose is processed almost exclusively in the liver, where it’s converted to fat. In June 2014, a study published in the journal Nutrition found that the average fruit juices fructose concentration is 45.5 grams per liter. For soda, it’s 50 grams.
They seem like a healthy snack replacement, but they can contain more than twice the amount of fat and carbs as a chocolate brownie. They are often just glorified candy bars with flashy packaging. Each brand is different – but if you have to buy one, look for something with the most amount of fibre, least amount of sugar and that contains no artificial sugar. A short ingredients list is key! check out my No-Grain Granola Bars for a great substitute!
The breakfast food of North America! Simply add some skim milk and you have something that is full of sugar to leave you to crash in next to no time. If there is one product you can remove from your house right now – make it cereal! There are so many other better options. Most cereals contain GMOs, are high in sugar and are nothing but empty calories. The brighter the packaging and the more child orientated the worse they are generally.
Most soy contains phytoestrogens, and these phytoestrogens are estrogen mimickers in the body which can increase your risk of breast cancer, cervical cancer, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and other hormone imbalance-related disorders. 90% of soy today is Genetically modified and GMO foods are linked to many health problems because they kill off good bacteria in your gut – affecting your digestive health. Soy is a filler in lots of processed foods, so beware when you are looking at labels!
The word artificial should be a telltale sign, but people still love their diet drinks and sugar-free products thinking they are doing the right thing by avoiding real sugar! Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners are hidden in so many products from cough syrup to toothpaste! They were developed to help curb the need for sugar – but they have contributed to an addiction to over sweet foods that train the taste buds to want more and more sweet food.
Granola is often marketed as “the healthy choice” in breakfast cereal but is often very misleading. Check the ingredients and you will see that there are often massive amounts of sugar and very little fiber – pair that with inappropriate portion size and you are not doing yourself any favors. For a healthier version with the same satisfying crunch, check out my Chia Berry Breakfast Bowl.