April 3, 2011

The Top 10 Unhealthiest "Health" Foods, part 2

On TV, in magazines, on the radio; we are bombarded with health claims of what we should eat. A simple rule of thumb when choosing healthy foods, is to avoid foods that are advertised or have health claims such as "low-fat" on the packaging (the less packaging of the food, the better). Below is the second part of my list of top 10 foods that are often advertised as healthy, but should be avoided.
6. Snack bars – Just look at the nutrition label, if you can’t pronounce it you shouldn’t eat it. There is typically nothing healthy about most popular cereal and granola bars. Anything that ends in the letters -ose are forms of sugar. How many ingredients ending in -ose can you find in one of these nutrition labels? 

7. “Whole” grain bread – Bread is highly touted as a health food which is unfortunate because it leads to many different health problems. When processed bread goes into your body it turns directly into sugar. When bread sits on a shelf at room temperature it goes rancid. Although I recommend removing breads from the diet, If you have a hard time giving it up completely, look for breads in the freezer section that contain whole wheat, sprouted, stone ground or steel cut wheat such as Ezekial bread, and be sure to keep in your freezer until right before you eat it.

8. Beef and chicken (corn and grain fed) – Animals are meant to roam free and either eat grass or forage for food, when you feed them grains it makes them sick so they typically have to be given antibiotics. This causes their meat to become not only inflammatory from the grains but loaded with antibiotics. Try to find beef, chicken and other animal protein that are local grass-fed, hormone-free and pastured.

9. Frozen “healthy” meals – Foods are not meant to be heated to high temperatures. Having to heat frozen meals to very high temperature, such as in a microwave, typically destroys the vital nutrients in heated foods. Also, frozen foods typically contain different forms of monosodium glutamate (MSG) which is an excitotoxin in our bodies which can damage our nerve cells. Watch out for the alternative names for MSG like hydrolyzed protein, glutamate or carrageenan.

10. Vitamin Water – Is it just sugar water in a pretty package? The nutrition label of Vitamin Water shows the drink contains 13 grams of sugar per serving, but there are 2.5 servings in each 20 oz. bottle. That means there are a whopping 32.5 grams, which is nearly seven teaspoons of sugar in each bottle of Vitamin Water—nearly as much as a 12 oz. can of soda.

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