Where do these notions come from that certain foods are "good for us" when they are in fact a wolf in sheep's clothing. Don't be fooled. Learn more.
The following list has been rumbling around in my brain for the past few years. I speak with people regarding their diet on a daily basis. One of the lines I’ve grown very accustomed to hearing is “I eat a very healthy diet”. This is then followed by a string of unhealthy selections such as juice, rice cakes, and granola. I want to offer you this list so that you can avoid the “healthy” disease makers.
- Rice cakes. How did these little cardboard sugar bombs ever get the labeled as health food? The fact that they are not enjoyable to eat probably led people to assume that they must be healthy or why else would they exist. They are nothing but high glycemic sugar loads that rapidly raise sugar and thus insulin. Here’s a fun fact: the lower your fasting blood sugar remains over your lifetime, the longer you will live. These high sugar bombs will raise that fasting blood sugar and lead to insulin resistance, which is the first step toward diabetes. Ergo, high sugar bombs lead to a shortened life span. I do not want to put these manufacturers out of business so please continue to buy these little jems and simply use them as door jams, hockey pucks, frisbee’s and coasters.
- Juice. Good ol’ fashion juice right from mother nature. Wrong. Many orange juice labels will surprise you with the fact that they have added high fructose corn syrup. Those lovely healthy oranges on the tree are squeezed into large storage vats where they sit for long periods of time and are then shipped to manufacturing plants. To make this old stale concentrate palatable requires multiple chemicals and the addition of high fructose corn syrup. Even the freshest of juice is nothing but flavored sugar water. Fruit is healthy and good for us when it comes in its whole form with fiber and skin. Juice is just the sweet sugary nectar that holds the promise of diabetes.
- Protein bars. I have a challenge for you. Go to your local grocery or health food store and look at all the protein bars. Find ONE that has less than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Good luck. Look at Clif bars, Luna Bars, MET-Rx, etc, and you will see anywhere from 10 to 26 grams of sugar per bar. There are often a lot of milk and other allergens in these bars as well. If you are exercising aggressively and need these calories then there may be a place for these in your diet but in general I see people eating these as convenience foods. Check your label and make sure that your protein bar is offering you some actual protein. Some of these bars offer more sugar than protein. Shoot for 20 grams of protein and no more than 5 to 6 grams of sugar. Extra fiber will score any bar a few extra points as it offsets the glycemic nature of the sugar.
- Granola. All the appeal and sugar of a protein bar but without the fuss of adding protein. Quaker oats is owned by Pepsi Company, its granola contains hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup, it’s label says “good source of fiber” but the label lists just ONE little gram of fiber per 90 calories serving. This is a joke right? I’ve seen the commercials with the wooden statue of the smiling quaker in the cute little outfit, and the happy kids running around laughing. Of course they’re laughing, they’re hopped up on sugar and have convinced their parents that these sugar bombs are “health food”.
- Yogurt. My personal favorite “health food”. Now here is the dilemma with yogurt, it once was a reasonable healthy food with good benefit for us. But we killed it. The major manufacturers killed all the healthy probiotic cultures with their over processing added in a ton of sugar so that your taste buds would crave it. The good bacterial cultures have just recently been added back in. The problem remains that most yogurts are not organic and therefore offer a healthy serving of hormones and antibiotics. Yes, the very same yogurts that offer good probiotics also contain antibiotics. Then the work “Greek” became all the rage and everyone flocked to buy it because it was “healthier”. Can any one tell me why Greek is healthier? No, but it has a mystique so we run off and buy it. Dannon, the king of added sugar and unhealthy yogurt saw this trend and so Dannon started a new brand called “Oikos” as their healthy Greek option. This healthy option only has 9 grams of sugar. That's 2 teaspoons of sugar. If you can find a nice ORGANIC yogurt that contains less than 5 or 6 grams of sugar per servings then buy it. Otherwise, buyer beware.
- Vitamin Water. What could be healthier than water and vitamins? This label screams at you that if you don’t drink it then you must be a Mountain Dew junk food junkie. When did sugar become a vitamin? I missed that meeting. There are 13 grams of sugar in an 8 ounce serving of Vitamin Water. It also contains fructose, which we know binds magnesium, chromium and zinc and pulls it out of your body. You need these exact nutrients to properly and efficiently process sugar. I assume their next product will be called “Hydration Master” for rehydrating extreme athletes and it will contain 200 mg of caffeine which acts as diuretic to pull water out of you. Drink your water, take your vitamin but stay away from Vitamin Water.
- Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts. I think nuts are one of the healthiest foods on the planet and offer great protein along with monosaturated fats that are essential for good health. But these nuts from Planters contain MSG or mono sodium glutamate. MSG is a neural toxin, it is toxic to your brain and has been shown to kill nerve synapses. High dose MSG has been shown in rat studies to make rats dumb and lower their IQ. Rats fed MSG could not fund their way out of the simplest of mazes. It also overstimulates nerves and makes it hard to sleep, So peanuts are good, but Planter’s dry roasted toxin version is not. Also as you look at other nuts in the store noticed the roasted varieties are often roasted in cottonseed oil or canola oil. These oils are highly genetically modified and if you aren’t familiar with the dangers of genetically modified foods than visit the “Seeds Of Deception” website (seedsofdeception.com) for the facts on these potential health threats.
- Packaged Diet Programs. I don’t want to offend or be too critical of how people choose to lose weight but I want to point out a simple concept. Any program that sells you all the food you need to eat on their diet program is suspect right from the get-go. All of these foods are processed so their nutritional content is already adversely affected and then they are wrapped in plastic so they get a nice coating of estrogen. Many of the meals I reviewed from Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers contain high fructose corn syrup and when I reviewed one complaint letter from a Jenny Craig client questioning the high sugar content in the food, the response from corporate Jenny Craig was, “If you don’t like the food then don’t eat it”.
This excerpt was taken from the Weight Watchers website:
When it comes to added sugar, where the sugar comes from — HFCS, sucrose, honey,
fruit juice concentrate — does not make a difference when it comes to weight
But isn’t excess sugar and especially high fructose corn syrup counterproductive in ANY weight loss plan? The obvious answer is yes. Pretty simple really. Healthy food comes whole and fresh from your local grocery store or farmers market. I know it’s not always as convenient as a boxed meal but you need to keep your ideals in mind. If convenience is more important than health then you have lots of options but lets not kid ourselves into thinking that these fast, easy options are healthy.