Updated: Oct 5, 2018
An awesome insight into some of the NOT SO HEALTHY "HEALTH FOODS" that we get sucked into by clever marketing!
1. Soy Products Soy products are highly processed that contain added sweeteners, stabilisers and preserves. Soy beans contain phytoestrogens that mimic the body’s natural oestrogen hormones. These can have devastating effects on both men and women, including infertility, testosterone imbalance, and oestrogen dominance in women leading to infertility, menstrual troubles and cancer. Soy is very hard for us to digest and soybeans contain enzyme inhibitors that inhibit enzymes needed for the breakdown of proteins. This causes stress on the body and can result in indigestion, bloating and constipation. Solution: Go for fermented tempeh or miso and cut down on those soy lattes and instead choose alternatives like almond milk.
Agave nectar Agave nectar comes from the agave cactus in Mexico that is processed to make a so called “healthy” sweetener. However, because it is stripped of all nutrients, agave syrup is no better than high-fructose corn syrup. Next time you are munching on a raw food bar, you may want to check the ingredients. You may be surprised at how many foods have agave hidden in them. Solution: Try using natural sweeteners such as dates, raw honey and stevia.
Foods labelled “fat free” When you see a product labelled “fat free” don’t think it’s by all means a healthy option. Some labelling trick you into thinking that the fat free option is a healthier alternative such as with fat free yoghurts. However, it usually means that fat is replaced with preservatives or sugar which ultimately is converted to fat in your body. Solution: Our body needs good fats to function so go for 100 % natural FULL FAT yogurt and make sure you are reading the ingredients list for any hidden sugars or additives.
Gluten free packet foods Just because products in the health food isle are labelled gluten free doesn’t mean they are the healthier choice. I used to buy gluten free organic potato chips or natural gluten free chocolate cookies because I thought it was healthy. However, I discovered that there is very little difference between the “healthy” packaged food and the no brand packaged food. For people wanting healthier eating habits this is very misleading because in fact there is just as much sugar and fat in the gluten free cookies as there is in no brand cookies. In saying that, there are some genuine good gluten free products on the market. It’s just about having a good read of what the products contain. Solution: when buying gluten free packet foods, read the ingredients list first then decide if these are really going to benefit your health.
Fruit Juices Fruit is healthy. Fruit is full of fibre, minerals and vitamins that our body needs. But the store brought pre-packaged juice is usually processed with added preserves and can sometimes have the same amount of sugar and calories as a soft drink. When fruit is juiced, it is stripped of its fibre and leaves you with a massive spike in blood sugar levels.
Solution: eat fruit whole or add into smoothie so you are also getting the fibre that will keep your blood sugar levels steady.
If a food claims to be... It means that one serving of the product contains...
Calorie free = Less than 5 calories
Sugar free = Less than 0.5 grams of sugar
Fat free = Less than 0.5 grams of fat
Low fat = 3 grams of fat or less
Reduced fat or less fat = At least 25 percent less fat than the regular product.
Low in saturated fat = 1g of saturated fat or less, with not more than 15% of the calories coming from saturated fat.
Lean = Less than 10g of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol.
Extra lean = Less than 5g of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol.
Lite = At least one-third fewer calories or no more than half the fat of the regular product, or no more than half the sodium of the regular product
Light = Means the color of the food is light (white, cream etc).
Cholesterol free = Less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol and 2g (or less) of saturated fat.
Low cholesterol = 20 or fewer milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams or less of saturated fat.
Reduced cholesterol = At least 25% less cholesterol than the regular product and 2g or less of saturated fat.
Sodium free or no sodium = Less than 5mg of sodium & no sodium chloride in ingredients.
Very low sodium = 35 mg or less of sodium
Low sodium = 140mg or less of sodium
Reduced or less sodium = At least 25 percent less sodium than the regular product.
High fiber = 5gor more of fiber
Good source of fiber = 2.5 to 4.9 g of fiber
Be cautious and educated when reading food labels!
You are what you eat!