7 “Health Foods” to Take Off Your Shopping List
Sometimes, even with the best intentions of eating healthier, the media can brainwash us into eating things that aren’t really good for us because they’re marketed as health food. It’s so so so important to always read labels, because sometimes your sub-consious tells you something is ok and then you get home and decide to read the label and then bang your head against the wall. It’s happened to me plenty of times.
These are the top “health food” mistakes that people make.
1. Apples. An apple a day keeps the doctor away – unless that apple isn’t organic. Apples have one of the highest pesticide levels of all fruits and are sprayed more frequently. There have been a number of studies linking pesticides to a host of health problems. Organic apples can be found in bulk and bulk stores such as Costco usually carry them as well. Apples stay good longer in cooler temperatures so if you buy in bulk make sure to keep them in the fridge so you don’t end up throwing half of them out.
2. Whole Wheat Bread. Flour comes from wheat, so basically what this tells you is that the bread you’re buying is made out of flour. Nothing more nothing less. There’s really nothing healthy about refined flour. I really recomend getting rid of bread altogether (most contain ingredients you really don’t want in your body, such as corn syrup and caramel coloring) with the exception of sourdough because it is fermented (if you can tolerate gluten) or gluten-free bread if you are sensitive to gluten and really want a piece of toast. Every once in a while I like a sandwich and my daughter loves grilled cheese sandwiches. When the craving hits we use Canyon Bakehouse GF multigrain bread it’s the best texture I’ve found in any GF bread so far.
3. Salad Dressing. This is not only a health scam but a waste of money. Some aren’t so bad for you but most are loaded with preservatives to make them shelf-stable and the “fat-free” varieties are even worse: loaded with fillers and sugar to enhance the texture. You can easily make your own dressings by whisking up a healthy oil (olive, sesame, avocado, flax, walnut), an acid (apple-cider vinegar or lemon), and your favorite herbs. You can play around and make them savory by adding some mustard (my personal favorite) or make them sweet by adding all-natural,organic, sugar free fruit spread such as raspberry for a fun summer raspberry vinaigrette.
4. Microwave Popcorn. Besides the fact that non-organic popcorn is mostly likely genetically modified there are also a host of chemicals in the lining of the bag. One of these chemicals known as PFOA is part of a class of compounds that has been tied to infertility and in animal studies has been shown to cause liver, testicular and pancreatic cancer. Microwaving the bags causes the chemicals to vaporize right into the popcorn, and into your body. If you can’t live without popcorn always buy organic and pop it at home with a high quality fat such as ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil.
5. Flavored Yogurt. Yogurt is one of those foods that so many people eat because they think it’s good for them but in reality some brands contain corn syrup and most flavored yogurts contain more sugar than a candy bar. Plain, organic, unflavored Greek yogurt is a good source of protein and contains probiotics but anything other than that is a waste of money and calories. If you’re not a fan of plain yogurt try spicing it up with cinnamon, ginger or raw cacao powder and add some health boosting seeds too!
6. Juice. Unless you’re making juice at home with a juicer you should always avoid it. Most juice isn’t even juice at all and can contain less than 10% actual juice and are loaded with sugar and artifical food coloring.Skip fruit juice and real a piece of fruit instead.
7. Farmed Salmon. While wild caught salmon is one of the healthiest foods around, especially for fertility/pregnancy/lactation, farmed salmon should be avoided at all costs. Farmed salmon are usually crammed into pens and given antibiotics and fed soy and other things a fish has no business eating. It is also lower in vitamin D and higher in pesticides and contaminants. Always make sure your salmon says wild caught and always avoid farmed and Atlantic salmon.