There are many of us who are dieting and trying to live a
healthy lifestyle. We exercise and go out of our way to eat the
best foods we can. Most of us already know that trans-fats,
white sugar and white flour are not the best health choices,
especially if we want to keep our weight down.
Unfortunately some of the very foods that we think are healthy
are ones that can cause a lot of trouble for our bodies, and
even make us ill. Below is a list of some surprisingly unhealthy
Artificial Sweeteners Many people who are dieting, whether it
is low calorie or low carb diets, will opt for beverages with
artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. Admittedly sugar is
certainly a troublemaker and should be avoided, but artificial
sweeteners are actually worse for you and could even be
dangerous to your health.
All the artificial sweeteners are bad, but one of the worst
sweeteners for us is NutraSweet (Equal, aspartame). There are
over 92 different health related side effects associated with
aspartame consumption, including brain tumors, birth defects,
diabetes, emotional disorders and epilepsy/seizures. There are
more adverse reactions to NutraSweet reported to the FDA than
all other foods and additives combined.
A much better alternative to chemically derived sweeteners is
stevia, which comes from a plant. It has been used for centuries
with no know side effects. It can be purchased in most health
food stores in the United States.
Sports Drinks Although marketers would have us believe that
sports drinks are what the body needs when exercising heavily,
the truth is that sports drinks are filled with sugar (sucrose,
glucose, and fructose) and salt (potassium and sodium) as well
as artificial flavorings and colorings. Add a little salt to
Cool-Aid and you have about the same thing. You would be much
better off drinking spring water or diluted freshly squeezed
juices while exercising.
Most Energy and Sports Bars Most sports and bars are also
filled with things that are not the best for our bodies, and are
little better than candy bars. Many of them contain sugar or
artificial sweeteners, chemicals, preservatives, and synthetic
nutrients. Check the ingredients before you buy an energy bar.
Try to find one that is made with whole foods, such as oats and
flax seeds, fruits, and natural sweeteners.
Soy Products This is one of the most surprising ones of all,
after all soy has been used for countless generations in Asia.
But the way we now use soy is very different than the way the
Asians have traditionally used it. The ancient Asians knew that
the soybean was hard to digest, so they had extensive fermenting
processes that broke down most of the indigestible components,
making it much healthier to eat. Examples of this would be
products like soy sauce, tempeh, and miso. These were used in
small amounts as condiments and flavorings, not as a meat
But the way we use soy as a meat alternative (texturized
vegetable protein or TVP) can be very unhealthy, since soy
contains large amounts of toxins or anti-nutrients. Some of the
problems the anti-nutrients in soybeans cause are conditions of
the pancreas, cancer and thyroid problems. Soybeans also can
block the body's absorption of essential minerals.
Granola (and Other Unprepared Grains) For the last 30-40 years
granola has been synonymous with heath food. But eating
unprepared grains, or grains that have not been soaked,
fermented or sprouted, has only come about in the last 50-100
years. People who lived before our time understood that
unprepared grains could cause dietary distress.
There are anti-nutrients in grains (like there are in soybeans),
such as phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, that make them harder
to digest. These antinutrients can cause serious problems like
Crohn's disease, colitis, and even mental disorders. Our failure
to prepare our grains properly is one of the reasons that
celactic disease is so prevalent now.
So, stay away from the granola. Oatmeal is an excellent addition
to our diets, but use whole rolled oats (not instant) and soak
them overnight before boiling them for breakfast. Go to our
recipe blog at http://coconut-recipes.b
for a good recipe for coconut oatmeal.
Good breads to eat are those that have properly prepared grains,
including whole grain sourdough and sprouted grain breads. You
can usually find these in specialty grocery stores and health
If you are trying to lose weight and/or eat healthier, remember
that just because a company markets a "healthy" product well or
a health food store sells it, it doesn't mean that it is really
healthy for you. Do some research before you grab that sports
bar, or better yet, reach for an organic apple, cherries, or
some other natural (not processed) food. Your body will thank
you and reward you for it.