So, you think you're healthy?
You eat your veggies, like Mom told you to, eat lean meats and fish, eat plenty of nutritious grains, drink plenty of water, and stay away from Twinkies®. But how much do you really know about some of the other food products in your life?
Let's see :
Tinned tomatoes have been linked to reproductive problems, heart disease, diabetes and obesity – thanks to the bisphenol-A (BPA) that lines the tins. Endocrinologist Fredrick vomSaal blames the resin lining of tin cans as they contain BPA which is a synthetic oestrogen linked to all the above diseases. It is the acidity of the tomatoes that causes the BPA to leach into your food from the tins.
As if this wasnn’t enough, the tomatoes are picked prematurely and hormones and gas are used to ripen them, depriving them of their optimum nutrition.
So much for them being a “superfood”!
Many fruit smoothies contain added sugars and high-fructose corn syrup, which means they’re more milkshake than smoothie. The reality is all is all in the name. You should choose a 100% real fruit smoothie made with plain yogurt instead of ice cream or sherbet. These contain nearly half the calories and significantly less sugar, plus they also provide all of the fibre, vitamin, and antioxidant capacity that a smoothie is supposed to have as well as providing some of your five-a-day nutritional allotment.
Green Tea is famous for its health benefits, and is very popular in Southern and Eastern Asia, as it contains antioxidants and caffeine. Research has shown Green Tea to be the oriental “secret” in the fight against cancer, heart disease, skin diseases, and senility. However, natural Green Tea sacrifices taste for its health benefits. Virtually all commercial beverage manufacturers that use Green Tea add boat-loads of sugars and additives to counteract the impossibly bitter taste.
Scientists have also warned people who drink Green Tea in high amounts that they are posing a risk to their kidneys and liver, as it contains large quantities of polyphenols, and the EGCG (epigallocatechingallate) in the tea can interfere with a child’s growth whilst in the womb, which can create complications.
It tastes good.
So what’s the problem?
Okay, there are worse things to snack on, but that doesn’t mean dried fruit is a harmless snack. First of all, as it’s dried fruit, they lack moisture, and moisture is normally what gives fruit it’s volume and gives you that nice, much sought after, “full” feeling. So, 600 calories of volumeless dried fruit later, you’re still hungry (kinda like Chinese food).
However, what’s worse is the fact that companies such as Sun-Maid and Ocean Spray add rail-cars full of sugar to the fruit, making it taste nice but making Craisins more like sweets than natural healthy goodness.
So, what alternatives are there?
Well, maybe, I don’t know, try real fruit?
Ever wonder what keeps a granola bar together?
The makers of one of America’s favorite most misunderstood snacks use mostly high-fructose corn syrup, i.e. sugar, as their “glue”, which, in turn, quickly raises blood sugar levels and cancels out any of the potential health benefits that you might otherwise get from the oats. By switching over to good old-fashioned cheese and crackers, you swap out sugar and fat for protein and fibre and save some money. Talk about a great deal!
Canola Oil, lauded for it's unsaturated fatty qualities, but, in reality, Canola Oil is the clever rebranding of genetically modified Rapeseed Oil which is an industrial oil used for machinery lubrication, NOT for human consumption.
The process that makes Canola Oil requires high-temperature mechanical pressing and solvent extraction, before being bleached and showered in chemicals. Unrefined, Canola oil contains roughly 10% omega-3’s, which are found in fish oils and promote all sorts of bodily goodness. However, these healthy unsaturated fats quickly become smelly and disgusting when heated, so they have to be deodorised. This process then turns a lot of the omega-3’s from nice, healthy fats into disgustingly unhealthy trans fats, which are generally labelled as hydrogenated vegetable oils and have shown a direct link to cancer!
During the eighties, rapeseed was fed to dairy cows, pigs and sheep as a cheap and available food source – until the animals started going blind and attacking people! These attacks were eventually stopped once the CanolaOil was eliminated from their food source.
Finally, Canola Oil blocks normal enzyme function and inhibits the proper metabolism of foods, making you fat. Still not convinced? It’s called rapeseed oil!
By now everyone should know that margarine is pure evil. Despite being easier to spread on toast and pancakes, in their desperate quest to remove saturated fats from butter, food chemical conglomerates created fat filled land mine. Instead of being laden with mere saturated fats, margarine contains plenty of the much more dangerous trans-fats that have more links to heart disease than Agent Orange.
For a healthy alternative, try using real natural butter that comes from actual cows, just choose a brand that has had air whipped into it; this decreases the calorie count of a tablespoon of butter, and makes it much easier to spread!
Wait a minute, these are vitamins, aren't they supposed to be good for you???
Chewable tablets are a fun and easy way to get your kids to eat their vitamins. Unfortunately they are also a good way to get your kids eaten by vitamins! The scientific name for Vitamin C is ascorbic acid, which is a good clue to the root of the problem. Studies have shown that, in some cases, chewable Vitamin C tablets can cause people’s teeth to erode. Dentists, as usual, suggest you brush your teeth after chewing one of these and try to buy a brand that has Vitamin C in its non-acidic form.
Or you could just "man-up" and swallow the pill.
Just about anything made from Wheat
Wheat products such as most breads, cereals, pasta, bagels, and whatnot, are all believed to be healthy by the vast majority of the eating public. However, Mike Greary, a certified nutrition specialist, suggests that a lot of people have some level of intolerance to the gluten that is found in wheat and some grains. Gluten intolerance, called coeliac disease, is not a food allergy per se, but a physical reaction that causes the body to try and “defend” itself by attacking the gluten protein. This usually causes an extreme physical reaction, which, in the short term, causes stomach pains and bad moods. In the long term, prolonged exposure to gluten flattens down the villi that line the small intestine and help the body to digest food.
Yogurt and fruit – a combination too healthy and perfect to be true, right?
Well, that little tub contains as much sickly sweet sugar as a soft drink, due to the “fruit” being made almost entirely of high-fructose corn syrup. Instead, start your day off with real fruit pieces and non fat plain yogurt to get the same effect, minus the calorie count.
The "magic bullet" for rapid weight loss!!!
The acai berry is a wild naturally occurring product that comes from the rainforests of Brazil. Demand for the acai berry has soared to roughly $104 million in the United States alone, thanks to Oprah Winfrey’s winning endorsement, that normal growing and harvesting techniques cannot meet the global demand. This, of course. has led to large scale commercial farming of the berry, and the wide-spread use of pesticides and other harmful chemicals, not to mention massive de-forestation and enviroinmental destruction.
As well as damaging the environment, the acai berry can also harm the human body. Because it only grows in one region, to prevent it from going rotten, it must be processed and sealed on the same day before being flown all over the world. The “berry” is rarely sold as such, but is more commonly found in pill form, with a host of ingredients added to try and cut costs. Empty ingredients, such as sugar and caffeine, may or may not be listed, leaving the consumer in the dark as to what they are actually eating.
Could be sawdust...
Beans, in and of themselves, are a fabulous source of protein and fibre. Unfortunately, as with most commercially processed food products, they contain an awfully large amount of sugar – up to the same amount as an eight (8) ounce can of your favorite soft drink!
Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter
Real peanuts are high in protein, and high in all the healthy fats that your body needs. By extension, peanut butter that is made from only peanuts is also high in these properties. The problem occurs when food conglomerates make reduced fat varieties. They take a small amount of real and healthy peanut butter, and mix it up with fillers like sugar. Basically, they substitute good fats for bad fats. Stick to the good stuff.
This is only a small list of the minefield that spans the modern Über-Mart.