We know what you’re thinking. “What?! Avoid healthy foods?”
Yep, you heard us.
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Now, of course, we don’t mean all healthy foods (as if we’d let you off the hook that easily). Instead, recent studies by food industry experts have targeted a few foods that, while they certainly have healthier reputations, are potentially hazardous because of the ways they are raised, grown and sold.
Below we’ve listed some of the worst offenders:
Have you ever looked at the ingredients that appear on the back of your frozen dinner? Looks more like the components of a chemistry project than a nutritious meal. Add to that chemicals, additives, low fiber, and an extremely high sodium count.
Research has now shown that diet soda can be detrimental not only to your waistline, but your overall health. It not only can actually encourage weight gain, but has been linked to various other conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Whole wheat has more essential nutrients and more dietary fiber – unless your multigrain bread is made with whole grain.
Fredrick Vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri, explained that the linings of the tin cans used for canned tomatoes contain bisphenol-A, or BPA, a synthetic estrogen linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity – some of the very top health conditions plaguing black Americans.
“Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food,” says Vom Saal. “Studies show that the BPA in most people’s body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young. I won’t go near canned tomatoes.”
Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter
Reduced-fat peanut butter generally contains more sodium and sugar than regular peanut butter.
According to Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and farming author, cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. But more money for cattle farmers (and lower prices at the grocery store) means a lot less nutrition for us. A recent study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The study also found that grass-fed beef is lower in inflammatory omega-6s and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. “We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure,” says Salatin.
Light Salad Dressing
Yes, lower calories is generally a good thing. However, many salad dressings contain addition additives, while lacking the surprising health benefits that some regular salad dressings have, such being a good source of healthy fats.