Whether it’s antioxidant supplements or risky juice fasts, it seems there’s a new health food craze every other week. Ads and the media constantly tout the benefits of diet must-haves like vegetable oil and energy bars. But are these foods actually good for your health?
Unfortunately, some of the most popular so-called health foods are actually really bad for you! Many items labelled as healthy or even “all natural” foods are still loaded up with harmful sugars, dangerous fats or artificial processing.
Don’t be deceived by advertising or online nutrition crazes. Here’s 7 of the worst foods and drinks sold in the name of health:
1. Sports Drinks
Quenchers like Gatorade claim to boost athletic performance and rebuild your electrolytes after a tough workout. However, most of us don’t need the extra electrolyte blast (the average person’s level of exercise doesn’t affect our levels that much) and sports drinks typically contain an insane amount of sugar or chemical sugar substitutes.
When you’re thirsty or need to rehydrate after your workout, just go with good old H20!
2. Fruit Juices
What could be wrong with a classic glass of OJ, you ask? Unfortunately, almost all commercially sold fruit juice is made from concentrate, with almost no real fruit and nearly as much sugar as a soda.
Even fresh squeezed juice contains shockingly high levels of sugar, with almost zero fiber content to balance it out. It’s far more nutritious to just eat whole fruit instead.
3. Whole Wheat
While it’s true that a slice of whole wheat bread makes a healthier sandwich than highly processed white breads, the reality is that consuming wheat in any form may be detrimental to your health.
Wheat contains gluten, which experts believe blocks up your digestive system and can lead to a host of health problems over time. Regular wheat consumption may raise cholesterol and lower your Vitamin D count.
4. “Healthy” Breakfast Cereals
Don’t be fooled by that calorie count or the cute heart-healthy icon on the package. Almost all cereals have extra sugar added as well as a ton of refined carbohydrates.
The added vitamins won’t prevent a glucose crash or subsequent cravings for a second bowl.
5. Low-Fat Foods
Although the “low-fat” label sounds healthier, most manufacturers are actually just substituting saturated fats for sugar and chemicals — and studies have shown that saturated fats are less harmful over time when compared to artificial ingredients and sugars.
If you’re trying to lose weight, it may be healthier to skip the low-fat version and just eat regular foods in smaller portions.
6. Vegetable Oils
Just because they have “vegetable” in the name doesn’t mean they’re better for you. Many of these oils, including anything from seeds, are chock full of trans fats and are highly processed, producing a cooking ingredient that does terrible things to the body.
Consumption can lead to increased heart disease risks and a dangerous excess of Omega-3 fatty acids.
7. Agave Nectar (Sugar Substitute)
This is a popular sweetener for the health-conscious organic set, but don’t be sucked in by the hype. Although agave nectar has a lower glucose count than sugar, the fructose content in agave is way off the charts.
Metabolizing such high amounts of fructose can lead to serious liver problems. If really can’t go without some sweetness, a moderate sprinkling of sugar in the raw is a far better alternative.
When in Doubt, Purify Your Diet
Since there are so many conflicting messages out there, we understand that it’s tough to keep track of what healthy foods are actually healthy for you.
Try to ignore the health hype and just remember some cardinal rules: eat fresh and organic, eat more raw fruits and veggies, and cook for yourself as much as possible. No processed food means a happy body!
So have you ever discovered your favorite “health” food wasn’t so healthy? Have any items to add to this list? Tell us in the comments.