I’m got such a kick exposing ‘healthy’ food that aren’t really healthy at all that I decided to do another article on it. This time we’re going to uncover more food that the industry claims to be healthy but under further examination is not really good for us. Here are 5 more ‘healthy’ foods that aren’t healthy at all:
Yes, I went there. I am putting our favorite breakfast food under the microscope. Thanks to a hugely successful marketing campaign by the cereal industry, we still believe that cereal is “part of a balanced breakfast” and why not? The claim is that each bowl of cereal is fortified with vitamins and minerals, is high in fiber and is full of all round goodness. Sounds great!
Upon closer inspection though, turns out the method used to process the cereal, called extrusion, destroys most of the grain’s natural nutrients – including all the added vitamins. Not to mention that some cereals come with high salt content – sometimes higher than a bag of chips! And all the other added ‘fruit’ or sugar coating means that cereal is also full of sugar – and calories. If you think you’ll get your nutrients from the ‘added vitamins’, I’d say, don’t count on it too much. They’re not absorbed by your body efficiently. If you really want cereal in the morning, you’re better off eating some natural oats.
Ok, let’s just be clear here. Soda, be it the diet variety or not, is not a healthy beverage in any way. However, many people who want to lose weight without really changing their eating habits use diet soda because it has almost no calories, allowing dieters to drink guilt-free. But do they really lose weight? Well, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health overweight and obese adults who consume diet soda actually gain weight than lose it. So the answer is, in the long run you’re better off swapping any kind of soda with water or sparkling water.
Again, another product of heavy marketing. Margarine was supposed to be our answer to all that saturated fat we were eating through butter. But as we now know, butter is awesome for you. And margarine – which is made with vegetable oil – has potential harmful effects. The hydrogenation process used to make margarine actually forms trans fat, yes, that trans fat that we’ve been warned to not eat because it causes an increase of coronary heart disease. Ironic considering margarine was created as an alternative to butter – which scientists believed caused heart disease. Now we know the opposite is true.
Ever since the big war against fast food started, fast food companies have been scrambling for a way to make their food ‘healthy’ so people could still frequent their establishment guilt-free. Thus the fast-food salad was born. Now everyone could get their greens and their burgers and fries. All good right?
Hmm… let’s see.
Turns out that most fast food salads have the same amount (or sometimes even more) calories than a burger, clocking in at around 490 calories or more for a salad. For. A. Salad. Just for comparison, an 8oz steak has around the same calories as a fast food salad. Now add the high salt and fat content in the salad, and you’ve got yourself a pretty useless meal. Salads are supposed to offer more nutrition and lower calories than a regular meal, or else you’re missing the point. But we also know that not all calories are the same. Either way, if we’re getting our calories from healthy choices like grilled chicken it’s ok if the calories are higher, but when it’s coming from the salad dressing and all the extra bits and bobs like taco chips, cheap cheese and croutons then those are just empty, unhealthy calories.
Soy milk has been the go-to milk for the health conscious for ages now. Most coffee places offer a smorgasbord of different milks to put in your coffee, soy being one of them. It’s the sword that vegetarians wield to show the world that you don’t have to get your protein through animals, because, soy! In Asia, studies showed low incidences of breast cancer again because, soy. For a while all was rosy. Soy’s reign seemed set in stone.
But we know better now.
In North America the same association between soy and breast cancer was not obsessed. What was happening? For one, Asians eat their soy differently than in North America, usually eating it in tempeh or miso format. But in North America, soy is put into coffee, ice cream, burgers and anything else one can think of.
Aside from that, soy milk is not usually tasty to drink and thus it is loaded with sweeteners and artificial flavors. And soybeans produced in the US and Canada are genetically engineered, heavily sprayed and highly processed. Nothing at all resembling the original bean in Asia. A better choice would be to go for either coconut milk or almond milk.