So-Called “Healthy Foods” to Avoid

You think you are eating healthy and giving your body the nutrients it needs. Juice from the juice bar, “energy” and protein bars, even diet sodas. Well, think again! These foods may be playing havoc with your hormones and your metabolism. They may even contribute to weight gain, thyroid dysfunction, and fatigue. And don’t be fooled—these impostors are often labeled “healthy.”

Grains

Not all grains are created equal, and the wrong ones can affect your metabolism and digestion. The compounds in grains to avoid include starch, phytic acid, and gluten. Starch turns into sugar in your body, phytic acid binds to the minerals in your system and depletes them, as well as the vitamins needed for healthy digestion and metabolism. Too much gluten causes inflammation, which contributes to premature aging and other sinister consequences.

Some of the biggest grain offenders include: white bread, white pasta, most cereal, and even cereal and protein bars. Look for healthier options using spelt flour, amaranth, millet, quinoa, and almond flour. I always say, if possible, avoid anything “white” when it comes to eating grains, including rice. Choose breads using healthy sprouted grains and gluten-free options, but check the labels. Make sure they are low in sugar and salt. Avoiding “white” helps stop bloating and belly bulge as well!

Fruit Juice

The process of turning good fruit into juice kills all the fiber and goodness, and I won’t even go into the sugar, flavorings, and chemicals they put into most off-the-shelf brands. Juice bars are now opening on every corner, but you would be better off just buying the fruit and eating it, as the fiber in the whole fruit is more digestible.

Thirsty? Water with lemon or lime will do the trick.

Oils

Canola oil and corn syrup, used in too many foods, are ingredients to stay away from. Yes, even the ones marked healthy! If you use canola oil or other vegetable oils, be aware that they slow down fat loss and can cause inflammation throughout the body.

Organic virgin coconut oil or a good-quality virgin olive oil are good for your health and skin, so choose those instead. Olive oil should not be used when cooking at high temperatures as it destroys its goodness.

Artificial Sweeteners

So we all know too much sugar is deadly, but artificial sweeteners, including aspartame and other sugar substitutes that contain sucralose, are chemically-laden products which are actually linked to some pretty scary side effects, including cancer. They claim to satisfy your cravings. No guilt. No calories. But in reality all they do is stimulate your appetite and increase your cravings for more sugar. Try raw honey, agave nectar, dates, or spend a week off sugar and, trust me, your cravings will go away.

Always read the labels, and check for sugar and salt content too!