Do you believe that diet soda is healthful? What about flavored water? For one reason or another, there are numerous foods that have gained the title of “healthy food” when they really aren’t. Many of these foods are still being sold as healthy options and well-intentioned consumers are continuing to eat it up. Sometimes these food aren’t the worst of the bunch, but they are still not healthful options.
Seeing through the multi-million dollar marketing ploys of food makers is difficult. After all, they spend stacks of cash and employ people who are the very best at what they do in order to convince you their product is worthwhile.
Here are just 5 food products you might believe are good for you due to clever marketing and misleading information.
1. Soy products including tofu, soy milk, and soy proteins - Non-organic soy products are most likely GMO. As a matter of fact, 90% of non-organic soy products sold in the U.S. are from genetically modified crops. While it’s marketed as a good source of plant-based protein, soy can have numerous unintended effects. Even organic soy has been shown to have endocrine disrupting effects, potentially leading to thyroid dysfunction, infertility, and even cancer. Admittedly, this is a controversial food in terms of healthfulness (when no GMO), so consume with cation.
2. “Healthy” cereals – Breakfast cereals with whole grains are marketed as a great way to start your day, but those whole grains are highly over-consumed by westerners, to the point where our body systems are inflamed and we become insulin resistant. Grains can cause the body to resist leptin, the hormone that predicts the onset of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance. Still, the “whole grains” labels are plastered all over grocery store shelves in an effort to convince you they are healthy.
3. Low-fat, low-sodium, or “lite” soups – Canned soups, no matter the label, are not a healthy option. Not only are they likely contaminated with the BPA lining the can, but they often contain flavor enhancers like MSG, known to cause migraines, obesity, and maybe even ADHD. They aren’t among some of the worst foods, but they certainly aren’t great either.
4. Agave - Agave has attracted many people because it’s natural, plant-based. But so is sugar. Like these sweeteners, agave isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It contains about 55% fructose, is highly processed, and lacks nutritional value. Need a little sweetener? Try raw, organic, locally-sourced honey.
5. Diet soda - Is diet soda bad for you? You bet. While diet soda doesn’t contain loads and loads of sugar like typical cola, this ‘healthy’ drink has been tied to everything from kidney failure and cancer, to obesity and stroke. Stick to filtered water.