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5 Health Foods that are NOT Health Foods

Elizabeth Renter
December 27th, 2013
Updated 05/07/2014 at 12:47 am
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diet sodas healthy 263x165 5 Health Foods that are NOT Health FoodsDo 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.

From around the web:

  • James Cooper

    There is not one of these points that is accurate. Soy is not harmful and there is no evidence whatever that GM crops are any more dangerous than conventional crops. The trace amounts of BPA found in cans is hundreds of thousands of times less than that the amount that could cause concern. MSG is completely safe, as it occurs in many foods everyone eats every day: cheeses, broccoli and tomatoes and soy sauce, for example. Agave is indeed pretty much fructose, but “processed” doesn’t mean anything. It is just a sugar. Sugar sweetened beverages are bad because of the calories. Diet sodas do not have those calories and there is no research to indicate they are harmful. Quite the contrary, there is plenty of research to show they cause no harm.

  • RealityCheck

    There is no evidence whatsoever to back up your claim on point #2. We eat too much whole grain? Please, do cite your reputable source for that wild claim.

    Point #4 contradicts itself. Substitute sugar with sugar? Makes no sense.

    Finally, I highly doubt that anyone on Earth would consider diet soda a “health food.”

  • el gallinazo

    Diet sodas are not OK, period. Aspartame is a central nervous system excitant. Like cyanide, a lot is worse than a little. I have heard that the only benign form of soy is organic, fermented soy which puportly is quite healthful. The ancient Chinese obviously knew this. One can buy soybeans and do your own fermentation. It ain’t rocket science. When you take water out of the statistic, honey has almost the exact same saccharide profile as high fructose corn syrup. Maybe Monsanto should design an insect to walk around in their HFCS so certain health food advocates would consider it healthful.

  • cesca_nz

    Diet soda is OK on occasion as long as you are not guzzling down 4 litres every day. Filtered water? That stuff tastes awful and disgusting. (especially Aquafina and Dasani). They are just municipal water filtered a few times, Those bottles still have FLUORIDE in them. We buy Bottled Spring water – clean, sweet, cheap and best of all – NO FLUORIDE!!! Sure we eat things like fruit loops and cheerios for breakfast – but what else do you expect us to eat? A slice of buttered toast and a coffee? THAT is not a good breakfast!!! The only soy product consumed occassionally in our house is soya sauce, but I personally cant stand the taste so I stay away from that. All in all, I think we are doing pretty well with what we can afford, especially since food prices are rising so fast.

    • bigpet

      toast and coffee is better then fruitloops

      • RealityCheck

        Breakfast cereals are loaded with vitamins and minerals and have single-handedly practically eliminated rickets in the United States.