Ten “Healthy” Things That Aren’t Actually Healthy
It’s a hyper-consumerist world we live in, where almost anything goes when it comes to marketing, advertising and public relations. And interestingly, science isn’t always… an exact science. There are still so many questions as to be answered scientifically that advertisers (and others) can easily take advantage of ambiguities to push a product as “healthy” even if our common sense and observations clearly indicate it is not.
Ever wonder why we are such a profoundly unhealthy society? And we are, by the way.
Anyway, let’s cram together a little list of things you might think are healthy, but they aren’t. And don’t get discouraged. I know that when people read these sorts of posts, they start thinking, “Oh man, I can’t eat “x” or I shouldn’t do “y” now? What is healthy? What can I eat? Etc…
My general response to this is, “Well, I think you already know that. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits and properly raised meat. Get sleep and exercise and don’t sweat the small stuff.” Obviously, some things still need to be removed from behind the veil of obfuscation, such as that it’s actually good to eat fat (depending on the type). If you’re interested, this info is all over the blog, website, at our events, in our office and online in many, many places.
So, on to the list!
- Most medication – Have you heard these lists of side effects medication commercials rattle off at lightning speed at the end? Treat your mild psoriasis and risk going blind? What? Perhaps that’s not a fair argument. How about this? The number one killer in America isn’t heart disease or terrorism or anything of the sort. It’s latrogenesis, or, the “inadvertent and preventable induction of disease or complications by the medical treatment or procedures of a physician or surgeon.”
- Low fat foods – Not only is good fat (unsaturated fat) good for you, it’s all too common that foods advertised as low-fat or fat-free make up the difference in spades with sugar and sodium. Take milk as an example. If you drink low-fat or skim milk, you’re missing out on unsaturated fats that help you regulate and create hormones, reduced inflammation and some great omega-3 fatty acids.
- Whole wheat – Whole wheat is better than enriched flour for your health, but it’s certainly not good for you. Wheat opens up tiny gaps between the cells in your intestine. It’s a condition called leaky gut, and it results in tiny bits of food and toxins to leave your digestive tract and enter your bloodstream. This, in turn, leads to inflammation and can potentially develop into things like multiple sclerosis, lupus, type II diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and several other diseases.
- Sports drinks – Here’s one you’re going to hear a lot. They’re full of sugar!
- Fruit juice – But these ones are fruity! Yes, and full of sugar.
- Most yogurt – The majority of yogurt you buy at the grocery store is full of sugar, and that’s the problem, If you stick to sugar-free Greek yogurt, you’ll be fine.
- Hand sanitizer – To be clear, hand sanitizer isn’t necessarily bad, it’s that we tend to overuse it. People who use it too much are at a higher risk of immunity breakdown because, like a muscle, your immune systems needs some exercise to be in tip-top shape. Constantly slathering hand sanitizer on your mits doesn’t help you in that regard.
- Diet foods – (lean cuisine, soda, energy bars, etc.) – A lot of these foods are “diet” foods simply because they are low in fat or use some replacement for sugar. As we addressed with low-fat foods above, you do need fat—and lots of it! Just not saturated fat. Diet soda, using artificial sweeteners, has been proven to cause weight gain at roughly the same rate as sodas loaded with sugar. And don’t get me started on energy bars. They’re just sugar.
- Vegetarianism – While it’s true that most of us should be eating a much higher proportion of vegetables, being a vegetarian isn’t going to cut it. First of all, without a very conscious and well-considered diet plan, you will miss out on a lot of the necessary nutrients that meat provides—and that doesn’t just mean protein. Meat is a great source of Vitamin D and amino acids, among other things. Secondly, the problem with vegetarianism is that many who go that route replace their calories with processed foods and bad carbs, of which there are no health benefits, and in most cases, they’re just bad for you.
- Peanut butter – Most peanut butters are loaded with sugar, but that’s only part of the problem. The way in which peanuts are harvested and stored leads to most of them being coated with a type of fungus called aflatoxins. When peanuts are picked and shelled, they are sprayed with water and then left to sit for long periods of time in silos. During this period, aflatoxins grows. In fact, in most cases of peanut allergies, it’s actually the fungus you’re allergic to, not the peanuts.
Whoa. It’s a lot to take in for sure. The answer? Live naturally, cultivate a healthy lifestyle. Easier said than done? Absolutely! But we can help you with that.