On a recent post of mine, Xaka commented and asked me specifically to write this post, and since the topic is one that's led to a few stumbles in my own natural living journey, I agree that it makes for good discussion. The fact is, there are a lot of supposedly "healthy" foods on the market that are anything but. Here are a few that I've stumbled across in my quest for healthy living.
1. Yogurt - Not all yogurt is created equally. Some brands contain artificial food coloring and flavors - not healthy. Low-fat yogurt isn't a great choice either, since it is more highly processed and often contains more sugar. If you're wondering how to choose the best yogurt, look for a full-fat variety with no more than 12-15 grams of sugar per serving. You can even make your own in a crock pot:
2. "Low-fat" foods. Now, foods naturally low in fat aren't a concern. But processed foods that read "low fat" or "non-fat" on the label typically contain added sugar or even artificial ingredients to improve flavor and texture. Fats aren't really the bad guy they're made out to be, though. It all comes down to eating food that is minimally processed.
3. Diet sodas and drinks. Again, we've been conditioned to think that "diet" or "low-sugar" varieties of things are magically healthy, but this is a lie. I might seem to be contradicting myself, since I talked about finding a lower-sugar yogurt, but the difference is all in what's added to make up for what's taken out. Diet sodas contain chemical sweeteners to (kind of) make up for the taste of the sugar that isn't there. But it's not healthy. If you're like me and for some reason feel the need to drink bubbles, try a naturally flavored carbonated water. Ideally, the ingredients should say
"Carbonated water." That's it. Add a little (100%!) juice to make it sweet, if you must!
4. Soy. There's some controversy around soy and whether or not it's healthy, but I avoid it and here's why: It messes with hormones, and it inhibits our body's ability to process nutrients. This article from Keeper of the Home sums up the dangers of soy well.
The TL;DR version? Eat real, whole, unprocessed food. 🙂