Many people falsely believe they are eating a healthy diet. How can you blame them when we’re constantly bombarded with such misleading labels as “sugar-free,” “organic” and even “all-natural”?
It’s time to take a stand against false advertising and unhealthy foods — and learn what is truly healthy and what is not.
To help you, we have compiled a list of the most commonly misconceived healthy foods that are actually fatal to your health.
Let’s examine foods you should never eat.
1. Foods with artificial sweeteners
The term “sugar-free” is one of the most misleading terms in the food industry. Yes, it’s a good thing to lower your sugar intake, but not when you are ingesting artificial sweeteners, such as saccharin and aspartame.
In fact, recent studies have found that saccharin and aspartame cause greater weight gain than sugar by stimulating your appetite and increasing your cravings for carbs.
Aspartame is the worst. It hides behind names such as Equal and NutraSweet. Aspartame accounts for 75 percent of adverse food reactions that are reported each year to the FDA, according to Mercola. Some of these responses include seizures, joint pain, rashes, insomnia, irritability, anxiety attacks and headaches.
2. Farm-raised fish
Farmed-raised fish, such as tilapia and Atlantic salmon, are advertised as being healthier than wild caught fish but, in fact, are worse because of environmental pollutants.
Researchers found that dioxin levels in farmed-raised salmon to be 11 times higher than in wild salmon. Dioxins are highly toxic compounds that can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.
Persistent organic pollutants, or POP, also are found in farmed-raised fish. Persistent organic pollutants are toxic chemicals that negatively affect human health and the environment.
3. Microwave popcorn
Microwave popcorn is passed off as healthy – but is far from it. This is because to keep the bag “microwavable,” and to prevent the grease from seeping through, it is lined with perfluorochemicals, such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), both which are linked to cancer, infertility, thyroid disease, increased cholesterol and immune system problems. As the bag heats up, these chemicals leach into the popcorn.
The healthy solution to enjoying popped corn is making it the old-fashioned way and popping it on the stove (or using an air popper). Coconut oil is a good choice for popping stovestop popcorn.
4. BPA: food out of plastic bottles and containers
Canned fruits and veggies are considered to be healthy, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Many leading brands of canned foods and food or water packaged in plastic containers contain BPA.
BPA, or bisphenol A, is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are used to manufacture some plastic water bottles, and epoxy resins are used to coat the inside of metal products, such as food cans and bottle tops.
Research has shown that BPA can seep into beverages and food from containers that are manufactured with BPA. Contact with BPA is a hazard because it’s a toxic chemical and can cause high blood pressure, reproductive abnormalities, a heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, neurological problems, heart disease, diabetes and other severe health problems. Plus, it can affect the prostate glands of fetuses, infants and children.
To reduce your exposure to BPA, do the following:
- Buy only BPA-free products. Look for BPA-free labeling.
- Reduce your use of canned foods, since many containers are lined with BPA. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies, instead.
- Avoid heating and dishwashing polycarbonate plastics, because plastic breaks down over time and allows BPA to leach into food.
- Use glass, stainless steel or ceramic containers instead of plastic to store food and to heat food.
- Buy food in glass jars as opposed to canned food or plastic containers.
5. Vegetable oils and margarine
Vegetable oils and margarine are top causes of inflammation and – contrary to what we’ve been told – are not healthy. Most vegetable oils go through the process of refining, bleaching and degumming, which involves high temperatures and chemicals of questionable safety.
This combination has been linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, liver problems, skin reactions, digestive disorders and an impaired immune system.
In fact, canola oil is one of the worst oils to ingest because it must deodorized, which causes normally healthy fatty acids to turn into trans-fat. The amount of trans fat contained in this oil is actually unknown and varies by batch. According to Guy Crosby, associate professor of nutrition at Harvard, all vegetable oils contain trans fat.
“This process produces the bland taste that consumers want” he wrote.
What would you add to our list? How do you avoid fatal foods? Share your health tips in the section below: