5 'Healthy' Foods That We Should Try to Avoid - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog


5 ‘Healthy’ Foods That We Should Try to Avoid

Which marketing tactics have we fallen prey too?


I used to just take people at their word when they said that certain foods were healthy. Then I started doing my own research, and discovered that a lot of foods that are marketed as healthy are actually the exact opposite of that. We all know that we should limit junk food – it’s common sense. The problem is that we have been coerced by clever marketing tactics for many years, into eating foods that we believe to be healthy; when in fact, they are doing our body, and our health far more harm than good. Here are some of the foods that we should be avoiding, despite believing that we are opting for healthy alternatives:

5 ‘Healthy’ Foods That We Should Try to Avoid

Cow Milk

Got milk? Absolutely not!

Since we were children, we’ve been fed the bogus message that ‘milk gives us strong bones’ and ‘does a body good’ because of the calcium it contains. The marketing continues, despite the mountains of evidence that counteract this argument and show that people who consume a high quantity of dairy sustain more fractures than those who drink a small amount.

Us humans were simply not designed to drink milk. Past infancy we don’t produce Lactase, the enzyme that aids the digestion of the milk sugar lactose – which is why milk can have such an adverse effect on our digestive system. On top of that, like all animal protein, milk acidifies the body pH which in turn triggers a biological correction. You see, calcium is an excellent acid neutralizer and the biggest storage of calcium in the body is – you guessed it… in the bones. So the very same calcium that our bones need to stay strong is utilized to neutralize the acidifying effect of milk. Once calcium is pulled out of the bones, it leaves the body via the urine, so that the surprising net result after this is an actual calcium deficit.

This, coupled with all the antibiotics the cows are given, the saturated fat that milk contains and the fact that milk protein casein encourages mucus production…milk is definitely something that we should avoid.

While of course, calcium contributes to our bone, nerve and muscle health, there are other sources of calcium that give it to us in an alkalyne form where our body can actually use it. Kale, edamame beans, almonds and even broccoli are all incredibly rich in calcium, fibre and phytochemicals. Add them to your daily green juice or smoothie and you’ll actually be ‘doing your body good’.

5 ‘Healthy’ Foods That We Should Try to Avoid

Soy Milk

Often, when women decide to avoid dairy, they reach for the most common substitute – soy milk. Soy milk is high in phytoestrogens; these are plant compounds that the body treats as oestrogen and studies have shown that soy milk can cause hormonal disruption within women’s bodies. Now I know that there is only so much that a man can comment on women’s hormones, so I will stick to the facts – playing havoc with oestrogen levels can result in weight gain and dry skin.

Soy milk is usually comprised of genetically modified, synthetic ingredients grown using pesticides and herbicides; basically, things that we do not need to be putting into our body. Soy is also high is phytic acid – a composite that reduces the body’s ability to absorb calcium, zinc and magnesium.

All in all? Avoid soy products and opt for nut products instead.

If you are looking for a dairy alternative, the best option is to make them at home. I know, I know, yet another element to add to your weekly meal prep – but your body will thank you for it! These videos show you how to make almond and coconut milk from the comfort of your own home.

Of course, these non-dairy milks can be bought in stores, but the problem is that they too, fall prey to being pumped full of undesirable ingredients such as emulsifiers, which give them its creamy consistency. Emulsifiers can also be found in foods such as creamy salad dressings, baby formula, mayonnaise and ice cream. Emulsifiers are linked to poor gut health because these ingredients alter the natural microbes that live in the gut. In case you weren’t aware, your gut is the most important part of your body; it controls everything from your immune system, to how many nutrients you absorb from your food, to your skin and mood and more!

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A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she spends most of her time traveling around Europe, with pied-a-terre's in Zurich, London, Milan and Lyon, France. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 81 Comments

  1. Carol Hopkins

    You can’t be serious, right? You warn us all and scare us with facts only to say, HEY! EAT THE COOKIE.

  2. Gladys Brown

    So what’s the best alternative to sugar? Honey used to be one of them. It’s not about the sweet fix either. More like something to sweeten food.

    • Margaret

      True, it’s not like I can squeeze a fruit to put into my cooking. That would be weird for some cases.

  3. Leona Palmer

    Stupid marketing tactics. They’d do anything to sell even if what they’re saying is not real.

  4. Courtney Warner

    The food industry is never going to be honest with us with all their claims. All they want is profit.

    • Deanna Harper

      I know. How can we even be so sure that the whole foods that we’re eating are safe as well? It’s so easy to lie about the no pesticides claim.

  5. Elsa Walton

    Condiments are really bad for your health. But a lot of us can’t avoid it. It’s not like we would eat salads without the dressing. It’s a lot like the cherry on top of every ice cream. It’s really hard to avoid the unhealthy stuff because we’ve come to live our lives with this unhealthy food choices. Ketchup, mayo and all those creamy condiments are bad for our health. They even contain preservatives too other than the obvious ingredients that aren’t good for our health.

  6. Dorothy Garrett

    Bottomline is avoid the grocery store ? Be paranoid half of your life too because everything is dangerous.

  7. Carolyn Watkins

    I don’t even know why we’re drinking cow’s milk. Don’t say that it’s because we’re all mammals, because I don’t see people drinking dog milk and they’re mammals too??

  8. Marsha Willis

    What? Soy milk is bad for our health? I’ve always drunk soy milk to regulate my hormones. But it says here that it’s the other way around! Geez, science can be so confusing. Now I don’t know if I’m helping my body or making it worse. Why are there studies that are the complete opposite of this, then? What’s the basis on this one? It’s very confusing… Articles will always have supporting details that look so legit and you can’t figure out which one is more accurate than the other.

  9. Louise Mathis

    I love honey. I just use it as an alternative to tea but I’m sure that it’s 100% pure honey so it’s safe.

  10. Cora Greene

    This is a lame excuse to convert people to veganism. ?

    • Anita Price

      They just want to open our eyes to the reality that what we think is healthy isn’t always healthy.

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