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:
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’.
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!