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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Avatar of Hilary Rowland

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 lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 100 Comments

  1. Avatar of Kyrah Edwards

    If you’re really concerned about manufactured food, don’t eat them anymore. Whole foods are always better because it’s not like someone will inject synthetic sugar in carrots. If you want flavoring in your food, use fresh herbs or ones that you dried personally. Food companies want their products to taste good despite the healthy claim. Without MSG or added sugar, their products will taste like nothing and you won’t buy it. It’s not exactly their fault, they need the sales! ?

  2. Avatar of Lucia Labruna

    Our definition of healthy isn’t even accurate. How do we expect manufacturers to actually produce something healthy?

  3. Avatar of Lana Carlson

    If I was to own a business, the main source of profit is to really fool people. Get it? Don’t get angry if that’s what they do. It’s natural. You’re the one at fault if you get fooled though.

  4. Avatar of Cassie Johnston

    Cassie Johnston

    You can actually test if the honey is real or not. Buy from trusted brands and not just anywhere.

    • Avatar of Cecilia Little

      Cecilia Little

      How do you test it though? I read somewhere that if ants eat it, it has sugar. But if ants ignore it, it’s pure honey.

  5. Avatar of Kayla Carlson

    Kayla Carlson

    Manufacturers put sugar-free but they only hide sugar in the list of ingredients. They just put it under different names that other people can’t even read. I hate it when manufacturers do that just so they can sell. Once people get into the habit of research and really checking the label, they start removing it from the list of ingredients like it wasn’t even there. Way to go in covering their tracks!! It really upsets me that they can’t be honest with what they’re selling.

  6. Avatar of Lucia Lopez

    I think it’s the way we see food that’s wrong. I believe that what we have around us is food, yet we seek fast food. Plant f***** fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc. That’s food.

  7. Avatar of Jeanette Bouvin

    After reading this, I still think I’m going to consume these things. I’m sorry but I’m going to go crazy if I take note of all these things…

  8. Avatar of Lucia Pombo

    I didn’t even question anything about milk because we’ve grown up knowing that it’s healthy.

  9. Avatar of Devon Carlson

    Even soymilk is bad? What’s going on with this world. All we’re getting is false information from the things we’re eating. I honestly don’t think it’s possible to even be healthy in this world that lies even about nutrition. I pity those people who get allergic reactions from things that they eat because it can’t be controlled. Food is such a tricky thing to discuss and health claims are also very hard to narrow down. One day, we think it’s healthy, the next, it’s not.

    • Avatar of Valerie Fritz

      Valerie Fritz

      I know. There are so many conflicting information about health and food.?

  10. Avatar of MARIA


    They can’t fool us with this. Maybe those who aren’t health conscious wouldn’t mind, but we definitely do!

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