Are There Health Foods That Are Just Not Healthy?
There are a number of food items, available in your local health food store which cannot be construed to be healthy.
1. Soy Milk. Studies have failed to confirm the supposed benefits of soy with respect to heart disease. The American Heart Association released a study in 2006 concluding that “earlier research indicating that soy protein has clinically important favorable effects as compared with other proteins [with respect to heart disease, cancer prevention, bone loss prevention, and menstrual irregularity] has not been confirmed.” Moreover, studies testing specific isoflavones and other anti-nutrients in soy suggest that long-term consumption might actually disrupt thyroid function, menstruation, and hormone balance.
2. Whole Grain Breakfast Cereals. Breakfast cereals are essentially a combination of highly refined flours and sugar. This is the very combination believed to lie at the root of metabolic syndrome in America today. Organic or not, whole grains contain loads of phytic acid, an anti-nutrient that binds minerals in the gastrointestinal tract so that they cannot be absorbed into the body. To top things off, many cereal makers add antioxidant vitamin fractions to the mix in a pointless attempt to preserve the delicate polyunsaturated fatty acids in the grains, which turn bad as soon as the seeds are cracked open back at the processing plant.
3. Low-Fat Milk. This really goes for anything low-fat. The low-fat craze started in the early 1960’s as a result of some erroneous conclusions about heart disease… that it was caused by fats. For nearly forty years the public has been lost in a grand snow job. The fact that fat is where we get fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) as well as essential fatty acids has been ignored. Back in the 1930s, Dr. Weston Price traveled around the world to study isolated populations who suffered virtually no heart attacks nor any of the other modern diseases such as cancer, diabetes, stroke, and obesity. From the mostly meat-eating Eskimos of Alaska to the agricultural tribes of the African plains, their diets varied considerably. Yet regardless of which traditional diet he studied, Dr. Price found that the amount of fat-soluble vitamins was about ten times higher than in the typical modern diet of mostly processed foods. So not only is there no reason to ban natural fats from your diet, but you’re quite likely damaging yourself if you do. We haven’t even discussed pasteurized milk vs. raw milk and the nutritional difference.
4. Salad Dressing. You would think that eating a salad is healthy but since the main ingredient in salad dressing is oil, and since for all intents extra-virgin olive oil is the only healthful vegetable oil out there, you’d think salad dressings with this universally acclaimed health food would abound. But you’d be wrong. Virgin olive oil is p-r-i-c-e-y. Why would salad dressing producers go there when they can fill their bottles with cheap refined canola or soybean or safflower oil and call it a (profitable) day? Never mind that vegetable and seed oils are among the most heavily refined foods on the market and that they’re heated to insane temperatures that destroy any nutritive value the oils started with. And never mind that such high heat creates dangerous peroxides, trans fats, and other poisons that must then be removed by more refining. Kind of kills the point of eating a salad, no?
5. Agave Nectar. Did the agave marketers sit down with the soy people one weekend and hammer out a plan to hoodwink the public Silk style? (Silk is a processed soybean “milk”) Seriously, how does a sweetener with a typically 70-percent fructose content and effectively no clinical data to its name suddenly become a healthful alternative to sugar? Behold the power of food marketing. Here’s what we know about agave: It’s been produced in Mexico for centuries but most assuredly not in the way it’s manufactured now. Its current industrial processing involves high heat and synthetic chemical catalysts, though we don’t know which ones for sure because the agave producers are not required to reveal their processing methods, and most have not volunteered this information. Like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), agave contains a mixture of sucrose and fructose, but whereas HFCS is only 55 percent fructose, agave is typically 70 percent and as much as 90 percent fructose. Too much fructose today is considered by many scientists as the leading cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver, leptin resistance and obesity.
6. Butter-Like Spreads. Wow, margarine without those wretched trans-fatty hydrogenated oils. Sounds great until you realize these Frankenbutters are simply refined seed and soy oils blended with palm oil… highly processed oils. Processing means high heat, high heat means the destruction of nutritive value… plus they are omega-6 oils anyway. All this marketing gimmickry came about so that people could avoid eating a bona fide health food, butter. Chuck this stuff and buy yourself some organic butter or, better yet, raw butter from a local farm. You’ll be doing yourself and a farmer a favor.