Between convincing television commercials, magazine advertisements, blogs, and listening to our friends, many people are confused about what “healthy food” really is. You may think you’re reaching for a healthy snack, when in reality it’s loaded with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, pesticides and other harmful toxins. Check out these 11 foods you think are healthy, but are actually far from it!
1) Conventional Produce
You may think munching on fruit and veggies is healthy. But unless your produce is organic, you’re still putting your health at risk. Conventional produce is loaded with toxins, pesticides, chemicals and hazardous GMOs.
Instead: Go organic.
2) Low-Fat, Reduced-Fat or Fat-Free Foods
Foods labeled “low-fat,” “reduced-fat,” and “fat-free” are usually loaded with more sugar, sodium and chemicals to enhance flavor.
Instead: Avoid processed foods.
3) Pre-made Smoothies & Juices
Pre-made or store-bought smoothies and juices may seem healthy, but they often have more calories than a fast food meal! That’s because they are typically loaded with sugars and syrups to enhance flavor. Many are also made using conventional produce.
Instead: Make your own smoothies and juices.
4) Frozen Yogurt
Many people turn to frozen yogurt, assuming it’s much healthier than ice cream. You may even think it has probiotics since it’s yogurt. However, through processing, all active cultures are killed.
Frozen yogurt is also high in calories and loaded with sugar. That’s not to mention the sugary and fatty toppings people love to load up on!
Instead: Eat live cultured, natural yogurt.
Researchers estimate 40% of the population have some level of gluten intolerance. Wheat contains gluten! For this reason, be smart about labels and do your best to avoid products that have been disguised as healthy by the terms “whole wheat” or “wheat grain.”
Also, many wheat products have been treated by pesticides and other chemicals prior to harvest.
Instead: Make your own baked goods with these gluten-free flours.
You may think you’re doing you body good when you reach for an energy, fiber or protein bar. However, they actually aren’t that different than a candy bar! While meal replacement and snack bars are advertised as “healthy,” they’re actually highly processed, high-calorie, loaded with sugar and contain high fructose corn syrup.
Instead: Snack on energy boosting organic fruits and vegetables.
7) Farm Raised Fish
You may think opting for a plate full of fish is healthier than a big juicy steak. But if you’re buying farm raised fish, that isn’t the case.
Farm raised fish grows up eating genetically modified corn and soy feed. This GMOs feed is nothing like their natural diet. When we ingest farm raised fish, we are also taking a big bite of toxic GMOs. Also, farmed fish have a high risk of disease and parasitic infestation.
Lastly, the beneficial protein and omega fatty acids in fish can by reduced by 50% in a farm raised fish.
Instead: Eat wild caught fish.
8) Cold Cuts
Packaged meats are processed and high in sodium. In some brands, one 2-oz. serving contains nearly one-third of the maximum recommended daily sodium intake.
Instead: Eat real, hormone-free, antibiotic-free meat.
Did you know that this butter alternative is one molecule away from plastic? Highly processed and created in a lab, margarine contains trans fats that are associated with heart disease.
Instead: Eat grass-fed butter.
10) Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners trick your body and trigger hunger. The confusing ingredients found in these packages alter the delicate balance of your gut bacteria and allow bad bacteria to take over. For future reference, anything with “artificial” in the name should be avoided like the plague.
Instead: Sweeten your food with one of these natural sweeteners.
11) Diet Soda
While they’re low-calorie, diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners.
Instead: Drink detox water or unsweetened iced teas.
Do You Eat These Foods?
If you eat these foods on a regular basis, chances are you’ve killed some of the good bacteria in your gut. Your body needs that good bacteria in order to function properly.
Your gut affects your entire body. Here are 6 functions your gut is linked to:
- Digestive health
- Energy level
- Skin condition
Rebuild Your Good Gut Bacteria
The best way to rebuild you gut’s good bacteria is to consume probiotics! Along with eating probiotic-rich foods (click here for a list of probiotic-rich foods), you should also be taking a daily probiotic supplement.
To learn more about how probiotics will rebalance your gut and help cleanse your colon, click here.