By Ekaterina Morrissey
More and more people today are going to the local Healthy Food Store to buy their groceries. And why not, if you are aiming for better health and weight, right? But are they being health fooled?
A big part of it is because the word “Healthy” or “Whole” is in the name but that doesn’t make what’s sold in the store 100% healthy as some products are in fact 100% unhealthy and you are far better off without them. However, many people blindly spend big bucks shopping there thinking they are optimizing their health.
As a Holistic Health & Weight-loss Coach I take my private and corporate clients on a healthy foods store tours where I teach them to decode labels and everything there is to know about making the healthy vs. unhealthy choices for foods and products. However, I don’t go to the local Health Store to do that because it isn’t necessary.
Here are just some of the staple foods and products you can find in the local Healthy Food Store that don’t belong in a store that claims to be ‘Healthy’:
1. Fruit Juices
Even if the juice says “organic,” since it is commercially prepared, it has been highly processed and the end product is a liquid with barely any nutritional value. It has been through pasteurization which destroys its vitality and then kept in huge tanks, where in order to preserve it, the oxygen is removed and with that all the natural compounds that give the fruits their flavor are gone.
Seeing Best Before date of 60 days or more is a concrete indicator for a heavily processed juice. However, heavily processed or not, an 8oz serving of fruit juice contains 8 teaspoons of sugar which is not much better than the 10 tsp teaspoons found in a can of soda. Treat yourself with the whole fruit instead, where you’ll still get the natural sweetness of the fruit but the sugars are slowly absorbed by the blood due to the natural fibers.
2. Protein Powders
Opposite to what many people would like to believe, Protein Powders are not even real food! They are extremely unhealthy and unnecessary as a supplement. Protein is a vital building block for our lean muscles, to maintain healthy hair, nails and skin and to boost our immune system. A lot of people who want to ‘eat clean’ are being brainwashed about supplementing with protein powders. Three very good reasons to remove them from your diet are: 1) Proteins are heated to the point that our body doesn’t recognized it as food, including the ‘low temperature’ protein powders in the health food store. Making the protein powders process deliver highly denatured protein, completely useless as a health supplement. 2) Most of the protein powders and shakes contain these common ingredients: GMO, soy, refined sugars, MSG under different name, heavy metals, antibiotics, rbGH, Carrageenan (in shakes) and other chemicals and preservatives. 3) Drinking protein smoothies and protein bars without consuming good quality saturated fats, and most people are doing exactly that, is a road to disaster. A diet hight in protein and low in fat depletes Vitamin A from our body which leads to kidney problems, thyroid disorders, autoimmune diseases, heart arrhythmia and multiple types of birth defects in pregnant women.
3. Gluten Free Products
Gluten Free, as I explained in the article “The Gluten Free Diet” is another ‘new hype’ that is not healthier and it will not aid you in losing weight either. If your body can not tolerate/digest gluten chances are your body can not digest diary, wheat, nuts and proteins from different sources as well. Gluten is not the problem. Your compromised digestive system is. The only exception is for people with Celiac decease as they absolutely have to give up gluten. The rest are being fooled, once again, from Big Food, the Media, and your doctor to switch to GF foods to optimize your health, using the GF as a bandaid to a much larger issue. Of course, they don’t tell you that the food companies, responsible for your compromised gut are the same ones who now sell you GF products distorting your wallet and your health, since they are filled with GMO corn and soy, and loaded with refined sugar from GMO sugar beets to make up for the bland taste.
Unless you go for organic whole plain goat or sheep milk yogurt, the rest of the choices are waste of your money, as they are nothing more but junk food. Organically fed cows are still fed organic soy (explained in bullet #6) and what the cow eats, you are eating, so a BIG NO to that. Non-fat and flavored kinds are offered in the Health Food Store at all times being labeled as heathy choices and sources of probiotics which are two gigantic lies as I explain in details why in Is Yogurt Good for You?
5. Diary Free Milks
There is a huge market for dairy alternatives like nut, rice or soy milks and yogurts but just how healthy are they? Last time I checked, Organic Almond Milk from Silk was loaded with synthetically made vitamins, like Vitamin E Acetate, Zinc Gluconate, Vitamin A Palminate to name a few. Let’s take a look at what really is Vitamin E Acetate? Manufacturers take natural vitamin E and add acetic acid to it. And just what you’d think – the word ‘acid’ means it’s corrosive and attacks the skin. Why would the manufacturers mix perfectly good vitamin E with this irritating ingredient?? Three words: cheaper + shelf life. Does it qualify as healthy food? Nope. There is no point to even mention the non-organic nut milk’s ingredients as the list is long and disturbing and just the fact that contains carrageenan should be alarming. Carrageenan is well documented carcinogen. Find out which products doesn’t contain this chemical at the Full Cornucopia Report.
6. Soy Products
It is a popular misconception that soy is a health food when in fact it couldn’t be further from the truth. See why it is not a health food and the side effects from soy at The Truth About Soy. Anything made or containing organic or conventional non-fermented soy should be avoided like the plague and certainly doesn’t belong in the Health Food Store, and yet we find it there in abundance touted as a health food.
7. Natural Sweeteners
There is a whole aisle in every Health Food Store dedicated to healthy alternatives to sugar. How healthy are they is a whole different story. In alphabetical order, Agave Nectar pops out first which is a very popular sweetener especially in the natural health food communities. Because agave has the highest content of fructose, even higher than High Fructose Corn Syrup which, when consumed in high amounts leads to insulin resistance, it should be avoided at all cost. Brown Sugar is a regular sugar that has been added a small amount of molasses to get the color. Evaporated Cane Juice can be seen on some ‘healthy foods’ labels and a lot of folks feel safe because it sound healthy. Don’t be fooled by the name…it’s just a fancy name for sugar! It is one of Big Food’s label deceptions so the consumer doesn’t know the true sugar content in the product. Raw Organic Cane Sugar is another deception of Big Food and the Sugar Association. Organic or raw, sugar is sugar.
8. Vitamins and Supplements
Most common vitamins and supplements, including children’s vitamins, contain GMO soy and corn in their products. Vitamins like vitamin C, A, B-2(riboflavin) and B-12 are a just a few that comes to mind. Virtually all the popular multivitamins are nothing but an expensive urine. Does Maltodextrin, Ascorbic acid or Sucrose rings the bell? They are all derived from GMO corn. Kids vitamins are the worst as they loaded with natural flavors, sugars and artificial sweeteners. Unless it states on the bottle “Non GMO Project Verified” it should not be sold in the Health Food Store.
…and the list goes on…
A disturbing fact is that a lot of Health Food Stores fly their fresh produce from some place else rather than using local farmers. In a recent trip in Ft. Lauderdale, I was stunned when the strawberries and broccoli in Whole Foods Market, in the month of June, came from California instead of Florida. There is nothing healthy about that and is certainly unsupportive to local farms. Shame on Whole Foods Markets!
The American food supply is infested with pesticides, preservatives, chemicals and GMO’s and you are on your own. If the package has a health claim on it it’s probably not healthy and your local Health Food Store is just a small to medium size regular food store that is utilizing a “health” claim in the name with blown up prices.
Some good ways to start eating healthy and not relying on false labels and Big Food products is: either grow your own organic produce or pay weekly visits to your farmers market or local farms to get quality fresh produce, meat and eggs. Joining a co-op is a budget friendly solution to healthy eating. You can find a local co-op or a local farm in the USA or Canada here => Coop Directory Service Listing.
By Ekaterina Morrissey