Buyer Beware these days...
Unfortunately we live in a world where there are millions of products and things out there that claim to be food but are actually disguised poisons to our bodies.
Huge corporations and big businesses are not here to make you healthy, they are trying to make money and they will often do many unethical harmful things to our "food" without warning us. So, it is up to us as food consumers to do our due diligence and make wise decisions about what we are putting in our bodies.
The amount of food additives that are allowed in our food supply in the U.S is more than 10,000. That's 10,000 chemicals are ALLOWED to be in our food, given to our children, feed to pregnant women, everyday consumers and health connoisseurs alike.
If you are striving to be healthy and want to have a disease free body then watch out for these supposedly "health" foods that have harmful chemicals and additives that may be ruining your health.
#1) Carrageenan- Ever heard of Almond milk? You’ve probably been told a million times that almond milk is a great alternative to dairy and that you should swap your gallon of 2% for this healthier alternative. Well I got some ugly truth for you, the almond milk that you are buying to become healthier may be doing more harm than good.
Carrageenan, a chemical that is found in many alternative milk products is used as a thickener and emulsifier . The problem with this is that this chemical, extracted from seaweed, can be very destructive to our digestive system and increase inflammation in the body. In Fact it may cause an intense immune response in your body, similar to when your body has to attack Salmonella. This intense response can lead to ulcers and bleeding, so buyers beware, especially if you have colitis, IBS or digestive distress your going to what to opt out of buying your almond milk at the store.
Make your own almond milk!! It’s so easy to do and you will not only have fresh creamy milk to pour over your cereal but you also will not have any harmful chemicals or extra sugar messing up with your body.
Simply soak a cup of almonds over night in some water, drain and rinse the next day, put in a blender with 3-4 cups water, maybe a pinch of vanilla or salt, then pour through a cheesecloth and give it a good squeeze. See easy peasy, fit into one sentence :)
#2) Agave: I know I know, isn't agave supposed to be a great form of sugar? Don't all “healthy” people switch away from honey to agave cause of its health benefits? Well sadly this sweetener is just that, pretty sweet. It's praised for its low-glycemic index but don't be fooled, it's largely made up of fructose which is the most damaging form of sugar, its up there with high fructose corn syrup in terms of the damage it does to your body.
I like anyone will get a sweet tooth and I love to make desserts. I make sure I am using health sweetners that come from natural sugars instead of refined ones though to sweeten what I’m making. Depending on the recipe and what I am making I will use things like dates, coconut sugar,coconut nectar, raw honey, and maple syrup. These things are less processed and full of vitamins and minerals that my body can use.
#3 Gatorade- I played sports all growing up and was surrounded by copious amounts of sports drinks all made to “rehydrate” and “replenish” my 10 year old body from all the fatigue it went through while playing 12 minutes of soccer because apprently I was going to die from all the exhaustion :/
I also remember being sick and going to the nurse at school only to be given a large bottle of blue juice to keep me from being depleted in electrolytes. Now this product I don't understand how people can think is healthy, I mean just looking at the bottle makes me squeamish! Good thing I had sense enough as a young kid to opt out of the Gatorade and drink something else instead... ever heard of water?
The sugar, colorings, artificial flavors and chemical additives in Gatorade is actually the least of my concerns when it comes to this drink. What does bother me is the fact that there is a compound called Bromine Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) which can also be found in gasoline to dissolve the lead, photographic paper films, fire-extinguishing materials and agricultural fumigants. Hmmm ya, not something that I want to ingest, and apparently neither do more than 100 countries who have been smart to ban this substance. Come one America, get with it, we need to be looking out for the health of our citizens!
Also just a quick side note if BVO hasn't deterred you from drinking Gatorade, it may be important to note that despite what you have been told, you are not replenishing your body with electrolytes when you swish down this sweet drink. Gatorade has minimal amounts of electrolytes but I assure you that the sugar depletes any of those potential good effects, as does the sodium in the drink which is one of the last things you want to eat when your body is exhausted and fatigued.
Yellow #5 is also added into the mix which results in zinc loss and increased bronchial reactivity- aka asthma. This chemical has also been shown to damage your nerve cells, making them unable to send or receive signals, oh and it can cause cancer.
Coconut water! This not only taste sweet and yummy but it will replenish your body with those electrolytes that it needs. Next time you're sick or exercising vigorously make sure to sip on some fresh agua de pipa.
* Unfortunately coconut water has too become a corrupt industry where many companies are using concentrate from coconuts all around the world. This process lessens the amount of electrolytes and beneficial vitamins and minerals so make sure that you are either buying a whole coconut and extracting the water yourself (and then eating the white flesh) or buying from a company like Harmless Harvest that are using sustainable methods to create their product.
#4 Margarine- It's a shame when some of the most harmful foods for us are out there sitting in a grocery store with a “healthy” label on it. One of these such products is margarine, a replacement butter that's said to lower your cholesterol and prevent heart disease. HonestIy, as a vegan, I would choose butter any day over margarine, here's why.
Margarine is made up of a whole assortment of vegetable oil which produce a high concentration of polyunsaturated fats that create free radicals in the body which can damage the cells in your body leading to heart disease and cancer. These oils have to go through a lot of refinement to make them into a solid form which in the process makes them into artificial trans fats. This decreases you immune response, messes up your hormones and increases the bad cholesterol in your blood… the very thing you are trying to avoid by not eating butter.
Oh there's more don't worry, margarine contains a high amount of omega 6's which most Americans are already consuming way too much of. This leads to visceral fat, heart disease, inflammation and cancer. Oils are not a health food and can really screw up our endocrine system meaning our hormones become out of whack. This is just one of the many things that oil does, but I will not going into more detail here, but feel free to look up Dr.Esseltyns views on oil and how he advocates for a complete elimination of ALL oil... yes even your precious olive and coconut oils.
Avocados- also known as the butter of God’s are a great thing to spread on your toast! Or, you can use hummus, homemade veggie spreads, and nut butters.
#5 Cliff Bars
Again, the advertising of this product if all about promoting a healthy lifestyle so you would think that the ingredients in these bars are healthy as well right? Well you already know buy now that I am going to tell you to beware of Cliff Bars cause they ain't looking so great, unless you want arsenic poisoning that is.
Ever here that rice contains arsenic? Well sadly this is true rice does have high levels of inorganic arsenic as the rice plant loves to absorb this chemical, but I am not here to bang on rice, but on its super concentrated for Brown Rice Syrup. Sounds nice, sweet, healthy right? Well with all that arsenic filled rice now being concentrated down we also have concentrated levels of arsenic accumulating. Eeekkk, well this sugar laden product is probably only used in small amounts you may be thinking, well not unless the first ingredient on the label means its used the least.
We also must keep in mind that though it may have a different name than sugar, it does not mean that when digested it down not turn directly into sugar in your body which can lead to a whole slew of issues.
Another ingredient in this product is soy protein isolate, and while I love soy, this is a highly processed and often genetically modified ingredient that does not in any form resemble tofu, or a soy bean for that matter.
Lara bars! These bars are amazing and their ingredients speak for themselves; dates and nuts. That's it!! And don't be fooled by the little amount of ingredients, dates are such an amazing sweet fruit these bars will have you addicted in no time! But don't worry, there's nothing but good nutrients filling your body after you eat one of these things :) So much away!
Well there you have it, 5 things that may seem to be healthy but are actually not. Unfotunelty I can't say that these are the only products out there like this... there are so many things out there that companies are putting into their products that are super super dangerous and that we should inform ourselves on before we consume.
You can spend hours online researching every ingredient on the back of a food label of a product that you want to buy or you can do what I do, skip on the processed food and fill up my cart with organinc fruit and veggies :)