Food is a basic necessity to survive. Humans and animals eat food – we all know this. Have you also heard the saying – you are what you eat! – this can be so true as well. WE consume foods – different types of foods. Some of these foods can be great for us, while some of these foods we consume are… well… NOT SO GOOD FOR US. So, the reality is, while there are many types of foods available for us to consume, there are some foods that we should stay away from.
There are some foods that we simply MUST NOT EAT. Right from childhood, we are ENCOURAGED to eat healthy. In a report on child health, it was noted that as people grew older, adequate intake of fruits had a significant decline and a minority of children ate vegetables .
Why? This is a good question to ask.
It is NOT ENOUGH to say: don’t eat this food. Instead, understanding why a particular food or specific types of food can be bad for you is SO MUCH MORE WORTHWHILE and also, such knowledge could help ensure lifestyle transformations last longer. So, why should we NOT EAT SOME FOODS… well… the answer is quite simple. Some foods that we consume can prevent us from maintaining or arriving at a healthy WEIGHT and could also hinder the potential our bodies have for HEALING. There are foods that WILL NOT help you slim in size or lose weight. These foods will also not allow your body heal in terms of healing joint pain, gut damage and dealing with muscle pain.
Here are 5 foods that you MUST NOT eat:
#1 – Commercially Processed Salad Dressing
What are salads? Typically, we would describe salads as a healthy meal, comprising mainly of vegetables and sometimes fruits, nuts and other accompaniments that provide nutrition or some appeal. YES! Salads can be good for us. However, when considering foods we MUST NOT eat, consider the commercially processed salad dressings that are being sold to accompany the salads we eat. These types of dressings can contain TONS AND TONS of unwanted calories.
The loophole we face with salads is that these foods are usually not served alone. The dressing seems and most times IS the perfect thing to associate with a salad. Without a salad dressing, the salad can taste bland and uninviting. To satisfy to this market need, commercially produced salad dressings can contain ingredients to make this salad dressing product taste appealing. We NEED to be aware of this food.
#2 – Fruit Juice
The fruit juice we buy in stores sometimes may not be entirely or completely made from fruit juice. UNFORTUNATELY… IT CAN GET A LOT WORSE when we consider just what the fruit juices we buy may contain. It may be a mix of substances that taste like fruit but are not actually fruit.
CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS? IT’S HAPPENING, and many people are falling victim to this marketing phenomenon. It can seem convenient to simply walk into a grocery store and buy a container of fruit juice. However, WHAT ARE WE ACTUALLY BUYING? Are we simply buying into the potential lie that the fruit juice we buy is good for us?
Pure fruit juice is the healthier option and with this option, there is still the need to watch consumption levels because natural fruit juice can still contain significant levels of sugar. Such sugar content can have an impact on diseases like diabetes as research shows . Research studies also reveal that sugar can also have an impact in affecting other medical conditions including cardiometabolic risk factors .
By focusing on the juice of the fruit alone, we also eliminate the fiber and other benefits we get from eating the whole fruit and not only extracting the juice.
#3 – Organic Processed Foods
Go organic! Yes, “organic” is one of the more recent buzzwords that have captured the interest of many. Indeed, there is benefit in seeking and consuming organic versions of foods. Organic foods provide a more natural version and with minimal processing, if any at all. However, there is a MARKETING strategy with some of the so-called organic foods out there – many of these foods we sometimes place in our shopping carts and bring back home.
What food processors and marketing groups do is figure out a way to tap into the HYPE of ORGANIC EATING while still sneaking in some “not-so-nice” or “not-so-wanted” ingredients – in essence, the foods that you should not eat or the foods that make the normally healthy foods suddenly fall into the category of foods that you MUST eat.
For example, while organic granola can be a healthy choice, what we need to UNDERSTAND about granola is the way many types of granola options appear to us in the grocery stores. Such organic food choices could contain non-organic “add-ins” and sometimes other organic ingredients like natural cane sugar, which is in reality still sugar that we should AVOID where possible. Of course, the organic version of sugar may be better. However, do pay attention to processed foods, especially if these foods are tagged with the word “organic” but are processed and rendered less healthy than natural counterparts.
#4 – Gluten-Free Processed Foods
Another term for foods that we find in food stores these days is “gluten-free foods”. Folks that have a reaction to gluten can benefit from gluten-free alternatives and this can be a life-saver in many ways, enabling people live quality lives with the pain that can result from gluten-sensitivity situations.
Again, food producers and marketers can capitalize on this fact and tap into those who would naturally be drawn to consuming gluten-free foods. Unfortunately, “gluten-free” may not necessarily mean “healthy”, as also confirmed by consumer reports and this can be seen in many examples such as the comparison between a non-gluten-free muffin that has 340 calories and a gluten-free muffin with 370 calories . Some gluten-free foods are full of additional ingredients that are packed with sugar, calories and processing that depletes the food of its natural nutrients.
#5 – Diet Drinks
Do you think that diet drinks are good for you? HMMM… it’s TIME TO RECONSIDER that thought. Yes, diet drinks such as diet soda may not have the conventional sugar that is used in ordinary sodas and sugary drinks. HOWEVER, to compensate for the loss of sugar from these sodas, food manufacturers and processors resort to other means, including adding in replacements like artificial sweeteners which sometimes do not actually contain sugar and calories. SO, THIS IS GOOD, RIGHT? WRONG! Not quite good as we would expect or hope.
On the contrary, the artificial sweeteners focus on our appetites and create an increased appetite in many cases. Information from the School of Public Health at Harvard also lends input to this conversation by revealing that health benefits related to artificial sweeteners are inconclusive and diet sodas do not necessarily provide a suitable alternative .
A research study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition agrees that sugar alternatives and sweeteners, including low calorie sugar substitutes do not actually reduce or minimize the consumption of sugary drinks but instead, the existence and level of intake of these sweeteners have increased in parallel with consuming sugary drinks. SO … we drink diet drinks and then … we want to eat more or drink more. Unfortunately, when this occurs, we may not be eating the healthiest or best meals. Hence, it can be smart to stay away from these drinks!
A major mistake that is made is to think that certain foods we consume are GOOD FOR US, while on the contrary these foods are indeed making us fat. Why eat things that are not good for us when there are alternatives that can do us a world of good? Why eat foods that keep us sick or from feeling our best?
Instead, why not EMBRACE our best foods and eat more of the things that keep us healthy in weight and healing potential. It can be so rewarding to keep away from these foods that we simply must not eat! An alternative to these foods we must not eat is to strip the food down to the basics – the natural components.
For example, with commercially processed salad dressings, you could consider making salad dressings at home, using pure and natural ingredients like natural spices, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and herbs. For all these foods that you MUST NOT eat, SURELY with a little thought, we’ll find some way to avoid these foods or ingredients and still find REALLY GREAT FOOD CHOICES to include in our lives.
Some of these ingredients can include loads of saturated fats that are bad for the body, high fructose corn syrup, other types of sugar (YES, SUGAR!), unnatural preservatives and other ingredients – some with names that make it SO DIFFICULT TO PRONOUNCE – still ingredients that we’d rather do without. SO, WHAT HAPPENS… we take a perfectly healthy meal like a salad and drench it with commercially processed salad dressings or reach for a diet drink instead of healthier alternatives… and then GUESS WHAT? We then WONDER why we are not looking or feeling trim and healthy! It’s time to break the cycle and be on the alert for these foods that you MUST NOT eat.
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Rick Kaselj, MS