As Canadians, we’ve been conditioned to blindly trust what we read on food labels and advertisements. Because why would they lie… right? Well I hate to break it to you, but a lot of the foods that were once deemed “healthy” really aren’t – at all. Here’s a list of five unhealthy foods that you probably thought were good for you (and your waistline).
We see them everywhere, those commercials and advertisements that claim milk is an essential source of calcium, which therefore helps strengthen our bones and prevent osteoporosis (a medical condition where bones become brittle and fragile). However, recent studies show that those who consume more than three glasses of milk a day suffer from more bone fractures than those who consume less than one glass a day. The very same study also concluded that high milk-drinkers are more at risk for prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, diabetes and high cholesterol levels.
- Protein Bars
This one upsets me, mostly because I love a good protein bar. But the majority of protein bars available on the market are so high in sugar and saturated fats that you may as well eat a candy bar. In fact, athletes looking for an energy boost before a workout are much better off eating whole foods such as bananas or apples, according to nutritionist Nancy Clark. That’s because anything with calories will give you energy, but it’s important that your sources of food are rich in nutrients. So next time you need a quick snack before a workout, opt for a fruit or vegetable instead of a processed, sugary snack bar.
Perhaps the most controversial food on the list, soy isn’t necessarily bad for you –so long as you eat it in small, fermented amounts. However, those that have adopted soy into their regular diet might want to reconsider their decision, especially those with any sort of thyroid problem. They are at risk of developing symptoms of discomfort, sleepiness and constipation (yea, I said it). If you’re interested to know more, there’s actually a list of 170 potential health risks related to the consumption of soy, here.
Don’t let the name fool you. Although it seems rational to believe that Vitaminwater would be a healthy alternative to plain old water, consider the fact that one bottle contains 33 grams of sugar. And because Americans get 25 per cent of their calories in the form of liquids, products such as Vitaminwater are a huge contributing factor to our obesity epidemic (yes, even we’re struggling with obesity).
- Whole-wheat bread
Too much of anything is bad for you, and I’m sure most people know that bread should be eaten in smaller quantities. So when it comes down to choosing what type of bread to buy at the grocery store, should whole-wheat be your choice? Truth be told, there isn’t a much of a difference between white and whole-wheat bread. In fact, whole-wheat bread is loaded with gluten and if you’re glucose intolerant, that’s a bad thing.
The question now is what bread is actually good for you? Research shows that people who consistently ate whole-grain breads for breakfast, such as rye, had more balance blood glucose levels.
It’s important to note that, like I mentioned earlier, too much of anything is bad for you. That also means that in comparison, “bad” things in little quantities won’t hurt.
At the end of the day the food we eat is essentially fuel for our bodies. Although it seems that more and more people don’t see it that way. With that being said, with the abundant use of factory farming and GMO’s, is anything we eat really as “healthy” as we think it is?