Happy Monday! 🙂 I know it’s confusing to know which foods are healthy and which ones aren’t, especially because they seem to change every year! I have definitely had some confusion myself. There are so many health trends, eat healthy fat it’s good for you…. don’t eat fat or you will get fat! How do we know what to believe and what is really healthy?! Honestly, using common sense and your gut are two great ways to guide you. If a food is in it’s whole natural state it is probably good for you. If you can’t read most of the ingredients on the label, put it back on the shelf! 😉 I thought I would just touch on a few of the worst supposed “health” foods, as well as recommend some healthy alternatives.
1. Microwave Popcorn, is soooo bad for you. It is promoted as a fat free healthy snack but that is not the truth at all! Most microwave popcorn is made with GMO (genetically modified) corn and filled with carcinogens, it is just not worth the convenience. Even if you were to find some organic varieties, it still wouldn’t be safe to eat because the microwavable bags are coated with PFOAs, a chemical that is liked to cancer! If you really love popcorn please make it in a pot on your stove with organic corn kernels!! 😉
2. Margarine is one of the worst “foods” you can buy. It’s mostly made of chemicals, so I’m not sure if it’s even fair to call it “food”. Margarine is made out of trans fats, which are known to clog arteries and cause cardiovascular disease. Trans fat also increases your risk of developing type II diabetes and and other health problems. Studies show that margarine decreases the quality of breast milk, decreases the immune system, and decreases insulin response! I am not saying to run out and eat a bunch of butter, but at least butter perishes like all fresh food should. I bet you could leave margarine in your fridge for years and it would look the same…….very questionable. If you want to treat yourself to the wonder that is fresh bread and butter, I think using organic butter every now and then is allowed. 😉
3. Artificial Sweeteners – Where do I begin……… These fake sweeteners are sadly recommended by too many health care professionals because they are low on the glycemic index. The truth is that new research is showing that these sweeteners actually causes disturbances in your gut flora and can actually cause diabetes! They are also know to cause many health issues such as: allergies, brain tumours, breast cancer and headaches. Please stay away! I prefer to sweeten my drinks with honey or coconut sugar.
4. Conventional Milk- My personal opinion is that humans are not meant to drink milk from other animals! My opinions aside, regular milk is full of chemicals and toxins. Farmers use genetically modified cow feed and hormones to boost milk production. These toxins get transferred to you when you drink milk or eat conventional dairy products, causing a whole lot of health concerns. I suggest at a minimum you buy organic milk or you could try some of the great milk alternatives. I don’t actually drink any type of milk but I do love to use almond milk for my baking recipes. 😉
5. Vegetable Oil, is another food pantry staple that some people believe is good for them. Unfortunately this oil is very similar to margarine, vegetable oils like canola are not healthy by any stretch of the imagination. They are usually genetically modified, are partially hydrogenated and have been linked to the following health issues: birth defects, bone and tendon problems, cancer, diabetes and digestive disorders. When I am cooking with high heat, I use coconut oil. If I’m cooking with low heat I use olive oil. You can substitute melted coconut oil in any baking recipe that reacquires vegetable oil!
I hope this info will help you to avoid these very unhealthy foods in the future. The best way to keep your kitchen stocked with healthy clean food is to shop at your local organic health food store and stay away from processed foods. The outer aisles of the grocery store have the freshest food. 🙂