Obesity and other health issues are on the rise, and cardiologists, gastroenterologists, OBGYNs and specialists in the fields of sports medicine want to curb the trend, recommending people to choose fresh produce, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats over everything else. Surprisingly, there are certain “health” foods that even they want banned from grocery stores.
Before we reveal them, do you have any ideas of what these ‘evil’ health foods are? We wouldn’t be surprised if you’re consuming some while reading this article…
Coffee and Caffeinated Drinks
Dr. Mamta M. Mamik, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, believes that while coffee has its benefits (regular consumption reduces dementia), too much of it is not good for body and mind:
“I try to avoid excessive caffeine. An adult can safely consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day-which is equivalent to four 8-ounce cups of coffee-but drinking any more than that can cause calcium excretion, which, over time, may lead to osteoporosis. Plus, avoiding excess caffeine also helps to ward off uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms like lethargy, insomnia, headaches and irritability.”
If you’re a coffee fiend, you should consider switching over to a beverages with fewer drawbacks, such as black tea.
Energy Bars and “Low-Fat” Foods
Food marketed as “low-fat” can be deceiving and often do more harm than good, so much so that Rebekah Gross, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU Langone Medical Center, says she keeps away from processed low-fat foods like reduced-fat peanut butter and chips because they are extensively processed and often times loaded with sugar, greasy oils and packed with harmful chemicals.
Energy bars are notoriously deceptive because they are generally perceived to aid in weight loss or help build muscle. What most people don’t know is that they are calorie bombs, with sugar being either their first (predominant) or second ingredient.
If ever you’re in the mood for something sweet, low-fat and/or crunchy, nothing beats whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains.
Sports drinks are just diluted soft drinks with salt, and soft drinks are very bad for you. While they can be useful during intense exercises that exceed one hour or that occurs in extreme heat, drinks such as Vitamin Water are essentially sugary drinks combined with a vitamin pill.
Just ask Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard’s School of Public Health, who says:
“They are unequivocally harmful to health. Whether vitamins dissolved in water have any benefit will depend on who you are and whether you are already getting enough [vitamins] … Some people may be getting too much of some vitamins and minerals if they add vitamin water on top of fortified foods and other supplements.”
Vitaminwater is bad, but drinks like Red Bull, Sobe Life Water and Monster Drinks are worse for not only containing loads of sugar, but also stimulants that may be may be harmful, especially for people with high blood pressure and other health conditions.
Instead of gulping down “enhanced” water, stick with real, unadulterated water — preferably from the tab. Pure water is the best drink for hydrating your body — its calorie-free and even contains fluoride to prevent tooth decay.
Health Foods Containing Trans-Fats
Like Eugenia Gianos, MD, cardiologist, Co-Clinical Director, Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease at NYU Langone Medical Center, you should avoid that contain trans-fats, corn syrup and added sugars. These include low-fat butter/margarine, cookies and microwave popcorn, etc.
Apparently, such food are loaded with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, synthetically engineered trans-fats that increase your bad (LDL) cholesterol and decrease your good (HDL) cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Integrative health expert and author of The 21-Day Belly Fix, Dr. Taz Bhatia, stated:
“Although I love them, I try to stay away from cream-based soups. They not only bother my stomach, but are also loaded with empty calories and often have concerning fillers like hydrolyzed proteins, food dyes and corn syrup that I find out about later!”
If you love food with creamy textures, considers those made from tropical oils, such as palm oil and coconut oil.
Be honest, did you know that all of aforementioned “health” foods were actually not healthy for you, and are you likely to change your diet now that you know? Let us know in the comments below. Remember, encouraging healthy eating for everyone in your family starts at home.