You know added sugar, white bread and French fries are bad for you. But some foods and fads masquerading as healthy are anything but. Here are some foods and health fads to avoid:
- Agave nectar: Agave is even higher in fructose than other sugars – while table sugar contains 50% fructose, agave nectar is 85% fructose. If you want a natural sweetener, raw honey is a better choice. Not only does it have less fructose than most agave, raw honey has health benefits like anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects (just don’t feed to children under 1 because it may contain botulism spores).
- Low-fat yogurt: Full-fat yogurt contains probiotics, which support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. But low-fat yogurt has healthy dairy fat removed, often replaced by sugar to compensate in taste.
- Whole grain products: Bread and snacks that advertise as whole grain or whole wheat may have only a small amount of whole grains, and a lot of refined flour that has had whole grain nutrients pulverized out of it. And while “multigrain” sounds like a healthier choice because it contains more than one grain, that pitch doesn’t indicate whether the grains are nutritious (some are not), or have been excessively milled.
- Vegan junk food: Just because it doesn’t contain meat or dairy doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Many substitute products are processed and full of salt, sugar and chemicals to give them flavor. Forget trying to find something that tastes like bacon and stick to real food. (Same goes for a gluten-free diet – choose foods that are naturally gluten-free, not processed.)
- Canola oil: Canola oil is labeled “healthy” because it’s low in saturated fat, with compounds linked to lower cholesterol. But 90% of canola grown in the U.S. is genetically modified, and chemical solvents like hexane - classified by the EPA as an air pollutant - are used during processing (cold-pressed canola oil is a healthier option). And a recent study found that while there is a positive correlation between olive oil and brain function, mice given a diet of canola had significantly worse memory (and got fatter) than the control group. Stick to natural fats like olive oil and coconut oil.
- Risky CBD/Hemp Extract: CBD (aka hemp extract) can be a great option for many people looking for natural and healthy alternative for many common symptoms. However, not all CBD products are created equal. Be sure to find products that are lab-tested with a clear dosage listed - like Living Health and Wellness' hemp extract products!