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WARNING: All Health Foods Aren't Healthy

I'll bet like me, you thought that "Health Food" was healthy for you. Think again, it may not be. Just because the word "health" is on the label or you bought it in a Health Food Store, doesn't mean that it's good for you.

Read the labels on supposed health foods and you will see that many of them contain the ingredients we are being told to avoid; sugar, high-fructose-corn-syrup, sodium, preservatives and other chemicals that have been poisoning the diets of the developed countries for a generation or so.

Also, many of the foods we have always thought of as being "healthy" are proving to be almost as harmful as the foods they replace. A good rule-of-thumb is that the fewer the ingredients on the label, the better the product will be.

An example is soy products, on which the laudatory research is funded by soy producing companies. Unfermented soy that is used in soy burgers, soymilk and soy snacks may be the cause of a lower sperm count in men who ate it regularly.

The Mayo Clinic ranks soy as a leading food allergen. The phytoestrogens that give soy its good reputation may also cause hormonal imbalances in both men and women.

In Asia, where fermented soy is eaten daily or whole soy is eaten as a condiment, there are no health problems associated with the consumption. In the USA, however, we eat highly processed, unfermented soy in a variety of common foods.

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Even the American Heart Association has rescinded their endorsement of soy as a heart- healthy alternative.

Read the labels before purchasing any health food or supposedly healthy food. There is no regulatory body governing what is "health food."

Instead, consumers must rely upon the integrity of the manufacturers and the stores who sell these products, to tell the buyer what is healthy. Ask yourself this, are they motivated by altruism or profits?

An internet search for health foods also produces numerous links to sites that warn of unhealthy-health-foods and this is an essential bodybuilder's guide to nutrition.

Here are some of those un-health foods:

Cereals - These breakfast foods are highly processed and have added sugar in most off-the-shelf products. The manufacturing process often results in the production of cancer-causing acrylamide.

The more processed the cereal, the higher the levels of this toxic chemical. An alternative is to buy those found in the natural foods section of the market, but read the label.

Orange Juice drinks - The "bottled sunshine" variety of drinks have only small amounts of real fruit juice but are loaded with high-fructose-corn-syrup, sodium benzoate and sodium hexametaphosphate (also found in washing detergents).

Luncheon meats - loaded with preservatives and bad fats.

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Performance nutrition protein shakes and bars - Scientifically engineered protein powder full of artificial sweeteners and that all-around-devil, high-fructose-corn-syrup.

Sports drinks - That devil, HFCS, appears yet again, also brominated vegetable oil and oil of wood rosin. HFCS is a highly-refined simple carbohydrate that the body doesn't need.

The marketers of health food products often use misleading words on their product labels. These words are interpreted by the lay public to mean "healthy food" when in fact they are only concealing the truth.

* Fat Free - may actually mean "without fat, but full of sugar and chemicals.

* Reduced fat - less fats, but higher in carbohydrates.

* Low Fat - but what about their GI (Glycemic Index) or GL (Glycemic Load)?

* Sugar Free - What sweetener is in there to replace sugar?

* No Added Sugar - because the other ingredients already contain sugar.

* Diet - But why did the lab rats get cancer?

If "fat-free" or "low-fat" are descriptions of foods we should be eating, how come our ancestors who never had these products were not confronted with an obesity epidemic like that we see in the world today.

If fat-free is good for you, then jellybeans (that are fat-free) are good for you, right?

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Here is a list of some of the so-called healthy foods that are not always good for you to consume.

* Diet Soda - This sugar-free version of a carbonated beverage is loaded with artificial sweeteners, flavors and coloring that is carcinogenic, according to research.

* Peanuts - Their name is misleading because they are a legume, not a nut.High in omega-6 fats and not enough omega-3, may contribute to the imbalance of omegas (1:1 is ideal) rampant in the modern diet.

* Reduced Fat Peanut Butter - The fats in the peanut butter aren't the real problem with this spread, it's the sugars.

* Corn Oil - The omega oils are 60:1 in favor of omega-6.

* Fat Free or Reduced Fat Salad Dressings - Out with the fat, in with the sugar or artificial sweeteners and flavors. Also, salad ingredients are oil soluble, so fewer of their nutrients are absorbed with low-fat dressings.

* Soy Products - This was outlined in earlier paragraphs.

* Yogurt cups (fruit at bottom) - Loaded up with HFCS that doubles the amount of sugar. Inactive cultures in processed yogurt.

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* Fruit Juices - These are generally sweetened (HFCS again). You get no fiber in juice like you do in raw fruit.

* Dried Fruit - The same volume of calories and sugar with a fraction of the size of the fruit that was dried, so we tend to overeat. Sugar Overload.

* Beans, Canned - Those packed in sugary syrups will spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.

* Granola - High in carbohydrates, often from HFCS. Very little nutrition.

* Pasta - White flour pasta is a no-no, whole wheat or vegetable pasta is okay.

Some Fats are Good For You

Too often, we associate the word "Fat" with unhealthy, but nothing could be further from the truth. Saturated fats are loaded with anti-oxidants that help prevent and control some serious illnesses.

The University of Michigan Health System lists these as a source of healthy fats:

* Olive, canola or flaxseed oil salad dressings.

* Avocados, olives and nuts.

* Snack on seeds and nuts.

* Cook with olive or canola oils

* Eat fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids (oils) like tuna and salmon.

Okay, lets' summarize what we've learned today.

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Not all Health Foods are healthy - There are few, if any, standards in the industry that define "health foods." You must rely upon an analysis of the ingredients on the labels (less is better) and the integrity of the merchant where you buy these foods. This is a commonly overlooked fat loss eating secret that most people fail to apply.

Many processed foods, including health foods, contain harmful ingredients - High fructose corn syrup is commonly used as a sweetener and preservative. Many of the flavoring and coloring agents are potentially harmful.

Many "Diet" products are not healthy - Diet sodas are high in artificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, coloring and flavoring agents that may be harmful. They are metabolized just like sugar with similar harmful effects.

Low Fat and Fat Free Diets are part of the problem, not part of the solution - Fat is a necessary part of our diet, particularly healthy, saturated fats found in olive and canola oils; and omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like tuna, albacore and salmon.

Soy Products may not be as healthy as generally thought - The unfermented soy used in processed food products in the USA and other non-Asian countries is rich in phytoestrogens that can cause health problems in both men and women.

Fermented soy products, as used in Asian cooking, are healthy.

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