It’s very unfortunate that a market that is supposed to help people is being used to trick us. If you’ve been trying to eat healthier, you’ve likely been drawn to food items that say “all-natural” on them.
This sounds like an obvious healthy choice, but only to an unknowing crowd. If you’ve been purchasing these items thinking that they are indeed what they’re being advertised to be — healthy — then you are in for a rude awakening. Below are 7 foods to avoid and here’s how to keep eating healthy.
It’s very important that you understand what the term all natural foods really means. A lot of people thwart from buying organic foods because all-natural is cheaper and fools consumers into believing it’s equally healthy.
When you see a product claim that it’s 100% natural, it doesn’t mean that all the ingredients in the bottle are good for you. Since this claim isn’t regulated or monitored by the FDA or USDA, they are getting away with murder (probably literally).
These very products can say 100% natural, but still have processed sweeteners, lab-produced “natural” flavors and colors, preservatives and additives. Nothing about that sounds natural to me! Let’s take a look at some of those food products that are marketed as all-natural.
Here are 7 All Natural Foods Marketed as Healthy but are Actually Unhealthy:
These tasty treats can be addictive and for good reason — they’re filled with processed sweeteners, like fructose, corn syrup and invert sugar. If you see natural flavors listed on the ingredient section, this simply means that the flavors came from natural sources, which are typically processed inside of someone’s laboratory.
These also tend to have cellulose, which isn’t toxic, but is made of cotton or wood pulp (not something I want to be eating). Your best bet is to buy oats and flour and make your own granola bars.
Here’s a perfect example from the ingredient list of popular Nature Valley Sweet and Salty Nut Bars:
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Ingredients: Cashews Roasted in Safflower Oil, Whole Grain Oats, High Maltose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Tapioca Syrup, Rice Flour, Palm Kernel Oil, Whole Grain Wheat, Fructose, Cashew Butter, Canola Oil, Maltodextrin, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Reduced Minerals Whey, Nonfat Milk, Barley Malt Extract, Partially Defatted Peanut Flour, Baking Soda, Natural Flavor, Mixed Tocopherals Added to Retain Freshness.
I have bolded the 3 different variations of sugar added to the bar. Not to mention the other nasties like palm kernel oil and natural flavors. Did I mention this is marketed as 100% natural on the front of the box?
It’s easy to fall for the all-natural yogurts, especially those that are pink and blue, making us feel like it’s filled with a bunch of fruits as natural sweeteners.
But that enhanced sweetness isn’t coming only from fruit, but processed sweeteners and even artificial flavors. Then you have to worry about the hormone injected cows that the milk is coming from to make that yogurt.
Cheese made with soy and other non-dairy ingredients
Those trying to get away from cow dairy altogether tend to buy other forms of cheese made with soy and other substitutes. But you have to be wary of an ingredient called carrageenan.
This is a carbohydrate that can upset your stomach and cause intestinal issues. This is in some brands of almond milk. Soy milk, on the other hand, is typically genetically modified and it isn’t fermented, making it doubly unhealthy.
Ice tea in a bottle
You’ve seen them all over store shelves — black and green tea in a bottle. They’re known and well-accepted because they have lots of antioxidants and have health benefits like aiding in digestion and calming your nerves.
But if you look closer at the “all-natural” ingredient labels, you’ll see that they have a few surprises, like high-fructose corn syrup and natural flavors rather than actual lemons, raspberries and other fruits that are advertised on the cover.
People who eat salad are looking to be healthier, so you’ll find a ton of salad dressing options that are labeled all-natural. But when you look at the ingredient list, you’ll find a paragraph of ingredients that are anything but.
Sure, there’s extra virgin olive oil inside, but so are other unhealthy additives. Instead, make your own salad dressing using lime juice, sea salt and olive oil.
So many people resort to honey as their go-to sweetener when they’re trying to get away from sugar cane. But I can’t stress how important it is to really read the label.
I actually find it hard to find a bottle of 100% pure honey and if I do, it’s been through so much processing that it no longer has the nutrients it once had. A lot of the honey that’s sold in stores today aren’t actually honey.
They have been filtered to the point of virtually having no natural pollen left in it. So goodbye immune-boosting, allergy-fighting benefits that we all want from our jars of honey. For that reason, I always search for raw honey that hasn’t been filtered, pasteurized or processed.
A lot of readers opt for alternatives to sugar, but these sugar alternatives are just as bad.
Yes, a lot of us want to have our cake and eat it too, well in this case, ice cream. Being healthy doesn’t have to mean letting go all of your favorite treats.
And the health market has jumped aboard this idea, but not with the right intentions. The all-natural ice creams on the market actually have more eggs, sugar (aka natural flavors), juice concentrates and modified starches (for thickening).
So if you really want to eat some ice cream, make sure it has a very short list of whole ingredients. Or make your own (it’s not as hard as you think!)
Related: Worst foods for your skin
If any of these food items are in your kitchen or shopping cart, I recommend you toss them out. You have to be more savvy when you’re shopping, which means thoroughly reading the labels and knowing what the ingredients are.
If you don’t know something, don’t eat it. Do your research to learn what it is and what the different names are of various sugars, additives and other harmful ingredients commonly found in all natural food products. Or better yet, go with products that are USDA certified organic!
7 All Natural Foods That Are Actually Unhealthy For You
Sometimes we are not as ‘healthy’ as we thought. Check out our list of 7 “All-Natural” Foods that are actually unhealthy.