20 Unhealthy Foods That You Think Are Healthy But Are Actually Killing You Slowly

November 12th, 2009 Posted in Diet, Healthy Lifestyle 384 Comments »

Updated: 11/12/2009

HamburgerLet me preface this post by saying: “I eat these foods.” Yes, it is true, I do eat about 50% of the foods listed. Especially peanuts, Smartfood, and some of the carbohydrate foods listed at the bottom.

If you take this list literally, it will just aggravate you, so take it with a grain of salt… or maybe a rain of whole wheat.

There are many terms that are misleading in the food advertising industry today. Think of how many times you see healthy phrases plastered all over food containers.

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Some examples of “healthy food” words on product labels:

  • Fat Free
  • Reduced Fat
  • Low Fat
  • Sugar Free
  • No Added Sugar
  • Diet

We are supposed to believe that each of these categories makes a food healthier. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here is what those “healthy food” phrases actually translate to:

  • Fat free, but full of sugar and chemicals.
  • Reduced fat, but increased carbohydrates.
  • Low fat, but high glycemic index.
  • Sugar free, but artificial everything else.
  • No added sugar… because the all natural version has enough sugar to give you type II diabetes anyway.
  • “Diet” food, but it causes cancer in lab rats so don’t drink/eat too much of it.

Consider the logic that food manufactures would have us believe: fat-free is good for you; jelly beans, jolly ranchers, and cotton candy are fat-free; therefore all those sugary candies are good for you. Makes sense? Think about it.

In fact, a study at John Hopkins University recently determined a link between high blood sugar and heart disease. This means high glycemic foods, such as the candy I just mentioned as well as many similar products, are inherently unhealthy.

Let’s examine some examples of nasty food that is supposed to be healthy, but will secretly kill you faster than the Terminator (not the Arnold character in any of the sequels).

1. Diet Soda

Why is it good? A sugar free version of the popular carbonated beverage that you can drink on the go.

Why is it bad? OK, so soda is horrible for you, but take out the sugar and add in carcinogenic artificial sweeteners, combined with the artificial flavors and colors that are in all sodas, and you have a recipe for a Tumor in a Can.

Then of course you’ve got the caffeine factor, which is linked to hyperactivity, high blood pressure, and can mess with your blood sugar. Unfortunately the caffeine is an oh-so-good afternoon supplement.

Instead choose: filtered water and the occasional glass of milk

2. Sushi made with white rice and imitation crab meat or vegetables

Why is it good? Seaweed contains essential nutrients such as selenium, calcium, iodine, and omega-3 fats. Sushi is nearly always wrapped in seaweed.

Why is it bad? This garbage doesn’t deserve to be called sushi. They are just small, compact, high glycemic, high calorie, carbohydrate nuggets. There’s not even much protein in these things. Eat 3-4 of them and you’ve had your serving for the day.

Aside from that, imitation crab meat isn’t even good for you. It is mostly just a crab flavored tofu-like substance fortified with sugar, sugar, and more sugar. It isn’t tofu, it’s actually a bunch of processed white fish, but it tastes like tofu. Blah!

Instead choose: In order to get some healthy carbs, some high-quality protein, and the benefits of omega-3 fats, choose real sushi made with salmon or tuna. To make it even healthier, order sashimi instead of white rice.

Peanuts3. Peanuts

Why is it good? Peanuts contain healthy fats that contribute to the reduction in triglycerides, which are known to promote cardiovascular disease. In addition to monosaturated fatty acids, peanuts also contain magnesium, vitamin E, arginine, fiber, copper and folate all of which help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Why is it bad? Aside from being high in fat and calories, peanuts also are loaded with omega-6 fats that distort the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. This ratio says that your intake of each omega fatty acid should be 1:1. The reasons why this ratio is recommended is a topic for a whole other article.

All we need to know is that the American diet is typically from 20:1 to 50:1 in favor of omega-6, so any effort to reverse this trend is important for combating over 10 different common diseases including Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes. Peanuts are often contaminated with a carcinogenic mold called aflatoxin, and they are also one of the most pesticide-contaminated crops.

Instead choose: almonds or all natural organic peanut butter, but pour off the top layer of oil and replace with olive oil if the resulting peanut brick is too stiff. Olive oil is very low in omega-6 fats.

(But honestly, if you want the peanuts you should just eat them. They’re not that bad for you diet-wise.)

4. Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter

Why is it good? All peanut butter provides a heart-healthy substantial quantity of monounsaturated fat.

Why is it bad? Most commercial peanut butters are made with the same type of sugar that cake frosting is made with. Reducing the fat makes it even worse because even MORE nasty sugar is added and they contain less healthy fat. I’d rather just eat the extra calories.

Instead choose: As with peanuts, choose almonds or all natural organic peanut butter instead. Just remember to pour off the top layer of oil and replace it with olive oil if the resulting peanut brick is too stiff. Olive oil is very low in omega-6 fats.

I personally, after switching to all-natural, can no longer stomach commercial peanut butter. It tastes like sweetened lard to me now so I’d rather barf than eat it at all.

5. Corn Oil

Why is it good? It contains omega-6 fatty acids, which are unsaturated fats that don’t raise cholesterol. Sweet.

Why is it bad? In the true spirit of peanuts, corn oil has 60 times more omega-6s than omega-3s. Omega-6 fatty acids increase inflammation, which boosts your risk of cancer, arthritis, and obesity. This is why we prefer a balanced ratio of omega-3s, which are found in walnuts, fish, and flaxseed.

Instead choose: Canola or Olive oils, which have a far better ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s. In my humble opinion, choose olive oil instead since canola oil has some less important issues of its own.

Fat Free Salad Dressing6. Fat-Free or Reduced Fat Salad Dressing

Why is it good? Less fat means less calories. Plus that salad dressing fat is lard just like mayo and crisco. Sick.

Why is it bad? Firstly because when fat comes out, sugar goes in. Either that or artificial flavors and sweeteners.

Secondly, since many vegetables are fat soluble, taking away the fat from the dressing means fewer of the salad nutrients will be absorbed into your body.

This was confirmed by a study at Ohio State University wherein a higher fat salad dressing resulted in an increased uptake of the antioxidants lutein and beta-carotene.

Instead choose: A salad dressing made with olive oil, or just use olive oil and vinegar as your salad dressing. If you try it you might like it.

7. Anything made with Soy

Why is it good? It’s not. But in the spirit of argument: vegetarians and vegans eat the stuff so they can get protein in their diets. Yay ::sarcasm:: Plus the stuff is apparently low in fat and an alternative to whey for the lactose intolerant.

Why is it bad? Straight up, soy is thought to be linked to increased estrogen in males and increased breast cancer in women. The estrogenic effects are sometimes said to merely be the presence of the phytoestrogens and estrogen mimicking compounds found in soy.

Because of these estrogenic compounds, infants in particular can be adversely affected in many negative ways from exposure to soy, including premature development in girls, and underdevelopment in boys.

Soy also promotes hypothyroidism, thyroid cancer, and infertility just to name a few additional disorders. Phytic acid, trypsin inhibitors, toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines are all highly present in soy products.

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Some people are allergic to soy protein.

Instead choose: any high protein whole food such as brown rice, goats milk, coconut milk, almond milk, whole grains, nuts, seaweeds, seeds, beans, and lentils.

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As a side note, goats milk is considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet today, so give it a try.

8. Yogurt cups, especially those with fruit at the bottom

Why is it good? Individually, fruit and yogurt are two of the healthiest food choices at the grocery store.

Why is it bad? Manufacturers load these products up with corn syrup, which effectively doubles the amount of sugar. All the better to entice kids to ask you to buy this crap.

Instead choose: Activia yogurt, which contains additional live active cultures to help your digestive system. Choose the Light version if you wish, but it is sweetened with sucralose (Splenda). (I opt for the light version.)

I enjoy Splenda quite often, but we have yet to know if there are an significant long term effects from its use. After all there are a few theories which suggest that consuming sucralose is like consuming very small amounts of chlorinated pesticides. There are at this time no conclusive tests that sucralose has any long term negative side effects.

Fruit Juice9-11. Fruit Juice, Dried Fruit, and Fruit Cocktail

Why is it good? Well because fruit is good for you. It has a ton of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants; not to mention fiber.

Why is it bad? Fruit juice and fruit cocktail normally have sugar added. Some fruit cocktails come in a thick sugary syrup, and there’s more sugar in a glass of fruit juice than in a candy bar and as much as in a glass of soda (grape juice has about 40g of sugar in one serving). You get no fiber from fruit juice, and the stuff usually has preservatives added to it.

Dried fruit is similarly bad because it is also loaded with sugar, although not with added sugar. Think of it this way: take any fruit, which is naturally loaded with sugar, remove all the moisture thus shrinking it down to a fraction of its normal size, then sell it by the bucket load to consumers who don’t understand that this little tiny piece of fruit still has nearly all the calories and sugar of the original fruit!

Can anyone say “portion control”? What about “blood sugar coma”?

Instead choose: eat the whole fruit including the skin if possible, but limit it to one serving of fruit per meal/snack to avoid insulin spikes. If you must have fruit cocktail, choose one that comes packed in its own juices instead of syrup.

12. Smartfood (Cheesy Popcorn)

Why is it good? Because cheesy popcorn is oh so tasty.

Why is it bad? Because you are really just eating the popcorn equivalent of potato chips. Seriously, compare total calories and you will find that you are not saving much on the calorie front by eating Smartfood instead of chips.

Instead choose: get some spray butter, pop some plain popcorn, spray a light coat of spray butter on the popped corn, sprinkle various spices on the corn (but go easy on the salts), and shake it up in a bag. Now you have a low fat tasty treat.

Smartfood isn’t as bad as a candy bar or a Twinkie though, so go ahead and splurge every so often.

13. Beans packed in sugary syrups such as Boston Baked Beans

Why is it good? Baked beans are good for you because these types of beans are loaded with fiber

Why is it bad? The sugary syrup, just as much as in a can of soda, is just going to spike your blood sugar and insulin levels. This is never good for preventing heart disease or type II onset diabetes.

Instead choose: Red kidney beans. These things are packed with protein and fiber, and can be mixed with any sort of salad or pasta. Sometimes I enjoy kidney beans straight out of the can; no cooking, just wash and chow.

There are also several other kinds of high protein, high fiber beans, but they typically have to be cooked first. I say this because I tend to be lazy about cooking and I know you do too. Try cooking up some nice black beans; high in protein and fiber, low in everything bad.

14-20. Granola, White Pasta, Pasta Salad, English Muffins, Bagels, Croutons, and Pretzels

Why is it good? Granola has some fiber, pasta salad has some vegetables, croutons make our salad crunchy, english muffins are one step up from bagels, and pretzels are a quick low-fat snack.

Why is it bad? One word: carbohydrates. All of these foods are made with corn syrup and/or processed white flour. These foods will spike your blood sugar faster than Bruce Lee could have kicked you in the face. You also won’t get much nutrition in the way of protein, fiber, vitamins, or minerals from any of these foods.

Instead choose: 100% whole grain or whole wheat pasta and English muffins for increased fiber and protein. Egg salad because, like it or not, eggs are good for you and are high in protein. Almond slices are high in omega-3 fats and are crunchy like croutons. Substitute healthy nuts for white starches whenever you can and you too can receive a 30% less chance of heart disease.

Fruits and Veggies
Clearly there are many alternatives to sneaky consumer foods. Fruits and vegetables remain a key ingredient in a healthy diet, and now you can look for tricky catch phrases when purchasing ‘health foods’. Drink plenty of water, get plenty of sleep, and eat wholesome low-sugar, healthy-fat foods; I bet you will end up doing OK as a result.

Resources:
Endocrinology 150:2446-2453.

Study Ties Obesity, Inflammatory Proteins to Heart Failure Risk

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384 Responses to “20 Unhealthy Foods That You Think Are Healthy But Are Actually Killing You Slowly”

  1. ? says:

    I am lactos intolerant and you’re saying that soy is bad for you. So then my question is:

    What am I supposed to eat instead?

    I would much rather not have to take lactos pills… I’m not really one for that. I suppose another question to more specifically define things would be:

    Is it only certain soy products? Or just soy over all?

    If you could first explain to me in a bit more detail about the ailments of soy and other possible alternatives that would be much appreciated. (( And no, I really am NOT giving you sass… I’m just curious. ))

    Thanks!

    • Steve says:

      Soy is not that great for men, but it won’t kill you. I also have a problem with lactose and so I drink lactose-free milk, either Lactaid or a generic brand.

      • Jae says:

        Instead of soy milk try almond milk! Its AWESOME and healthy for you with no risk of any cancer… as far as I know!
        You can make a great almond bread as a sub for normal bread to cut down your carb intakes to!
        Jae

        • Izzy says:

          Okay, almond milk is great and all, except: 1) it’s EXPENSIVEEE and 2) NO protein. Fail x2. This is why I suck it up and continue to drink soy milk.

          • Jimmy says:

            Alright, so another reason not to use soy is that GMO soy is specifically doused in Roundup herbicide.

            Why do you need milk in the first place? We don’t use any milk at our house.

            BTW you can make cashew and almond milk in your blender. Doesn’t have to be expensive.

    • Hippiechick says:

      you can always use almond products, i am also lactose and tolerant and i usually drink almond milk in place of cow’s milk. :D

    • Carrie says:

      There is no decent evidence that artificial sweeteners cause cancer, you lunatic.

    • Courtney says:

      Almond Milk!

  2. bea nicole says:

    wow, thanks really for opening my eyes!! for all this time, trying to see what’s healthy or not, this is the most extraordinary and totally smart list that has been thought out very very carefully! for all this time trying to lose weight and eat healthy, i never realized that some of these “LOW FAT” “DIET” phrases actually hide something a little bit dirty. and i actually thought that eating those 20 foods would help me stay fit and healthy but it would just kill me slowly (XP) THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!! I REALLY APPRECIATE YOU FOR SHARING YOUR ARTICLE!! you’re like a super hero! (imagine that putting this on web would save a sea of people by telling them these things) THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

  3. [...] 20 Healthiest Foods That These 20 healthy foods are actually unhealthy foods, but you … Eat 3-4 of them and you’ve had your serving for the day … this that all whole wheat foods turn into sugar … [...]

  4. Conz says:

    Beyond the possibility of deleterious effects of diet soda causing cancer it also has no calories and may trick the body into producing insulin just by the taste on the tongue; as a result creating hunger and perhaps more sugar consumption later. Not really going to hurt you so long as it’s not all you drink. Alcohol isn’t going to hurt you as long as it’s not all you drink and in moderation. Same with this whole list. Furthermore, this is only restricted to diet, if you ate every so called bad food on this list but ran 10 miles a day (assuming you built up to this level of running) you would surprisingly be healthier than you might think. Diet is only a single component to the puzzle of what is “healthy.” As it’s said want the simple answer just eat fruits and vegetables and a bit of fish, beans, whole grains. Eat real foods and not just things that say “Natural” because they often are not. Finally, everyone has different reactions to foods and chemicals based on immune system, age, metabolism etc… so find what works for you.

  5. First of all I must appreciate you efforts in posting such a wonderful and informative article. Healthy food is indeed a very essential part of our life. I completely agree that today there are many terms that are misleading in the food advertising industry today. One should not go by the advertisements or labeling it is very essential to find out the details and ingredients utilized in the product.

  6. Very good post ! I am a very health conscious person and I make sure to buy all the natural healthy foods which contain adequate nutrients like crunchy carrots, sparkling red succulent looking tomatoes, mineral and iron packed green leafy delicious vegetable. Eating healthy food is really very important for overall well being.

  7. juuba buuba says:

    lol i dont bother reading this. Am to tired from athletics :P

  8. Jessica says:

    Thanks for the post. Is it better to eat 3,000 calories of healthy food then 2,000 calories unhealthy food? Why?

    • Steve says:

      A calorie is still a calorie, so if you are trying to lose weight then the total calorie count comes into play. If you have absolutely no goals whatsoever and you are just eating to eat, then 3000 calories of healthy food would be better than 2000 calories of unhealthy food, because the unhealthy food will be affecting different aspects of your physical health and you will end up with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or some other such malady. However, if you continue to eat 3000 calories of healthy food but you don’t burn 3000 calories a day, then eventually those extra calories will start to add up, you will put weight on, and you will still end up with the negative side effects of being overweight, which still includes high blood pressure and heart disease.

  9. cassondra says:

    You say soda is bad for you because of artificial sweetener but later contradict yourself. Is it because carcinogenic sweetener is different than splenda? And with the soy thing, I dont understand why there is such contradiction out there on this subject. I thought tofu was supposed to be amazing for you. I also read that soy is good, it’s soy isolate you want to avoid. As a vegetarian who enjoys soy, I’m concerned and confused.

    • Steve says:

      Honestly, all sweeteners are sketchy, both natural and artificial. Choose your poison. As far as soy goes, men should avoid it but women can enjoy it in moderation.

  10. faylee says:

    this is very true, im a medical science student
    the lies around food are getting on my nerves
    i grew up in central europe, there we usually cook for ourselves and the foods sold at stores are a way more natural (or organic as you say)
    however its horrifying to see people eating more and more artificial ..erm lets call it “food”. people are getting cancer, obesity, diabetes, allergies, neurological conditions due to interfering with the natural trust me. for example, you dont need most vaccines,they are quite bad for the immunity. you need fat, healthy fat from butter and nuts etc., but you dont need disgusting margarine. you dont need low sugar stuffs loaded with much more poisonous sweeteners. you need food thats worthy of the term food. real food is healthy and tasty. ive been eating the real food since childhood so i can tell
    its not good for ya remember. plus pork meat.

  11. Di says:

    Activia? Seriously? That crap’s loaded with poison!

    No, opt for Stonyfield yogurt, instead. Organic, natural, and loaded with live active cultures. It’s consistency is different from that processed crap you mentioned, but you quickly get used to it to the point that you love it. Yes, I said “love it.”

    You should avoid ALL artificial ingredients. Splenda was “discovered” when they were trying to develop a new pesticide. Don’t eat it. Opt for regular sugar — preferably Sugar in the Raw — and work on evolving your preferences to less sweeter foods.

    Regarding carbs, you are right — choose whole, unbleached grains. Balance your carbs out with good protein sources, such as eggs.

    • Morc says:

      I’m sorry but that’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard.

      Recommending sugar to anyone is like asking them to dip their hand into a vat of acid.

      Avoid sugar like the plague. Buy Stevia instead. It’s 100% natural and has 0 calories.

  12. v says:

    Please can you back your article up with well conducted research articles to support your statements. Thanks.

    • Steve says:

      No thanks. I’ve provided some links to research, but this is an old post and I’m not going back to cite anything. Take it or leave it.

  13. ryan says:

    lol these foods are all to healthy, i almost never eat them.

  14. Thank you so much for opening my eyes. In fact all this while i use to think that i am eating healthy food by just reading the low fat drinks and diets is more than enough. I really never knew that these low fat drinks & food are just marketing gimics.

  15. Excellent post! I normally eat a lot of baked beans. After reading your post I feel that all this while I was under a wrong impression that I am eating healthy fibre rich diet. I never knew it can increase my suger level.

  16. Very well written article. In fact I also use to drink lot of fruit juice thinking they are really good for health but only recently I came to know that the normal fruit juices are full of suger which really does no mch good to our health.

  17. ques_mark says:

    Difficult to find the author credible when he/she recommends the use of “spray butter”.

    • Steve says:

      Oh yeah, I used to love the spray butter. Haven’t used it in years though. Currently I use only real butter, no margarine, no PAM for cooking. Only butter.

  18. Sam says:

    So peanut butter is good for me? Cuz i had a plain wheat bread peanut butter sandwich for dinner and i’m hoping that all of the fat in peanut butter will not affect me. im doing good calorie wise

    • Steve says:

      All natural peanut butter is OK to eat, but not with white bread – whole grain bread is a lesser evil. I would go easy on the peanut butter sandwiches if you’re trying to lose weight, but if you only care about gaining weight/muscle, all natural peanut butter sandwiches on whole grain wheat is OK.

  19. [...] 20 Healthiest Foods That Are Actually Unhealthy Foods | ProjectThese 20 healthy foods are actually unhealthy foods, but you probably thoughts they were the healthiest foods of all. Don’t fall for foods labeled fat-free, low-fat, and reduced-fat. Learn more. … 20 Unhealthy Foods That You Think Are Healthy But Are Actually Killing You Slowly … Let me preface this post by saying: [...]

  20. Stephanie says:

    Thats interesting that peanuts are on the list. I read an article that says that nuts are good for your heart. Perhaps it was almonds or pine nuts that they suggested. I have been trying to get heart healthy lately so I have been doing a lot of reading on the subject. One resource, if you are trying to get heart healthy is the Harmony Heart Group website, for general heart health information.

  21. missmopar05 says:

    Aspartame has been found to be safe for human consumption by more than ninety countries worldwide, with FDA officials describing aspartame as “one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved” and its safety as “clear cut”. The weight of existing scientific evidence indicates that aspartame is safe at current levels of consumption as a non-nutritive sweetener.

    There are no “carcinogens” in aspartame. ANYTHING, when injected at 10 times its body weight every day of its life, will give a rat cancer.

  22. OMFG says:

    DO NOT buy Activia!!

    “Bifidius Regularis” is absolute bullshit. You better do a Google search on Activia and its lawsuits before you buy this yogurt.

    Kroger makes an excellent low-carb yogurt called “Carb-Master.” Mix some natural peanut/almond butter into it, and you got yourself a healthy low-carb snack.

    Don’t believe everything you read in articles!

    • Steve says:

      I keep reading negative reviews of Activia, so there might be something to this. I still enjoy Activia, but will read more about the lawsuits and such.

      • Morc says:

        Activia isn’t inherently bad except for the fact that it’s dairy and all that added sugar makes the whole point of better health sort of a pointless effort if you’re eating Activia.

        You’re better off getting a high-quality probiotic supplement like Primal Flora. Not sure if they sell it outside of the US, but it doesn’t get much better than that.

  23. Adam says:

    I think we need to know more about this drink that we love so much.
    The phosphoric acid present in soft drink competes with the hydrochloric acid of the stomach and affects its functions. When the stomach becomes ineffective, food remains undigested causing indigestion, gassiness or bloating.

  24. Bullshit says:

    This article along with all other articles written from a company recommending their product, are bullshit. Nobody is getting cancer from drinking diet soda, or the studies would be out showing a linking. They’re just trying to get you to spend more money, preferably with them. Never trust anybody trying to sell you something.

    • Morc says:

      You’re silly and clearly believe anything anyone tells you.

      The government is also trying to sell you stuff (they’re called lobbyists,) yet you continue to choose to be blind to what’s going on around you.

      Aspartame excites neurons to the point where they die in 20 minutes. Normally they live for anywhere from 30-70 years because they’re nerve cells and nerve cells have extremely long interphases as opposed to other cells in the body.

      Aspartame is horrible for you. So is sugar. The only sugar substitute that is healthy is Stevia, which is 100% natural and has 0 calories.

  25. Nice post. It is always better to avoid processed meats. These include hot dogs, bacon and sausages among others. They mask saturated fat, cholesterol and preservatives with their delicious tastes (:

  26. woodywood245 says:

    I didn’t read the entire thing, only bits and pieces (I ran into this on accident while looking for something entirely unrelated). But I have a few problems.

    1. At no point, even through hundreds of rigorous studies, has there ever been a hinted link between FDA-approved artificial sweeteners and cancer.

    2. Soy may increase risk if breast cancer in women, but it significantly reduces the risk of many other cancers, particularly in men.

    3. Show me a food out there, natural or not, that can’t be connected to cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, or some other horrible condition.

    If you exercise, eat okay, keep your stress levels minimized, and stop freaking out about every little thing that goes into your body, I think you’ll be okay. For the first time in history, people are living longer than ever before. Yet, we spend more time and money worrying about our health than is necessary.

    I’m going to eat what I want, and exercise when I want. I have my own diet and my own set rules. Do I eat the best in the world? Absolutely not. Do I eat stuff I probably shouldn’t eat? All the time. Do I care? No. At my current weight, I am on the lower-end of my height’s weight range. At my current body fat level, I count as “athletic”. My profession: student/software engineer. I sit on my butt all day and write computer code.

    If I live to be a hundred, great. If you outlive me, good for you. But I’m going to keep drinking my regular Dr Pepper, eat my home-made bean burritos with green chile, and get a Big Mac now and then because I want to. And I deserve it.

    And on an entirely unrelated note: my theory on why cancer rates are going up: they are not. Scientists and doctors have spent the last 50 developing newer and better ways of detecting cancer. And with the computer revolution and Moore’s law, detecting cancer is getting easier by the day. So they’re not detecting more cancer because more people are getting cancer, they’re detecting more cancer because they have better ways of finding it.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to put my soapbox away since I have to get some sleep.

    • Misty T says:

      Thank you for this. Do you read all the contradictions in here? It is enough to make your head spin. Everything you enjoy-in moderation and be good to yourself, eat what makes you feel healthy and happy. Bravo.

  27. You article has really opened my eyes. I always thought that peanut is healthy. I am surprised to read that aside from being high in fat and calories, peanuts also are loaded with omega-6 fats that distort the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.

  28. john says:

    soy is one of the most healthy things for you on the planet, period. it has been a staple in asian diets for thousands of years and they are( or were) the healthiest people in the world. you are an idiot. like everything, you should never eat too much, but to continue the misinformation about soy is ridiculous

  29. Zach says:

    I’m really tired of people that chime in with comments saying it’s okay to eat most of this stuff as long as it’s in moderation or whatever the excuses are. This article is mostly on point from what I see. Too many people can’t wrap their head around the idea that things they thought were healthy their whole life really aren’t that great for you. Before you contradict this article, do some true research, not just one google search. From my research, the best thing you can do is eat sort of like a wild animal or caveman l. By this I mean eat fruits, vegetables, meat, nuts and beans. And eat NATURALLY! One thing people dont understand is that grains are not meant for humans! The only time mammals ever eat grains is right before winter because it turns into fat. Everything you get from grains, and yes, Im also talking about your “healthy” whole wheat grains, you should get from other natural fruits and vegetables and other foods. They provide complex carbs and are packed with much more nutrients than pasta, rice, or bread. The agriculture industry has led people to believe that these grains are essential to health, when really, they’re just loaded with two to three times more carbs than what we need, which just turns into sugar (even if you work out because it’s still way more carbs than what we were naturally supposed to consume). Vegetables provide the right amount of carbs and great amounts of fiber and other nutrients. Do not eat chemically or scientifically altered foods or ingredients. Always choose natural over artificial anything. It naturally grew on this planet in the form it did or a reason. All these soy products are incredibly bad as well. It’s loaded with Endocrine Disrupting Carcinogens! And judging from all the pro-soy comments, this is one of the biggest controversial subjects that people just can’t accept that the way you buy it in america is horrible! I must admit, I don’t know about the form it’s in in those far eastern villages, but at least in America, you are not getting anything good out of it. If you really care about your health, dont just think you can eat these in moderation and regularly exercise and you’ll be fine. No doubt will you be healthier than most, but you are only holding your true healthy potential back. I have personally found that even though I train all the time (I’m about to enter into an Olympic triathlon next month), I have seen the greatest change to my physical fitness levels and overall well being by switching up my diet. Going all natural, eliminating grains and soy, has not only made me look better physically, but I feel so much more energized and happy. Please take my advice, or at the very least, do your own in-depth research to learn for yourself. The documentary “Fathead” is a good start.

  30. Chris says:

    This article can be summed up this way: don’t buy mass-manufactured goods

    Also bagels, granola, and white pasta are perfectly healthy for you assuming you get them from the proper source. Blanketing them with an ‘unhealthy’ label simply because they contain carbohydrates is fucking ridiculous. Completely omitting carbohydrates from your diet is BAD, and even if no single carbohydrate is a necessary nutrient, humans are recommended by the Institute of Medicine and the WHO to acquire at least 50% of their dietary energy from carbohydrates. The point is to pick your carbs wisely.

    I don’t know why the author of this article would single out white pasta, that’s such a joke! Pasta is not the same as bread where white=bad. Brown pasta has a higher glucose score and equal insulin score to white pasta, LEARN YOUR FACTS BEFORE YOU SPEW NONSENSE!!

  31. Jaeny says:

    This article is quite an eye-opener, indeed, it’s hard to find food nowadays that are truly healthy, most commercially produced food contain one or two bad things, so we just have to be careful in choosing what we put into our mouth. Eversince the family had to switch to a wheat and dairy free diet I’ve started to keep my eyes out for those food that are “unhealthily healthy” this article is one of those helpful tips I need exactly

  32. Estlyn says:

    It’s hard to find someone credible when they promote the use of aspartame and then look at soy like it’s the product of the devil. The research linking soy with increased estrogen production is about as abundant as the research linking aspartame with cancer. Yet you dismiss the link between aspartame and cancer, and wholeheartedly believe in the link between soy and estrogen levels.

    And, as another poster pointed out, Asian cultures (hello, Japan!) have been consuming it for centuries, if not thousands of years, and they are far healthier than Americans, or any Western culture for that matter. And no, that difference cannot be attributed entirely to soy, because soy is just part of their diet. The other huge factor is they eat WAY fewer processed foods than we do. So, if you run into the supermarket and buy some soy that’s been processed, dyed, and shaped to look like a hot dog, are there going to be negative health risks? Hurr durr. Processed food is bad for you, period, whether it is soy or grains or dairy or veggies. Replacing some of the meat in your diet with tofu is not going to make you grow breasts overnight, and many nutritionists actually RECOMMEND that people do this (omnivores, too!) because Americans eat WAY too much meat. Now, eating soy at every freakin’ meal is probably not a good idea, but aside from fresh veggies, eating ANY food that often will have negative side effects.

  33. Rachael says:

    Fermented soy is the only acceptable soy that you should eat. The way it’s processed in the USA they don’t take the time or care to take the time to make it healthy. Asian cultures ONLY ate fermented soy, which eliminates the phytic acid in the soy (which is the bad stuff!) read more here http://www.optimumchoices.com/Soy.htm or any of the other 1000000 articles out there stating that unfermented soy is like eating death… I was a soy baby because I was lactose intollerent, and now I have thyroid issues and sugar/carb addictions. I also developed very early, which is another side affect of feeding soy to infants, and I stuggled with weight gain due to the underactive thyroid… so I say a bif F*CK you to soy!

  34. Dalek1099 says:

    Yes Fruit Juice is very bad for you even certain pure fruit juices like Pure Grape Juice which has 3.5 times more sugar than Tango and about 4 times the calories.I don’t care about the vitamins this makes a food unhealthy because you can get vitamins from vegetables.

  35. Dzaquelin says:

    This was a fantastic little read. I can’t say I learned anything new, but the information in here is compiled well.

    I am really surprised at how defensive some commenters are over artificial sweeteners.
    I used sugartwin and equal moderately for a few years and over that prolonged period, my health deteriorated….until I stopped using them. Then my head and body aches ‘magically’ disappeared.

    For the most part, these foods really are not the problem, but rather, how the food industry is processing and refining them. Bad food industry!

  36. Helena Eiavaldanime says:

    Thanks alot for the article! Very informative (like the sarcasm-smell here, too!).

  37. Ross Holm says:

    yogurtz bad for you.

  38. [...] the help of this article, i hope this gave you an insight on some food to watch out for the next time you go to the grocery [...]

  39. Alice says:

    The information on soy is based on some flimsy research. Here’s a good post about it: http://zenhabits.net/soy/ I used to believe what you wrote about soy too but this post really made me think and do more research.

  40. Andrew Tan says:

    was this page stolen from a 12 yr olds homework assignment? add your references or do ACTUAL research and form your own opinion on soy instead of just copy and pasting from a Anti Soy website.

  41. Mark Chan-Mc says:

    if really the case…everything tat human consume will be unhealthy..what oso can cause cancer..so this post suggest us to starve ourself~.

    • Nik Datuashvili says:

      Nope. You're just an ignorant, sad, metabolically deranged fool too afraid to eat real foods, like meat and vegetables, as the mainstay of your diet.

    • Nik Datuashvili — wow brutal but i love this page, very informative

    • Nik Datuashvili what about chobani yogurt?? lots of protein??

    • Nik, a) don't think he's really that serious, chill out. b) literally eating almost anything other than bland vegetables regularly is unhealthy. Eating a lot of fruit is unhealthy, daily red meat consumption now (google it) is scientifically linked to early sudden death, etc. You can eat a hamburger two or three times a week and drink soda regularly and still live into your 80's and beyond as long as you aren't like 300lbs. You can also die of heart attacks and coronary disease as a vegetarian.
      c) you are using metabolically completely wrong, lol

  42. This is stupid, what's the point of this article? Don't eat! What wasn't unhealthy? Fruits contain sugar and some are naturally high in sugar. It's contradictory to the whole low-sugar craze. And vegetables without salad dressing without anything is just plain retarded. Are people suppose to be cows and just eat like one? Eat in moderation. I was only here for a school project finding healthy foods versus unhealthy foods for early childhood education, but I'm beginning to notice there are too many unreliable sources.

  43. Alan Ljungberg says:

    A fair bit of information mixed with mus-information here. Phytoestrogens are actually good for us. The author makes it sound like it's poison. If there were all the proposed issues with it why then societies that eat a lot of soya don't exhibit them, China, Japan Soya is a very good food source if eaten in moderation, and of course make sure it's not genetically modified.

  44. Unfortunately, as Alan said, there is as much misinformation here as good information. The worst offender is the oft-quoted but little understood study about "carcinogenic" artificial sweeteners, most notably aspartame. The study in question had rats consuming what was considered within the FDA approved limits of aspartame intake. What this doesn't mean is that rats were consuming normal amounts. The FDA maximum intake is approximately 21 cans of diet soda per day. If you drink 21 cans of Diet Coke a day and are surprised you have cancer, you kind of deserve it. Regardless, the FDA pretty much debunked all of these studies and has put more time into aspartame safety research than almost any other additive. Furthermore, almost every major cancer research institute has echoed the FDA's position on aspartame. Diet soda isn't particularly healthy, but calling it tumor in a can is somewhat ridiculous, as carcinogens are found in almost everything. Did you know browning or heating most foods actually creates some chemicals that are carcinogenic? Acrylamide is found naturally in many foods, like olives and prunes, but also is created by browning or toasting pretty much most starchy foods. If you live in California, you'll see the legal warning on any fast food restaurant that is now required by law. TL;DR, almost every chemical becomes a carcinogen at certain quantities. Calling something a carcinogen without sufficient research is hilarious and misleading.

  45. Good job keep informing people…

  46. Nutritionation says:

    @ Soy. I dieted on soybeans(plain cooked boiled) as main source of maintenance protein for a 24 year old 175 lbs male. After 2 months and 25 lbs down The medium term effects on me were increased str/stamina/sex drive/ skin quality/ cleaner stool/increase sperm count. Don’t listen to that anti soy campaign crap(those greedy rich bastards want you buying their factory farm animal trash). Initially your intestines will feel funny but adjust in about 2 weeks if you have a healthy tract.

    I would say be extremely careful on any processed soy product, liquid or solid. Be diligent in your research on the particular thing your going to eat. Don’t listen to many people and use your judgement cause manufactures add many things into processed foods. 2ndly there are Laws regulating what the manufacturer needs to tell you is in the product. And lastly they might lie and just not say. $$$$$$$ all about. Safe bet is to soak your own soy cook it eat it. Simple easy effective and ridiculously cheap.

  47. More Health says:

    Thanks for this post, I must agree with most of these dietary myths busted. I would like to add another similar myth concerning sea salt which is claimed to be healthier than ordinary table salt. Research shows that both contain the same amounts of sodium, and that table salt has added iodine, which is actually beneficial for the hormonal balance. Here are some of the other dietary myths busted: http://morehealth.ws/nutrition/nutrition-myths-busted/

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