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

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

  1. People should just give up eating all together. According to various people all over the world, absolutely nothing you can ingest is good for you, except for water.

      • “Experts” go back and forth with most foods all the time. Fruit and veggies are good for you… but not the ones that have too much natural sugar and watch out for pesticides. Eggs are good for you… no they’re not… yes they are… what is this year’s stance on eggs? We need to eat almost everything in moderation. Some foods that clearly should be avoided are stuff like french fries, nachos, bloomin’ onions, donuts, candy, cake, and cookies. Everything else is fair game if you ask me.

        • come’on guys

          you can eat a wide range of good food/average food and be healthy IF YOU ALSO EXERCISE AND KEEP FIT.
          Plus other good habits like having enough sleep and not smoking etc.

          Being scared and worry about this and that, you will develop hypertension lol.
          take it easy.

          look at some of our father/grandfather generation
          even though some may have hard life and not rich, but the food they eat is simple (simple is best sometimes) and their lifestlye are not couch potatos. and they’re very healthy.
          My point is you are what you eat and you always have a choice and can make good effort to be healthy.

          well maybe tomorrow news will tells u wheat causes cancel lol, but that’s not the point is it ?

    • The people who are always ranting about how eating this and that will kill you are always the most out of shape, disgusting people. White rice is bad, but Asians have been eating that for how many centuries? Same with soy. How long have Italians been eating pasta? The problem with Americans is not what we eat–it’s just that we eat TOO MUCH FOOD.

    • A lot of the so called “professionals” you pay…are paid off by big industry…namely the Soy Industry. Soy will kill you! The soybean actually has an enzyme within it (THAT IS NOT DESTROYED EVEN IN PROCESSING) that when ingested tries to destroy the host…meaning you. After a period of time this enzyme makes men sterile and can give women uterus and breast cancer. Can’t destroy the hosts better than that. Men no longer can father children…which basically stops the human race, and women can lose their uterus, or their lives. Stay away from this sh**…IT IS ABSOLUTE GARBAGE! The only way soy should EVER be eaten is if it is fermented, and only in small amounts.

      • i think that anything that tastes as bad as soy does has to be poisonous… also this article is written very cut and dry… things like carbohydrates are mentioned as bad but that isnt the case, you need them. moderation

        • Soy has been linked with Hypothyroidism and PCOS in women. It’s taken me several years to figure this out because I have both! Soy is not safe for male or female unless it’s fermented and only then in moderation. Get back to as close to nature as you can with your food. It’s the only way to live now!

      • Ever wonder how the lovely dairy industry gets its cows to lactate 10x their natural amount in order to produce the maximum amount of milk possible before the animal dies? Estrogen. It is utterly bogus to come down on the risks of soy, and then turn around and tout yogurt as being “one of the healthiest foods in the grocery store”.

        In other news: “milk is rich in phosphorous which can combine with calcium — and can prevent you from absorbing the calcium in milk. The milk protein also accelerates calcium excretion from the blood through the kidneys.”

        [ http://www.formerfatguy.com/articles/dont-drink-milk.asp ]

        Soy is a rare treat. Milk is a poison.

  2. 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 wonโ€™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.”
    ——-

    The writer of this article contradicts him/herself something awful. First, he/she mentions English muffins are ‘one step up from bagels’, then mentions stay away from them because of carbohydrates, corn syrup and white flour and that ‘You also wonโ€™t get much nutrition in the way of protein, fiber, vitamins, or minerals from any of these foods.’…BUT immediately recommends whole wheat English muffins for increased fiber and protein.

    Well, I checked out Thomas’ regular English muffin ingredients vs their Hearty Grains whole wheat brand. Both brands use a form of sugar–whether it be corn syrup(regular), molasses, dextrose, sucralose and honey (whole wheat). The whole wheat muffin still has the same amount of carbohydrates, 1 more grams of protein, 2 more grams of fiber, the same preservatives AND both use soy ingredients that he/she is totally against. Talk about sending mixed messages.

    Even some organic whole wheat multi-grain English muffins use some type of sugar–just an organic version–and they aren’t much more nutritious. One brand uses agave nectar– which is nearly pure fructose–and worse than corn syrup. Be selective.

    Here’s a link to a great organic multi-grain brand that doesn’t use any sugars:

    http://www.foodforlife.com/procart_catalog/index.cfm?ProductID=39&do=detail

    Personally, I don’t think the yahoo that wrote this article knows whether he/she is coming or going–and I would take his/her advice with a ‘grain of salt’.

    • Sweet, thanks for the link. Regarding the muffins, what can I say? I recommend whole grains muffins over white muffins, although truth-to-tell: english muffins should not be part of a fat loss diet.

      • People should just make their own bread, it’s not that difficult and you don’t even have to have a bread machine. And a very big plus – you actually know what’s in it!

        Actually in my honest opinion, grains shouldn’t be a major part of our diets anyhow. If you eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits you’ll get your good carbs and all the fiber you need. My family only eats spelt flour, usually just a couple times a week. I make our own bread, pizza dough, even crackers. There is never that heavy feeling you get when eating processed junk. Just my two cents. :~)

        • We have a bread machine but mostly use it for the kneading process. We haven’t purchased bread from the store in over a year. Already can tell a difference and we don’t have to second guess the ingredients.
          Tomorrow my Mom and I are going to make homemade pizzas to freeze. Going to be a busy day but we can cut out frozen pizzas from the store this way.

    • True, Flax seed oil is very good for you, however you cannot use it for cooking as the heat destroys much of the goodness and can even cause it to obtain toxic properties. the best way to get flax oil is to buy the whole seeds and grind them up fresh as you use them.

      I’m not totally sure on whether olive oil is actually healthy or not, but it is a healthier alternative than your typical vegetable oils, the Mediterranean diet is said to be one of the healthiest in the world, they cook primarily with olive oil.

  3. You mentioned canned red kidney beans as an alternative to boston baked beans, which have sugar in them.

    Unfortunately, every can of red kidney beans which I have seen also lists sugar as an added content. This is not the case with other canned beans such as pinto beans. I generally pour off the liquid from the canned kidney beans, hoping that most of the sugar is there, rather than inside the actual beans. I would love to get cans of kidney beans without sugar, but I have never found any.

  4. Why did you bag on Vegans and Vegetarians in the Soy section? Do you have a problem with people who place a higher premium on the life of an animal than their own appetites? I am a vegan and I do avoid soy products as much as possible (everything in moderation) and I appreciate your information. However, your sarcasm about vegans and vegetarians was unnecessary.

    • Sorry. It might not appear so, but I have grown to respect vegetarians since starting Project Swole. Vegans are quite a bit more strict, and while I can respect that choice, I can’t see myself doing it.

    • A higher premium? So people who eat meat consider animal life of lower premium? You are highly mistaken. We that eat meat consider ourselves dependent on such valuable animals to provide us with protien that we wish to eat in the form of meat. We thank you, animals, for making premium meat.

      If you are strictly science, then eating meat is natural isnt it? It’s okay for many animals (where we supposedly come from according to science) to eat other animals, but not us?

      If you believe in some form of spiritual religion, most are okay with eating animals since it was a provision made for humans. For example the scriptures of the Hebrews allowed for them to do so with respect for the animals. Also, humans weren’t always meat eaters, so it probably won’t remain that way. But the one that made the animals condoned it.

      So, don’t be hatin’ by lifting yourself up higher than those that eat meat. “Premium.” Pfft.

  5. I eat/drink soy products everyday because i am a vegan–soy milk, soy cheese and tofu. I even use silken tofu every time i bake. I don’t find anything wrong with me…

  6. Canola oil is bad for you. Let’s get that straight and as a “health” nut please do your research on it if you insist on preaching. Canola oil is industry oil. Why is it being marketed and fed to us and called “healthy”. Because they make money that way.

    Finally, one of the main issues with soy is that unless marked organic there is an over 90% likely hood that your bought soy product is GMO? Do you know what that means? You better look it up. Genetically Modified Organs. THESE types of things are the real issue. Your writings are about balance in a diet, but sound as if you insist that this and that is definitively bad. A the end of the day almost EVERYTHING is bad when done over the top. Balance!

    • I agree with you about balance. However, I did some research and can’t really find anything on GMO soy. I assume that just means that the soybean was genetically modified to produce more genistein. Not even sure what the negative consequences are for that sort of modification. Anyway, I maintain that soy increases estrogen in men and should be completely avoided. Further, I maintain that soy can be good for women in moderation.

      • Sorry I disagree with you about soy being good for women. It isn’t good for anyone.
        PCOS(Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), while it’s a misnomer because it affects me systemically, is a result of consuming processed foods over the years with soy in it. I also have an under active thyroid thanks to Soy too.
        I will agree that it does increase the estrogen in men hence making them sterile, which is why I try my hardest to eliminate it from my son’s diet as well. I would love to have Grandkids later in life after all ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. You lost me when you said don’t eat soy, and gave no source. I thought you mean soy sauce, but no you meant soy beans. I don’t understand how you don’t consider tofu healthy, especially when the Japanese eat it so much and live so long.

    • Tofu is moderately healthy for women I suppose. Tastes nasty though. I remember this one time when I was a kid, my Mom’s friend in Washington DC gave me tofu ice cream. It was rough.

      • Then you are toally eating the wrong products. I hated tofu until I started experimenting with it, and when you learn to speak its language, it actually does rule. Saying that it “tastes nasty though” just makes it obvious that you’re expressing opinions and not facts. Seriously: try slicing it paper-thin and sautรฉeing it with rosemary in coconut oil, or on very low heat with flax seed oil and tell me that it’s nasty. Tastes like a friggin’ potato chip.

        …And these desserts would make your nipples hard:
        http://www.tofutti.com/c-v.shtml

  8. Diet Soda: You said drink a glass of Milk, From a diabetic stand point that raises the blood sugar and the caffeine does NOT! I test my blood sugar 10 times a day and have NEVER seen caffeine raise it.

    • Soda in general isn’t healthy for anyone. It’s nothing but chemicals. How are chemicals good for you? Are they natural? Do they have a natural source from which they can be traced back to? Of course not, sodas are hard on our kidneys and there is no nutritious content in it. You’re better off with Raw Milk,you know the stuff our grandparents and great grandparents grew up on, and Kangen water. Google that one, the device is pricey but I highly recommend it!

  9. Man, i eat nothin’ but Bacon, Eggs, Steak & Shrimp daily. And i’m in good health. But when it comes to Alcohol, i drink No Beer or Cocktails. That’s all empty calories. Strictly straight 80 proof whiskey. 0 sugar, 0 carb, 0 fat.

  10. he listed every single food. and he forgot to list the worst food: butter, yet he listed soy which it a whole lot better than eating the real meat provided with the saturated fat. saturated fat from animals is basically pre-digested fat which is the exact same fat that covers our body.

          • Agreed. People need to stop giving saturated fats a bad rep, given that there has been no proof till this day that it raises low-density lipoproteins, nor that it makes increases weight intake. In fact, the biggest weight-gain occurred after the low-fat diet became activate a few decades ago.

            Eating fat will make you fat is a similar analogy to “eating hair will make you grow hair”. Our body needs fat, and in natural forms. Yes, this includes butter and meat! Specifically pasture-raised animals. Grass-fed beef has an omega-3 to 6 ratio of 1:2. Not to mention the health benefits of Stearic and Conjugated Linoleic Acid, as well as the complete protein benefit. The only vegan food I’ve found a complete protein in so far has been quinoa: delicious by the way!

            I sympathize with vegetarians when it comes to commercially raised (i.e. abused) animals, as well as hunting/fishing for sport. However, the concept of not eating meat because it ‘hurts other animals’ is ridiculous. The entire food chain functions on consuming meat and vegetables. Many household pets are pure carnivores, and would not survive without meat. I do not expect a carnivorous animal to spare my life if I am caught in the wild with them.

            As for soybeans, maybe the advocates should take a look at the soil degradation results of farming soybeans, and how it is damages the environment.

            As for the japanese soy intake, they actually consume very little soy in their diet.

            Humanity has survived for thousands of years on naturally raised food, and that is what we should focus on. The advent of mass-produced low quality farming, as well as refining methods to increase the shelf-life of foods is a huge downfall of our time.

  11. Hi there,

    I just wanted to let you know than non hydrogenated margarine is available. It is made through a process called inter esterification and it is a better choice than butter.

    • I can’t believe that any margarine can be better than butter, it is still extremely processed in very unnatural ways.
      Real homegrown/homemade butter from grass fed cows is healthy…aside from the high fat content of course…margarine..even without considering the fat, is still unhealthy. Butter that you get from the stores..still healthier than margarine, but mostly comes from factory milk farms where the cows are fed hormones and antibiotics and then other chemicals are added to the butter to make it last longer and look nicer But still better than margarine.

  12. Processed food is the prominent factor in most unhealthy diets-just what Steve is trying to point out here. Sure, butter is high in fat, but take a look at the French-their diet is full of high fat-content foods such as filet mignon, creme brule, creamy ragout, the list goes on and on… The key to their health I think is also what steve is pointing out: Balance. Like many other healthy countries, they tend to eat food in moderation, even when they don’t, quality, non-processed food is eaten. Taking the time to cook up your own food (or have someone else do it for you ๐Ÿ˜€ ) with real ingrediants really pays off in the long-run, especially in this mess of a processed food-based society we’re living in.

    -And Steve no wonder you might have developed an aversion for tofu… ice cream?! that sounds disgusting. Real tofu with egg noodles, veggies, and a nice peanut sauce is the way to do it ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. some1 pls reply asap i got a question about the fruit juice the only fruit juice i ever drink is v8 i also drink the vegetable 1 should i quit drinking v8 fruit shakes pls reply

  14. some1 pls reply asap i got a question about the fruit juice the only fruit juice i drink is v8 i also drink the vegetable 1 should i quit drinking v8 fruit shakes and maybe the vegetable 1 some1 pls reply

  15. You all need to get a life, especially Steve!
    This is just so sad, and rather pathetic
    Give Soy and sushi a break, who even knows of any sushi place that used wholegrain rice!
    I am sitting eating burger rings and loving it!!!
    suck on that steve!!!!

  16. Well. I grew up in a farm where we had a bit of everything: Pork (all the bits), beef, vegetables. etc etc etc… fruit in abundance and all types of sweet desserts cakes and the things that make life great. The problem is, back then we worked hard. You can’t go on eating the same when you don’t need it or don’t do enough exercise to match the dosage. And, having to read all this “city brat” cheap commentology on what’s good or not… what a waste of time. I read pages of comments where the only conclusion to draw is that nothing is good for you. Not if you decide to eat tofu for the rest of your life and not have a balanced diet. Go enjoy yourselves. Maybe you’d be able to have better opinions if you had ever got out of your office and stuck your hands in the dirt, get some farm action.

  17. After reading this, I’m beginning to think that it’s better NOT to eat and simply die of starvation. I’m beginning to think that EVERYTHING is bad! Very depressing. We’ve been told what NOT to eat, which just about includes everything. Now how about telling us what we CAN safely and happily eat without gagging from the taste of the stuff.

  18. wait, wait, wait.. who said that i thought these were healthy? indicate these factors in a non-biased and conclusive matter?

    what next? wine doesn’t make you fat?

    what the problem is… assumptions… finger pointing is a bad idea… get it?

  19. My friend is a genetic engineer who did his masters work on yogurt. He basically developed activia, but if you are going to eat yogurt with fruit in it already, stonyfield farms is definitely the best. It has the most cultures that regulate your digestive system, more than activia.

  20. While I disagree with you about soy products, I appreciate the rest of this article, being vegan. There is so much misinformation and too much trust put into ‘fat free’ and ‘no sugar added’ products, and to think these companies actually care about your health more than their own wallet is just sad. What’s worse, is it’s harder to go vegan or be even remotely healthy, especially for younger generations. Say your 15-16 and can’t buy groceries, your parents won’t listen because they trust product labeling. I practically starved through my teen years because I didn’t want to eat my step mom’s 2-tablespoon butter-cooked corn or cholestoral chicken or mcdonalds or dominoes or wendys (you get the point.) All because of this stupid misinformation for companies to get money in their wallets. Sure, who the hell wants to be 60-70+ years old anyway; but think about your body, your energy, your contribution to the downpour of our economy (it takes ten times the energy to produce meat than plant-based foods, and more plant consumption to mass produce these animals.) Think about how you look, most of the people in America are overweight, this isn’t me generalizing (look around, look at a few different weight statistics, go to Walmart, etc) Your complexion, hair growth, figure, eye sight, energy, can all be improved by avoiding the crap the author listed (and much more ‘crap’ to be avoided, trust me) I really, really encourage a vegan lifestyle, not because I’m some biased liberal, but out of concern for you and the world around me. Heart attacks hurt like a *****, you know.

    Sorry to go off in my own rant here, but this just got me going, heh.
    Appreciate the article.

  21. I used to drink Myoplex, among other Abbott Labs shakes religiously at work on my breaks for the last few years. After doing research on soy and reading roughly a 50/50 mix that soy can cause or doesn’t cause hair loss in men, and also in regards to the estrogen/phytoestrogen components in soy, I’ve stopped taking the Myoplex and I’ve switched to organic 2% milk. I’m considering buying a whey protein powder and blending it with the 2% milk and adding a multivitamin that uses real vitamin E(d-alpha tocopherol) and an active form of B-12(methylcobalamin), as well as honey. For the last 2 weeks, I’ve been eating plain, pure honey, including the comb once in a while and I’ve noticed a huge increase in energy just from that.

  22. My daughter has a dairy allergy (she projectile vomits, has stomach spasms, breaks out in a rash from head to toe, and stops breathing). We’ve had to raise her on soy formula (when I quit producing milk) and soy milk for her bottles. The only way she can eat anything resembling dairy is to use a soy alternative. This is not an uncommon allergy (in fact, it’s pretty common and it’s not something that people grow out of). How does your theory about soy products fit into this? Is there scientific proof (any supporting material you could cite) that soy products are so dangerous? What alternatives do you suggest for this?

    • In her case, soy is probably the best choice. Soy has been linked to increased cancer rates (like a million other substances), and in men, increased estrogen. I wish I had more time to help you, but I’m strapped. You will have to do some additional research on your own I’m afraid, but like I said, soy milk is probably a good choice for your daughter given her condition. I’d prefer males to stay away from soy, more so than females.

    • I have noticed more and more coconut milk, waters and such, i know they may be high in sugars, but have high neutritional values, you may want to do some research in coconut products.

  23. jeez….ok well part of this was help full some parts were ridiculous…..like bagels, white pasta, pretzels, english muffins, pasta salad and granola are NOT killing me slowly sure theyre not perfect foods but jeez…..

  24. meh. some of your research is right but most of it is misleading and highly exaggerated.

    and by the way your body loves to use carbs as its main source of energy.

    and about “no added sugar” translates to type II diabetes? please, people get type II diabetes for a variety of factors, some that dont even involve nutrition.

  25. I suggest you people can follow eating indian meals,which are mainly with medicinal spices -such a balanced food.Have you ever tasted south indian meals …? TRY ONCE ………REALLY GOOD COMBINATION OF EVERYTHING YOU NEED..

  26. I thought roasting the peanuts REMOVED those toxins?

    Weird, because only a week ago, my doctor told me I was extremely healthy and to keep doing what I was doing. My BMI is 18.5 exactly; 17.5% body fat; strength train 3x week, walk daily. And… my breakfast is giving me cancer? I eat natural peanut butter almost daily. I actually even gave my doctor a “day in the life” outline of what I ate and he had no complaints. I’ve been going to him for nearly 25 years, and doesn’t hesitate to tell me if he thinks I should change what I’m doing. (not American, btw!)

  27. Has anyone noticed the SOURCES of these claims?

    If all may please draw their attention to the very bottom of the article, you may see in very small print, the link to only two sources.

    One – a study based around the possible health effects of the induced soybean isoflavone glycinol. Although this may seem like an article that is saying right out loud that soy is bad, if the writer of this article read the full text, or just the introduction, they may notice that the study is demonstrating that glycinol induces increases estrogen levels that is very possibly BENEFICIAL to postmenopausal women requiring hormone replacement therapy. Furthermore, the article begins with a look at the BENEFITS of soy, where soy components have been demonstrated to reduce cancer effects and is also a cancer inhibitor, inhibiting cancer cell growth.

    The second article is a newspaper article from the Gazette from the John Hopkins University, reporting a study from the university linking obesity to heart inflammation and therefore, heart failure.

    This article does not cite any sources that relate to, demonstrate or support the strong claims above. In short, not extraordinarily reliable.

    One more reason to really look before you believe.

    • But this article sure does get a lot of traffic! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Also, there are a ton of true facts in this post in addition to my opinions. It is somewhat of an extremist article, but it does force you to think.

  28. Yes, I agree. Almost all of these tactics are just marketing hype! Eat whole foods, fruit, vegetable, nuts and seeds and you will do just fine. All the “low fat” labels out there are loaded with other bad things such as sugar or sodium, which may be worse for you than original fat it replaced! Here is an online healthy lifestyle store as well as raw food website, where you can learn in depth about raw and vegan superfoods, etc.

    Have a healthy day!
    Charlot ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Where to start whit this article? Soy bad for males? Cancer in a can (I guess you a referring to aspartame)? I think you may also believe Bush bombed the Pentagon, Area 51 and conspiracies like that… You should stop misinforming people unless you can back up your claims with reliable sources.

  30. Raw organic foods are best. Most health problems are the direct result of malnutrition. Good fresh food tastes very good once the addiction to excess fat, salt and sugar is broken. Fresh vegetables fruit and meat should be eaten everyday in an ideal diet. Simple food is easier to digest and provides better nutrition. A day of food for me looks something like this: Breakfast= 1 Whole Apple. 2 hours later 1 Whole Bannana (minus the skin). 2 hours later a serving of yogurt. For dinner a large salad of fresh greens grated beets and carrots, sweet bell pepper with a dressing consisting of olive oil, balsamic vineagar, lemon juice (fresh) and a little mustard. 4 to 8 ounces of whole fish (or chicken or red meat). Not the Ideal diet but better than most. I am 41 years old, 5 foot 7 inches and I weigh 145lbs. Just my two cents.

  31. Whatever. Trying to be funny doesn’t change the fact that you are misinforming people with some claims you can’t prove. And yes, this article may have a lot of traffic, but some of it may come thanks to bloggers like me who link to it as an example of wrong advice.

    Please, please, show us a prove soy is bad and sugar-free soda can cause cancer. If you are right that’s something all the world should know about. Don’t hide your sources, where are your sources?

    • OK OK! Why’s everyone riding me today?

      Aspartame has not been linked directly to the development of cancer and in fact, “Aspartame is made up of three chemicals that are all naturally found in foods and can be found in the body.” That doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe for you, and to be perfectly healthy you might consider not putting any chemical substances into your body, but then I guess that would also include creatine, diet pills, and just about any other supplement and medicine on the market. I don’t think artificial sweeteners should be consumed, but Aspartame at least doesn’t appear to lead to cancer.

      Aspartame at Cancer.org
      Aspartame and Cancer
      Artificial Sweeteners

      However, sugar is indirectly linked to increased cancer because it promotes obesity and elevates insulin levels, which both lead to increased risk of cancer. I guess that means we should choose diet soda over regular soda. In my opinion, we should just drink water.

      ACS Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention

      Regarding soy, I maintain that soy is estrogenic. It is not horribly estrogenic, but it is estrogenic none-the-less. Men should avoid it. However, there is evidence that soy reduces the risk of prostate cancer. I guess the tradeoffs for men to consume soy, are reduced risk of prostate cancer vs. elevated estrogen levels and other estrogenic responses in the body.

      Soy Decreases Cancer Risk for Men and Women
      Soy consumption and prostate cancer risk in men: a revisit of a meta-analysis

  32. interesting you left out dairy (with all it’s hormones) out of the equation … also, beef (unless organic) are given 6 steroids to increase size … you WHEY pushers rip on soy milk but forget about the actual ESTROGEN AND PROGESTERONE given directly to cows for beef!

    • 6 steroids to increase size… 6 different ones, or the same one 6 times? ive got to say dude, that is a fine piece of wisdom you decided to share. protein, in the form of corn gluten and soyhulls, is fed to cows (more specifically steers for meat consumption or lactating cows, dairy or beef) to increase size or milk production. usually between 5-18 lbs per day. of course the animal can weigh well over a thousand pounds, and drinks between 15-30 gallons of water a day, so 5-18 lbs is not as much as it seems. alot of people on here seem to be convinced that cows grow because of estrogen injections… they grow the same way you will if you eat lots of food and lots of protein ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. fyi: there is absolutely zero studies showing a link b/w cancer and soy milk … zero peer reviewed decisive studies … phytoestrogens are not human estrogen … the dairy industry is huge and has been pushing the soy is bad thing and of course WHEY PUSHERS use milk with hormones to make their whey protein so they fall right in line with the conspiracy theorists of the dairy industry.

  34. hey, this is great. i’m not sure why it’s gotten so many sassy comments, for pete’s sake. who knew soy could inspire such anger?

    i have a digestive disorder and was tired of taking pills, so last year i did an experiment. for a few months, i logged everything i ate and exactly what happened in my body afterwards. i’d read plenty about nutrition, but this was the best thing i ever did in figuring out which foods were good for me and which ones weren’t. our bodies are geniuses and will always tell us when we’re eating crap.

    in my experiment, i found (briefly):

    soy is really hard to digest. i don’t know about it’s scientific/nutritional properties. i just know that when i consume it, it sits in my body for a long time and i don’t feel very good.
    anything from a box or can makes me sick, so i’m guessing it’s anything with preservatives and synthetic stuff. frozen meals are lethal.
    any meat other than fish is really hard to digest.
    beets are awesome.
    greens like kale, spinach and chard are way more awesome than lettuce.
    added sugars absolutely wreck my guts.
    breads/baked goods of any kind are just awful.
    milk from a local dairy farm that comes in a glass jar is the only milk i can drink (i’m guessing that has to do with preservatives and processing again).
    homemade yogurt is the best food on the planet.
    sushi rolls make my guts hurt a lot.
    so does melty cheese.
    alcohol of any kind and in any amount doesn’t like me very much.

    after observing exactly what specific foods did to me, i just stopped eating/drinking things that made my guts hurt. (which happen to be a lot of foods you just listed above. except i still eat sushi rolls and red wine. i just can’t quit them, although i pay every time.) i lost about 25 pounds. (and i’m off my gut meds.) i didn’t count calories or fat grams or carb ratios. i just stopped eating stuff that made my body hurt.

    all this to sayโ€ฆ i think the sassy commenters should save the sass and just pay attention to what foods do to their bodies. and also: thanks for a great article!

    • I agree with you p.h. There is so much information on the internet that it is hard to know what to do but if you take the time to listen to your body, it will let you know what is good and what is detrimental for you.

  35. I think perhaps we should all just calm down a little bit. No matter what you eat you will always be getting something wrong. So long as you stick to eating as simply as possible with plenty of fish, white meat, vegetables, some fruits and not to many calorific cooking techniques you should be alright. Scientists will always try to eradicate the risk factor in life but the truth is it just can’t be done. You could spend you’re entire life consuming nothing but raw vegetables and water and that won’t do a damn thing to stop the bus that runs you over sometime in your mid thirties.Balance, moderation, excercise – these are the key. X x

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