There’s nothing more insidious than foods advertised as “healthy” that can actually be hurting you.
As least we all know that the candy we eat from Halloween isn’t good for us. But since we’re all about balance here, it’s fine to indulge once in awhile. But foods that are labeled healthy while acting only slightly better than actual junk food are SCARY. In the spirit of Halloween, let’s unmask some of the biggest monsters!
Soy products have been looked at by the health industry in the past as a miracle food but the research says the exact opposite.
Soy has estrogenic effects on the body, it contains phytoestrogens that can act like an estrogen inside the body. This is especially problematic for men, since we need as much natural testosterone production as possible.
However, too much estrogen for women can also be a problem for hormones. When estrogen is too high or too low you may get menstrual cycle changes, dry skin, hot flashes, trouble sleeping, night sweats, vaginal thinning and dryness, low sex drive, mood swings, weight gain, PMS, breast lumps, fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
Additionally, soy causes digestive issues within the body due to it containing trypsin inhibitors. These compounds reduce the efficacy of digestive enzymes, and even through heavy processing (cooking/shipping), they still exist in your food and act as “anti-nutrients” that take good nutrients away from you.
UN-MASK with: other protein sources! Whey protein is excellent, but for those that do not want animal products, pea protein powder is naturally vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and does not contain any of the top eight food allergens — peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, shellfish, cow’s milk, wheat and soy.
These offer no help in the department of muscle building and fat loss. They contain too much sugar, preservatives, artificial coloring, and random stimulants to boost up whatever they can. This is unnecessary and won’t lead you to better results in the gym.
If this is a thing for you that you just have throughout the day, then there are bigger problems at play then just your energy drink. Your sleep, hydration levels, and overall feelings of well-being could be suffering. You should not need caffeine or stimulants to motivate you throughout the day.
In addition to the chemical storm that is an energy drink, stimulants ramp up stress hormone production which acts to break muscle tissue down and store more fat. If you require a pick-me-up while you’re fixing your sleep and nutrition, there are other solutions that don’t have almost as much sugar as regular soda like energy drinks contain!
UN-MASK with: coffee (without loads of cream/sugar), green tea, low-caffeine pills, or low-caffeine pre-workout/BCAA sport’s drink.
Some protein bars can be a good quick fix. The ones that ARE good can be great for traveling, however, you have to read the label on EVERY protein bar to ensure you’re getting the best available ingredients. Remember, they aren’t real food. It’s heavily processed, with the worst offenders packed with sugar.
And because the manufacturer needs it to taste good, most will be packed with those sugars, preservatives, corn syrup solids, fake coloring, and even soy. You might as well just consume a candy bar that actually tastes good.
If you’re traveling or otherwise need to have a protein bar, look for the least processed, least ingredients, and least sugar-packed options available. If it has more than 10 grams of sugar in it, it’s not good for you.
UN-MASK with: protein shake consisting of protein concentrate and protein isolate blend. A digestive enzyme blend of papain and protease included in your protein product is ideal as well (for better protein digestion and absorption).
The words healthy and cereal should never be included together.
Cereals are what is known as a “non-food”. A non-food is a food that actually takes more from you then it gives back. Each and every food utilizes enzymes, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals in order to be digested and processed throughout the body. Cereal gives none of these nutrients back to the body, it only takes them away and in return gives you pure sugar and junk.
And when they say it’s fortified with certain nutrients, it means it was so devoid of natural nutrients that they had to pack it with alternatives. Skip the sugar and make yourself a better-tasting breakfast with oatmeal, cream of what, or eggs!
“The cereal industry is making billions selling us cheap commodities like corn and sugar, mixed with cheap additives like artificial colors, dumped into a colorful box with cartoon characters. Mainstream cereals are so heavily processed that they do not have natural nutrients, that’s why most of them are sprayed with vitamins, minerals, and sometimes fortified with protein. It’s the ultimate fake food.
The marketing messages on the cereal boxes sure sound healthy: “High Fiber”, “Protein”, “Gluten-Free”, “Low Fat”, “All Natural”, “Essential Vitamins” and “Good Source Of (insert vitamin here)”. But, is cereal really good for us or is it just processed junk food? Several “healthy” cereals contain questionable additives that should never be in a healthy breakfast.” – Foodbabe.com
UN-MASK with: Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, or eggs with protein pancakes!
Peanut butter is a fat source, first and foremost. It is not an adequate protein source like some vegan or nutritionists teach.
For every 8g of fat in peanut butter there is usually only 2-3g protein depending on what brand you go with. In addition to this, peanut butter contains multiple types of sugars (although labeled differently so the average consumer wouldn’t know), soy and hydrogenated oils!
You can EASILY overconsume your daily fat content for the day with just one peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If you’re watching your macros and counting calories for weight loss, this will derail you every time.
UN-MASK with: Nut butter! It’s still primarily a fat source, but if you need your peanut butter fix without all the extra oils and garbage, these nut butters can be added into your macronutrients for fats and protein content.
Sauces are fine as long as you’re aware of what you’re doing.
If you’re just maintaining your weight or bulking up, it’s not a primary concern. If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to watch what sauces and how much you add. Due to the serving size, it’s amazingly easy to overconsume sugars, fats, and calories with just sauce. Sauces are something where you should always have a look at the label.
Many of them are packed full of sugar, preservatives, artificial coloring among many other things. For example, ketchup is very high in both sugars and salts but offers really nothing back in return. Fat Free Salad Dressing, meanwhile, is packed with heavily processed ingredients like soy, sugar, and corn starch. Be mindful of how much you consume and you should be fine. If you’re trying to lose weight, though, skip it or make your own!
UN-MASK with: Oil and vinegar, or your own recipe. Other alternatives could be avocado, hummus, citrus, or salsa.
Dairy (Milk & Yogurt)
I love dairy, personally, but most dairy is the heavy processed.
For example, almost all milk goes through two procedures: homogenizing and pasteurizing. Both of which rob the cow’s milk of its enzymes, good bacteria, vitamins and minerals. Killing all the nutrients increases shelf life. The product, after homogenizing and pasteurization, is so deadly that they actually have to try and reintroduce synthetic nutrients back into it via fortification.
To top this all off, the average 200ml glass of milk contains 13g of sugar. Yogurt is often similarly disguised as being healthy, but suffers the same fate as protein bars. It’s so heavily inundated with sugar that you might as well eat candy or drink a soda.
Always check the label of your yogurt contents for sugar content. If it’s over 10 grams of sugar, it’s not worth it.
UN-MASK with: Almond milk and Greek Yogurt.
While there’s many more insidious hidden health foods about, this list should be enough to get you started. The clear message is this: unmask every food by looking at its label and ingredient list! You never know which food might be pretending to be healthy!
Need more help with your nutrition? Check out my nutrition coaching program to fast-track your weight loss!