Imagine a world where you could stroll into whatever grocery store you pleased, pick up whatever ingredients and products you wanted, and not feel overly concerned about your health. Alas, this is not the world we live in and instead, we find ourselves inundated with foods that prioritize convenience over health.
To make things a little easier on you, we’ve compiled a short list of “unhealthy healthy things,” so you can make better-informed decisions on your next grocery run.
Gluten-free, fat-free, low-carb labels
While none of these trends are inherently unhealthy, it’s important to pay attention to your labels. Food companies have spotted a “marketing opportunity” in the health foods world and are “[turning] out processed, sugary junk foods as ‘healthy’ gluten-free alternatives.” So foods with words like gluten-free, fat-free, and low-carb are technically healthy, but they have to compensate for issues with loss of taste and consistency. As a result, they’re high in trans-fat, artificial sweeteners, and sugar alcohols.
In particular, the gluten-free trend can set you up for failure if you’re not diligent. It can create nutritional deficiencies, such as fiber and B vitamin deficiencies, in your diet.
Similarly, organic products are not intrinsically unhealthy (quite the opposite), but it’s something to pay attention to. Unfortunately, the word “organic” is often tossed around incorrectly, and not all certifications are equal. Products can be organic and still not bear the USDA seal; in this case, you should look up the verifier and confirm they uphold the same USDA organic
standards. But even then, the USDA has come under fire for certifying subpar products. For example, the recent Aurora scandal has “exposed glaring gaps in organic inspections.” Protecting consumers and legit, organic farms is still a work in progress, which simply means you have to be extra judicious when selecting organic foods.
There’s very limited evidence that detox diets eliminate toxins from your body, and contrary to popular belief, your body is naturally quite adept at this process already. Going on a detox diet may make you feel slightly better for a short period of time due in large part to restricting processed foods. However, a fasting detox can “disturb the balance of healthy bacteria in
the digestive tract.”
xx, The FabFitFun Team