We’ve been fed contradicting information on what “experts” say we should and shouldn’t do for decades. One day coffee is good for you, the next day it will kill you. Some say CrossFit is the greatest thing since protein powder and others swear it’s more dangerous than swimming in a pool of great white sharks.
The list goes on and on.
But there are some things that have generally been viewed as healthy and safe for far too long (when they’re really anything but). And it’s time for these lies to be exposed — once and for all.
Stay Away From These 7 Things:
- Soy. Every time I see an otherwise health-conscious person order a soy latte or tofu salad, I cringe. Here’s why.
- Soy contains more phytoestrogens than just about anything. Phytoestrogens are plant-based substances that latch onto the receptor sites of our cells meant for estrogen. Consuming them can contribute to hypothyroidism, early onset puberty, breast cancer, testicular cancer, and male fertility issues.
- The high levels of phytic acid in soy make it extremely difficult for the body to absorb adequate levels of zinc, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and other important minerals.
- 93% of soy produced in the United States is genetically modified.
- Fluoride.I’ve used fluoridated toothpaste for my whole life (up until a few months ago). I’ve drank fluoridated water for most of my life. I even got regular Fluoride treatments from the dentist as a kid.
You can imagine the shock and horror that I experienced after finding out that Fluoride is a toxic chemical that has been linked to a lower IQ, impaired thyroid function, bone cancer, and many more serious health conditions. And it’s not even good for your teeth. In a major study done by the National Institute of Dental Research, no difference was found in the dental health of children living in areas with fluoridated vs. unfluoridated water.
Think it’s a bunch of hog wash? Harvard doesn’t. And neither does the National Research Council. According to Dr. Ludgwig Grosse, Chief of Cancer Research at the U.S. Veterans Administration,
The plain fact that fluorine is an insidious poison — harmful, toxic and cumulative in its effects, even when ingested in minimal amounts, will remain unchanged no matter how many times it will be repeated in print that fluoridation of the water supply is ‘safe.’
- Vegetable Oil. Often praised for its low levels of “artery clogging” saturated fat and high levels of “healthy” polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, vegetable oil is in reality one of the most processed, toxic foods on the market.
The process that vegetable oil goes through in order to even be considered edible is nothing short of ridonkulous. Unlike coconut oil or butter which can be extracted through natural pressing or separation, vegetable oil must be chemically removed, bleached, deodorized, and more before being put into your salad dressing, sauce, or condiment. The chart below shows the lengthy process in greater detail:
Vegetable oil and other highly processed oils (canola oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, etc.) can be extremely damaging, especially when used in place of the healthy saturated fats that our bodies need and crave.
These oils have a disproportionately large amount of omega-6 fats relative to their low omega-3 content (safflower oil is 75% omega-6 and 0% omega-3). As a result, omega-6 fats are used almost exclusively for cell repair and hormone production (the desired ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in the body is 1:1). This creates an inflammatory response that leads to an increased risk of developing diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, and many more.
- Sunscreen. Conventional sunscreen contains dangerous chemicals that disrupt hormone balance, cause allergic reactions, and contribute to a slew of additional complications. One chemical commonly used in sunscreen, Retinyl Palmitate, is known to cause reproductive toxicity and increase the growth rate of skin tumors.
On top of all of that, sunscreen does little to nothing to protect us from the sun. It shields us from UVB rays that cause us to burn and also provide Vitamin D, but offers very little protection from the UVA rays that cause the more serious, lasting damage to our skin at a DNA level. Read more about the harmful effects of conventional sunscreen (and what to use instead) here.
- Low fat/fat free Products. Dietitians, personal trainers, and other “health experts” have been singing the praises of “low fat,” “fat free,” “reduced fat,” and “light” foods for years. But let’s get one thing straight — healthy fats aren’t bad for you. They won’t make you fat and they won’t make you sick. And there’s no reason to remove them from foods they’re meant to be in — other than for the companies who produce them to make big bucks at the expense of your health.
“Fat free” or “low fat” labels are simply a way for marketers to make their product seem more appealing and healthy to the naive consumer. Foods that brag of such labels are often highly processed and are labeled as “fat free” as an attempt to make up for the massive amounts of sugar and artificial ingredients that they contain.
Don’t fall victim to this marketing ploy. And never use these labels as excuses to eat “foods” that by every other standard would not be considered healthy!
- Antibacterial soap. This subject has recently gotten a surprising amount of attention from the mainstream media, with good reason. Here’s a few points that may cause you to reconsider your soap of choice:
- Antibacterial soap doesn’t work any better than regular soap.
- 75% of antibacterial soaps contain triclosan — a drug that was once strictly used only in hospital settings. Because of its harmful effects, the FDA is considering removing soaps with triclosan from the market.
- Frequent use of antibacterial soaps can create antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Bottom line? Your body knows what it’s doing. It’s already equipped with all sorts of good bacteria that constantly work to fight infections and disease. By overusing antibacterial products, we get rid of the good stuff along with the bad stuff, preventing our bodies from fighting off anything on their own. And when something really bad comes along that necessitates the use of antibiotics, our resistant bacteria renders the antibiotic useless — not good.
- Grains. These highly genetically modified foods wreak all sorts of havoc on our bodies. In short, they’re addictive, highly inflammatory, and they make us sick and fat — don’t eat them! According to Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly,
Documented peculiar effects of wheat on humans include appetite stimulation, exposure to brain-active exorphins (the counterpart of internally derived endorphins), exaggerated blood sugar surges that trigger cycles of satiety alternating with heightened appetite, the process of glycation that underlies disease and aging, inflammatory and pH effects that erode cartilage and damage bone, and activation of disordered immune responses. A complex range of diseases results from consumption of wheat, from celiac disease—the devastating intestinal disease that develops from exposure to wheat gluten—to an assortment of neurological disorders, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, curious rashes, and the paralyzing delusions of schizophrenia.
Okay, I get it — these things are bad. Now what?
Maybe some or all of this is new information to you — maybe it isn’t. That’s irrelevant. What matters is where we go from here and how we use this information to shape the decisions we make every day.
Always question what “they” say is good for you. Heck, question what I say is good for you too! This is your life, your body, and your health. And ultimately, you are the one who decides what’s best for yourself and your family. But every one of us can benefit from making these choices based on research and careful consideration (instead of just doing as we’re told).
Can you think of any other “healthy” habits that are really anything but healthy? Tell me about them!
Want more info on any of the points listed above? Let me know by commenting below — I’ll write a blog post on whichever subject gets the most interest!