“Healthy” Foods that Aren’t


Periodically, a new study will be released by some research institute or other, telling us that something else we love isn’t good for us. The medical community will gradually adopt the rhetoric, and repeat the party line about this thing being bad for us because this or that study showed it to be so. Then the manufacturers of those things we love will release a special version of it which supposedly eliminates the risk. As long as there is money in telling us things are bad for us, the trend is unlikely to continue.

There are deceptions in this at multiple levels – from the origins of the study (someone paid for it to be done – someone who wanted a specific result, so they could sell us something to “fix” it), to the supposed solutions. The “problems” they tell us about weren’t even problems to begin with, merely the way that the food industry had already messed up the foods we are eating. The solutions are the thing we are discussing today.

Any time a trend in food is started, a food manufacturer  (isn’t it sad that we should call them that – you don’t “manufacture” food, you grow it, and prepare it) will produce some kind of food to capitalize on the trend. And then, pretty soon, the studies are reversed, and maybe that thing wasn’t so bad after all because now people who are doing it are in WORSE health than those who ate the bad thing to start with. And the answer to that is simple – the minute the commercial food industry enters the arena, trying to make specialty foods “convenient”, they destroy the foods that were supposed to help.

We now have a whole host of foods that we can buy, which are sold under the guise of being healthy, which in fact, are anything but. Let’s take a look at some examples.

Low Fat – At first, low fat meant they ATE LESS FAT. But that wasn’t very much fun. So food manufacturers started enhancing them – putting other things in to make them behave more like they had fat in them. Guar gum, emulsifiers, thickening agents, soy lecithin, and all sorts of things with unpronounceable chemical names. Things that aren’t even FOOD. Now, Low Fat foods are nasty concoctions that are almost all deadlier than the fat that they eliminated. Fat isn’t in fact bad. Unnatural fats, fats with chemical preservatives, fats that have chemicals in them to keep them from going rancid, or fats from plants that are not actually food in the first place. THOSE are bad fats. But good, whole, clean fat from meat and dairy, and that occurs naturally in vegetables and grains, are good food. Remember, Trans Fats are a manufacturing CAUSED problem – they only happen from trying to fry things in oil from plants we should not be extracting oils from in the first place.

Low Carb – Low carb originally meant to reduce the amount of PROCESSED carbohydrates in the diet. A good idea. Carbohydrates again, are something that is not bad at all – they are the staff of life. Refined carbs are nasty stuff – and should be replaced with true whole grains and whole fresh fruits and veggies. As soon as the trend gained ground, food manufacturers began releasing “low carb” versions of things (many of which, through slight of hand, weren’t even lower in carbohydrate), but they are SO loaded with chemicals and artificial substances, that they do far more harm than the less altered refined foods they were replacing. So again, we have a manufactured problem with a manufactured solution that causes more harm than the original problem, and both of which miss the point. Which is that carbohydrates are good for you, just eat good whole food that hasn’t been mucked about with by some company trying to “save time” for you.

SugarFree – So first off, sugar is not evil. If you over-consume it, then it is going to cause problems. But it is a fairly inert nutrient, that the body uses fairly directly, and it has no side effects in and of itself. It is not chemically altered or adulterated. A teaspoon of sugar in your herbal tea is just fine. A tablespoonful in each of five cups of coffee each day is going to cause problems! But someone decided sugar was bad when people began to lose all sight of reason in the amounts they use, and because sugar has been slipped into so many processed foods (especially those that are “low fat”). And now, you probably think it is evil, since you are told so at every turn – but remember, the people who are telling you that sugar is evil are people who are SELLING sugar substitutes – you may think they are objective doctors and health advocates. They aren’t. They are PAID to say it, by people who want to sell you something else. Artificial sweeteners are, to a one, MORE harmful than sugar, and not just a little bit worse either – exponentially worse. This includes all the “ols”, such as sorbitol, xylitol, erythorbitol, etc. And things like Stevia are not good for you in large amounts either. Agave and Honey are just natural forms of sugar, and they have the SAME effect on the body as sugar does – they just have well-paid marketing people who are publishing “sugar is bad and we are not” articles to make you think that they are somehow better (they aren’t bad – but if you overindulge, they’ll harm you too). And then we have the CHEMICALS that are added to most of the prepared foods that use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes. So Sugar Free foods are either: a. No different in health benefit from those containing sugar; b. More harmful because of the harm from the sugar substitute; c. WAY more harmful because of the added chemicals.  Sugar isn’t GOOD for you. But it isn’t BAD for you either. If you like honey or agave or stevia, fine, enjoy them. But don’t fool yourself into thinking they are any better for you, because they aren’t.

Dairy Free – So let’s establish the health issues with real milk first. Lactose intolerance is often caused by digestive disorders, which are primarily caused by chemicals in our food and water supply (yeah, the chlorine in your tap water… that). And milk with artificial hormones and antibiotics in it is very harsh on the digestive tract. Plus, pasteurized and homogenized milk contains proteins that are much more difficult to digest than raw milk. So… again we have a series of sensitivities CAUSED by modern production methods. And then we have the food industry’s solution… Almond milk, Soy milk, Rice milk, and various other unnatural concoctions that first of all, do NOT have even CLOSE to the nutritional content of actual milk, and second, which are so full of chemicals and extracted processed substances that your body can’t even use it as well as it does processed milk! And foods that should have dairy, but do not, invariably have other substances that are much worse for us, in order to mimic the presence of milk in the food. Give me a cow. I’ll milk my own, thank you.

Gluten Free – People who have wheat sensitivities do so for a REASON. This is typically because of damage done from chemicals in food and water, and then from autoimmune disease which is a result of longstanding chemical damage, or from overexposure to specific proteins due to processing of grains. There is a close relationship between Crohn’s and Celiac – both are usually manifestations of the same problem. So the problems are caused by the same people who now want to hand us a “ready to eat” solution. Many people feel better when they begin to eliminate wheat from their diet. And then they find that their disease is progressing anyway. Now they need to eliminate corn, and then something else. They find that they go rapidly from Celiac (which they thought they could control simply by eliminating wheat) to Crohn’s (which involves an escalation of food sensitivities and intolerances and full blown auto-immune disease). Now, don’t get me wrong here. Truly gluten free homemade foods are not a problem. If you are actually eating things that are in fact good foods. But what happened is that the food manufacturers stuck their little noses into it again, and started creating convenient gluten free packaged foods. Sorry guys, but those things will make you sick! They aren’t healthier than foods with gluten in them – in fact, they are probably a primary reason why your disease is still progressing. The answer here is to get back to clean foods, and let your body heal. If you do, there is a strong chance you’ll be able to enjoy wheat products again, after you’ve healed up.

Whole Grain – Bet you thought that “whole grain” bread was good for you? It isn’t what it says it is. First off, it isn’t whole grain at all. It can be called that when it is only part of the grain. Whole grain includes the germ, which goes rancid too quickly for grocery store shelves, so all processed baked goods and packaged flours are not whole grain at all. They are better than white flour, but they will not supply the nutrients to provide the benefits from TRUE whole grain – which can help balance blood sugar, reduce cardio-vascular disease, reduce persistent obesity, slow the effects of aging, and a host of other nifty things. Not exactly UNhealthy. But not HEALTHY either. And any prepackaged baked goods, whole grain or not, typically contain a lethal cocktail of preservatives.

Salt-Free and Low Salt – Another instance where salt was unfairly blamed for a manufacturing problem. The problem with salt is not that it is bad. It is not. You NEED salt to live! In fact, if you transition to a healthy clean food diet, you’ll find you have to ADD salt, especially in warmer months, because your diet won’t have enough. The problem is that prepared foods absorb salt, and we lose the ability to taste it, so they put in more. And more. So much that it is in EVERYTHING. And they  don’t just stick to sodium chloride (simple table salt), they put in all kinds of other flavor enhancers that include sodium in some form or other, all of them far more harmful than salt, but for which salt takes the blame. The only thing they use more of unnecessarily in foods, is SUGAR. So taking salt OUT of some of those canned foods would be a good thing, right? But that isn’t what they do. They take OUT the salt, and replace it with a SALT SUBSTITUTE. And those are FAR more dangerous than salt! But there is no money in taking salt out. There is only money in persuading you that you need something to replace what you didn’t need in the first place. Sad.

High Fiber – Forget the studies that say that high fiber is good for you and that oat bran helps your heart. They lied. High fiber FOODS, CAN be good for you, and so can oat bran, IF it comes with the rest of the fresh oat grain. Oat bran is just a food processing by-product that nobody had a use for, which they figured they could sell better if they could persuade people it was good for them (so they paid for a research firm to find a way to make it look like it was healthy). But it isn’t. Oat bran is as good for you as sawdust – it is inert, has no nutritional value, and your gut cannot break it down. So it WILL relieve constipation. But it won’t make you healthier. What WILL make you healthier, is fresh vegetables (not canned and fiberless), fresh fruits (with lots of natural fiber), fresh whole grains (with the germ intact), nuts, and mushrooms. REAL FOOD, that just happens to have fiber along with a high complex nutrient load. THAT is healthy food. Fiber isn’t.

Empty Organics – Organic potato chips are still potato chips – potato slices cooked in fat, and stored beyond the point of freshness. They have some simple carb in them, and little else. Organic cookies made from white flour, and treated with an “organic preservative” are still processed white flour and poison (organic poison is still poison). The organic label is meaningless if the food that it is put onto is the same old refined and processed stuff from which needed nutrients have been removed. Organic garbage is still garbage, and it is not, nor never will be, healthy.

Cage Free Eggs, Free Range Eggs, Veggie-Fed Eggs, Natural Eggs, Farm Fresh Eggs – All of these are meaningless names. First of all, eggs are very good food, IF the chickens are raised right. Chickens naturally eat greens, grains, and grubs (or bugs… yes, bugs). They do not naturally consume medications or antibiotics, they do not naturally consume soybean meal, fishmeal, cottonseed meal, or other industrial waste, and they do not eat preservatives, pesticides, or herbicides by choice. This is what is in chicken feed. They DO naturally scratch through horse manure, they gobble rabbit manure with delight (many animals do), and they think that cow patties are a wonderful place to kick up a rumpus looking for tasty edibles (the best worms are usually under them… oh, didn’t I mention that chickens like worms?). We’ll just pretend that we are ok with that, because there really isn’t anything you can do to stop chickens from doing that, at least, not when they are HEALTHY chickens, who are going to lay HEALTHY eggs for you. Cage free means that they are kept in a pen, not a cage. It doesn’t mean they are frolicking lose in the pasture. Free Range (commercially) means they have a miniscule yard to run around in beside their huge crowded poultry barn – for small farmers it means they eat on pasture during the daytime and are fed chicken feed at night (yes, the same nasty stuff that passes for chicken feed that the industrial chicken producers use). Vegi-fed is another unnatural term, with no good meaning. No chicken is 100% veggie fed unless they are raised in such tight confinement that they never see a fly or compost insect in their lives – chickens are omnivores, they eat bugs if they can find them, and most industrial layer houses are fertile ground for breeding bugs – layers of litter and chicken manure all over the floor. And “vegi-fed” chickens are usually fed with a nasty mixture of industrial vegetable waste products and processed soy. Natural eggs just means a chicken laid them. Farm Fresh Eggs means you probably got it within a week or two of it leaving the chicken if you bought it at the farm, but if you bought it at the store, it was laid months ago – and even if you buy them from your local small farm, chances are, they are still feeding them nasty chicken feed, so if you need clean eggs, make sure you ask, and find someone who feeds the chickens clean food.

Just because someone says it is healthy, doesn’t mean it is. There’s a marketing ploy for everything, and the food industry has teamed up with the medical profession in some very devious ways to persuade you that you should eat what they want to sell you, and that there is some benefit to paying the price they want to charge.

If it isn’t clean chemical free food, and if it isn’t real food, without the nutrients stripped out and chemicals put in, then it ISN’T healthy. No matter WHO says it is.

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