15 Health Foods You Should Avoid if You Want to Stay Healthy!

The media, health magazines, even Facebook are all touting the “right” foods that are supposed to help you stay or get healthy.  Sadly, there is much information being distributed that is so far from the truth, it not only will confuse people, but it will make them sick too!  Even the health “nuts” are getting it wrong.  If you want to take your health to a new level, read this!

Unfermented Soy

1. Unfermented Soy

While we know that most soy grown in this country is genetically modified, there may still be those who feel that soy has great benefit if it is organic and pure.  Sadly, the estrogenic properties and the added protein of soy will still prevent your body from achieving optimal health.  Non-fermented soy products contain phytic acid, which contains anti-nutritive properties. Phytic acid binds with certain nutrients, including iron, to inhibit their absorption. This is a direct, physical effect that takes place in the digestive system. Their ability to bind is limited by the milligrams of phytic acid present.

Another dirty little secret about the “natural” soy foods industry is the widespread use of hexane in processing.  Hexane is strictly prohibited in organic food processing, but is used to make “natural” soy foods and even some that are “made with organic ingredients,” such as Clif Bars. Hexane is a neurotoxic petrochemical solvent that is listed as a hazardous air pollutant with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The best way to consume soy is fermented.  Fermented soy stops the effect of phytic acid and increases the availability of isoflavones. The fermentation also creates probiotics — the “good” bacteria the body is absolutely dependent on, such as lactobacilli. The fermentation of soy increases the quantity, availability, digestibility and assimilation of nutrients in the body.

Soy is among the most common food allergens, along with dairy and tree nuts. However, fermenting soy appears to reduce its allergenic properties. A study by researchers at the University of Illinois and published in “Food Engineering and Ingredients” in 2008 found that allergic reactions to soy were cut by 99 percent through fermentation. The process also appears to increase the availability of the amino acids in soy foods. The researchers noted that fermenting breaks down the protein in soy into small particles that antibodies cannot identify as foreign matter.  Many studies have shown traditionally fermented soy–which is the form that is very popular in many Asian cultures–aids in preventing and reducing a variety of diseases including certain forms of heart disease and cancers.

Vegetables and Fruits… That are Genetically Modified (GM)

2. Vegetables and Fruits… That are Genetically Modified (GM)

While squash, zucchini, papaya, corn, alfalfa, sugar beets, and soy may seem healthy enough for eating since they are vegetables and fruits, they could actually be ticking time bombs in your body waiting to be provoked.

Currently, eight crops from GM seeds are commercially available in the United States: corn (field and sweet), soybeans, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya and squash.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients. They cite animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility. Human studies show how GM food can leave material behind inside us, possibly causing long-term problems. Genes inserted into GM soy, for example, can transfer into the DNA of bacteria living inside us, and the toxic insecticide used on GM corn was found in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn fetuses.

Numerous health problems increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996. The percentage of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7% to 13% in just 9 years; food allergies skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others are on the rise. Although there is not sufficient research to confirm that GMs are a contributing factor, doctors’ groups such as the AAEM tell us to protect ourselves, and especially our children who are most at risk.

The American Public Health Association and American Nurses Association are among many medical groups that condemn the use of GM bovine growth hormone, because the milk from treated cows has more of the hormone IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1)―which is linked to cancer.

Vegetables and Fruits… That are Genetically Modified (GM)

3. Commercially Grown Whole Grains

Today’s commercial wheat—a semi-dwarf, high-yield type—is causing many people to be sick.  A decade ago, gluten intolerance levels were 1 in 2,500 worldwide. Today, it’s at 1 in 133! What has happened to the grain that has fed us for thousands of years?

The grains that were used in baking the ancient sourdough are completely different than what we are eating today.  The ancient grains that our ancestors ate were covered wheat grains, having thick husks around each kernel.  The inedible husk was removed by pounding or milling and then winnowing before the grains could be ground or eaten.  Today’s modern wheat is considered to be a naked-wheat cultivar, with a much thinner husk that is easier to remove.

The move toward today’s modern wheat began with hybridizing for smaller or dwarf varieties of wheat.  Shorter wheat means more of the plant’s energy is put into seed production, increasing yields.  This was very successful, producing huge increases in production.  Dwarf cultivars are also more resistant to lodging or falling over.  Lodging occurs when the stalks are too long for the plant’s roots, the stalks fall over (lodges) and rot.  Heavy applications of nitrogen fertilizer, common in commercial agriculture, only made the lodging problem worse.  The hybrid dwarf varieties were much less susceptible to lodging, allowing excess nitrogen to be applied without losing too much of the wheat crop.

Happy with the increased production of the hybridized dwarf wheat, plant breeders began more hybridization experiments starting in the early 1960’s. Extensive hybridization research, testing and experimentation went on, all with the objective of increasing the yields wheat produced.  Repetitive back-crossing and crossing with foreign grass species were just two of several techniques used.  What happened was a drastic increase in the production capability of the dwarf super-hybridized wheat.  Unfortunately, the issue of digestibility was never examined.  The hybridization resulted with increased gluten levels in the new wheat. This was a good thing for making tall, fluffy breads that are appealing to consumers.

The experimentation didn’t stop there, however.  In 2003 BASF, the chemical company, introduced Clearfield wheat, which is tolerant to their proprietary herbicide Beyond, much like Roundup Ready Corn is tolerant of glyphosate.  They proudly proclaim that the wheat is not the product of genetic engineering, but of “enhanced traditional plant breeding” methods. What exactly is the difference?

The technique is called “chemical mutagenesis” and might be worse than GMO engineering.  Using a highly toxic chemical—sodium azide—as well as gamma and X-ray radiation, the exposed wheat embryo mutates.  After further experimentation, testing and development, Clearfield wheat emerges and is tolerant of the Beyond herbicide.  Clearfield is now supplied in 20 varieties and nearly one million acres are planted with it in the US and Canada.

So what we are now eating is a super-hybridized, chemically and radiologically mutated wheat.  It’s no wonder we are having issues with digestion and allergic reactions that are becoming more common and more severe.  Not all of the wheat that is commercially available is from Clearfield wheat, but more and more is coming into the market. The rest of the wheat is from super-hybridized semi-dwarf varieties.

Another area to consider when identifying wheat differences is how bread is made today as compared to the past.  Traditionally bread was made with a slow rise sourdough method, using native yeast from the air to raise the dough.  Sourdough is a partnership between specific yeast and bacteria that supports each other and makes bread rise and develop the unique flavors.

Today’s bread is made with fast-rising yeast that has been cultured specially to raise bread dough faster and higher. The wheat is milled to remove the outer layers of wheat bran and wheat germ, leaving only the starchy endosperm or white flour. Some of the nutrients that were removed with the bran and germ are added back in the “enriching” process, where iron and synthetic B vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid are added back synthetically. Other agents are added to the dough which keeps the bread fresh and pliable for a longer period of time. The bread dough is mixed and kneaded, then left to rise for an hour or two and baked.

Dried Fruit

4. Dried Fruit

A handful of craisins here, a bunch of dried apricots there…no big deal, right? Not so fast. Fresh fruit is made mostly of water. Drying it out reduces the water volume and increases the amount of sugar per serving. Dried fruit may also have added refined sugar to enhance the flavor and taste.

Here are five facts you need to know about dried fruit—and why you should probably just eat an apple with nut butter instead.

  1. The sugar in fruit makes you fat fast. It’s called fructose and it can create all kinds of havoc on your health. Excess fructose gets quickly converted by the liver into VLDL, a form of cholesterol that’s high in triglycerides, which leads to fat storage. It’s also the type of sugar that creates insulin resistance, heart disease, obesity, and more.
  2. Most dried fruits are double, and sometimes even triple, the sugar content of fresh fruit. Most people should limit their daily fruit intake to 30g of carbs [of sugar] per day, which is about one banana, one apple, or two cups of berries. And that’s a lot less than what’s in the typical serving of dried fruit. One cup of fresh cranberries contains 4g of sugar and one cup of dried cranberries contains a whopping 70g.
  3. Your brain doesn’t know how to say no to dried fruit. It’s easy to eat a ton of dried fruit, because fructose doesn’t signal your brain when you’re full. It doesn’t suppress ghrelin or stimulate leptin after you eat (ghrelin makes you hungry and leptin stops hunger). Now it might make sense why you still feel hungry after inhaling a bag of trail mix.
  4. It contributes to toxicity. When the body breaks down fructose [in dried fruit or in any source], it produces a lot more waste products and toxins, and increases blood pressure more so than other carbs.
  5. You’re better off eating candy than dried fruit, if you’re looking at the sugar content. Okay, we’re NOT saying go eat a candy bar, but you should know that one bag of M&Ms or a Milky Way bar has 30g of sugar, which is less than what’s in about a cup of dried papaya or figs

Opting for dried fruit not only loads you up on calories, but it can send your blood sugar spiking and then crashing—which is bad news for your energy levels.

Vegetables and Fruits… That are Genetically Modified (GM)

5. Foods Containing Heated Omega 6 Oils – Especially Snack Foods

Foods made with vegetable, soy, canola oils, etc. such as granola, snack bars, salad dressings, mayonnaise, healthy chips, crackers, etc.

Even when you think you are getting “healthy” snack foods because you find them on the shelves of the health food section and they say “organic”, you may be shocked to know that if they are baked or infused with any of the omega 6 rich seed or vegetable oils, they are still dangerous to your health.
The heated Omega-6 fatty acids build up in our cell membranes and contribute to inflammation.
Inflammation is an underlying factor in some of the most common western diseases and include cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and many, many others.

Check out the amount of oils that have been increasing in the body throughout the years:


That’s right, the industrial seed and vegetable oils aren’t just burned for energy like any other macronutrient.
These oils (that are very sensitive to chemical reactions) are also stored and incorporated into cells.
That is a very scary thought. These oils are leading to actual physiological changes in our bodies.
When you plot the consumption of these oils to the prevalence of certain diseases in the population, you see some interesting correlations.

  1. The amount of Omega-6 in the blood is highly correlated with death from cardiovascular disease.
  2. There are observational studies showing a drastic correlation between consumption of these fats and violence, indicating that they may have a detrimental effect on mental health.
  3. Having more Omega-6 fats in mother’s milk is associated with altered immune function in young children.
  4. In rats, a high consumption of these oils can cause fatty liver and severe liver damage.
  5. Several other animal studies also show an increase in cancer when rats eat a diet high in Omega-6 fats

Consumption of Omega 6 fatty acids has increased drastically in the last century or so and their amount in our bodies has increased at least 3-fold.

Dried Fruit

6. Foods that Contain Artificial Sweeteners

For many years, people have been trying to cut their calories and when sugar-free substitutes hit the market, the Healthy Sugars were purported to be born!  Sadly, if anyone has been following these so-called sugar twins, you will have soon realized their deadly potential, and their twin, the real sugar, may not be nearly as sinister!

Sucralose

This relatively new additive is marketed under the name Splenda®.  Sucralose is basically denatured sucrose. Its preparation involves chlorinating sucrose, chemically changing the structure of the sugar molecules by substituting three chlorine atoms for three hydroxyl groups.

Yes, you did read “chlorinating,” adding “chlorine atoms.” But isn’t chlorine a known carcinogen, you ask? Why would the FDA allow toxic materials to be used in our food and beverages?

Yes, chlorine is a carcinogen. And to the other question, no one said just why the FDA approved it. You should know too that it was approved even while the pre-approval research revealed possible toxicity of the substance.

There have been no long-range studies of the effects of sucralose. The same thing happened with tobacco. As a result of not performing the required epidemiological research, it took years to track the dangerous effects of tobacco. It’s unfortunate and confusing that the same mistake is repeated even with the initial negative indications and checks and balances that are now in place. If the FDA does not step in and make monitoring and research possible and necessary, then we can’t readily learn the safety of such substances like sucralose.

Aspartame


This additive is sold under the names Equal® or NutraSweet®. There are thousands of everyday products that contain aspartame. To name a few, yogurt, sodas, pudding, tabletop sugar substitutes, chewing gum. For its approval we have to thank the Searle Company for falsifying reports, and unscrupulous attorneys for delaying legal proceedings. Once the statute of limitations ran out and the product was once again up for review, many discrepancies came to light between reported versus actual findings.

Consumers lodge complaints about NutraSweet®, to the tune of “80% of all complaints relating to food additives,” but the FDA has yet to move on any of them. In spite of this inaction by the FDA, there are indications that this “sweetener” is toxic. In a report from Flying Safety, an official United States Air Force publication, US Air Force pilots were warned not to consume Aspartame in any amounts at all. Why? “Aspartame has been investigated as a possible cause of brain tumors, mental retardation, birth defects, epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes.” And the FDA has made no move to regulate this toxic substance.

Meat analogues

7.  Meat analogues

Imitation meat products use textured vegetable proteins as the main material. To enhance appearance, taste or other desired qualities, these products may also contain food dyes, emulsifiers, preservatives or artificial flavoring. All these additives have been found problematic.

Textured vegetable protein, TVP, is also known as isolated soy protein. It is a protein derived from soybeans, but the processing of soybeans into TVP includes chemical alterations. The makers of TVP first mix soybeans, with the oil removed, in an alkaline solution, wash them in acid and then neutralize them in a different alkaline bath. They then spray-dry the resulting soy curds using high temperatures that turn the curds into powder. More high temperature and pressure applied to the powder results in textured vegetable proteins that can be shaped into strips, chunks or granules for use in foods as meat substitutes. The processing adds flavor enhancers, artificial colorings, emulsifiers and thickening agents, including nitrosamine, which is a carcinogen — a substance known or is suspected to cause cancer.

Fruit Juice

8. Fruit Juice

Many nutritionists recommend eliminating fruit juice from your diet entirely — it’s full of sugar and has none of the fiber that real fruit does. While whole fruit is a source of dietary fiber, fruit juice actually contains little to no fiber. A cup of apple juice, for instance, has 0.2 gram of fiber, while a whole apple contains 3.3 grams. One cup of orange juice has 0.5 gram of fiber while a cup of fresh raw orange has 4.3 grams. The fiber helps to slow down the absorption of the sugars. Removing the fiber and then drinking the juice is like pouring gas on a fire – it hits the cells too quickly.

Drinking fruit juice before a meal may actually make you hungrier, too — it not only adds calories, but can cause you to eat more calories in the following meal, according to Medline Plus.

In addition to this, juicing removes some of the fruit’s skin (goes toward pulp) in the juicing process. The skin of the fruit is where the fruit interacts with sunlight and forms a variety of colored pigments, including carotenoids and flavonoids, which are incredibly helpful nutrients that help to protect our skin and bodies from free radicals and other damage. The skin of the fruit often contains the bulk of a fruit’s nutrients.

“Not from concentrate” juice actually goes through extensive processing. “It’s really in the storage that a lot of the processing goes on,” said Alissa Hamilton, the author of Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice. “They strip the juice of oxygen so that the juice doesn’t go bad in these tanks where they keep it. And the juice can actually sit in the tanks for upwards of a year.” That’s all before it even arrives on your grocery store shelves.

Eliminating oxygen from the juice also gets rid of essential flavor-providing chemicals. The solution to fix that? “They actually hire flavor and fragrance companies to manufacture flavor packs to add back to the juice to make it taste fresh,” Hamilton explained.

They use the chemicals naturally found in oranges and tweak them to consumer preferences. She cited ethyl butyrate as one example. “It’s one of the chemicals… that North Americans associate most with the flavor of a fresh squeezed juice,” Hamilton said. “So they emphasize that chemical. They’re up to maybe 600 chemicals that make up the flavor of an orange.” In Europe or Asia, food engineers might amp up other chemicals depending on flavor trends.

This is the process used in creating “not from concentrate” juice that’s advertised as “fresh” and “all natural.” That branding helps justify juice that’s more expensive than its “from concentrate” counterparts. As a result, and based on research from Squeezed, eight people have banded together to file a class action lawsuit charging orange juice manufacturers with deceptive marketing practices.

The creative marketing that is being used to promote “healthy” products has given way to spending money on pseudo foods that will tantalize our tastebuds but severely restrict our self-healing bodies. 

Stay tuned for next week’s conclusion where you will find 7 more Health Foods that will make you sick!  You will also find a handy added surprise to help you keep track of these dangerous foods.

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17 comments

  1. No wonder we Americans are so sick all the time.

  2. This was an excellent article!

    However, I’m wondering if sprouted wheat has the same negative effect on our bodies as the processed wheat that is talked about in this article?

    • Paul & Ann Malkmus

      Hi Cindy,
      Even sprouting the wheat will not remove the damage done by the chemicals and radiation.

      • I truly enjoyed this article. I do not use any of the mentioned food, with the exception of tvp.thanks to dr Milkmus and Rhonda.I have been following them for many years. I will now get rid of my tvp. I am repeating a question asked by another,what can I substitute for tvp.Thanks

  3. Don’t some of the recipes in the Recipes for Life (such as chili) use TVP? What is a good substitute? Thank you.

    • Paul & Ann Malkmus

      When that book was written, there wasn’t nearly the information that we have today. A little bit will go a long way with tvp.

  4. Does this commercially grown whole wheat include quinoa!

  5. The article mentions 15 ‘Healthy’ Foods, you listed 1 through 8. I can not find 9 through 15.

    • Paul & Ann Malkmus

      Hi Addison,
      The very last paragraph of the article indicates that you will get the rest next week…and a surprise! The 15 ended up being way too long so we broke it up.

  6. I greatly enjoy reading your HD newsletters, and appreciate what you folks are trying to do to educate us about healthy eating and lifestyles as the LORD intended it. I especially enjoyed reading this article, but have a “bone” to pick with you. In part 6 under Sucralose, you mention that chlorine is a carcinogen. True, up to a point. What about salt? NaCl? True, in large amounts, salt also is not good for the body, but NaCl is needed in the cells of the body at proper levels! Just because chlorine alone is not good does not imply any presence of chlorine is therefore bad. I do agree with just about everything else you said; the science teacher in me just got a bit miffed at that implication! Thanks. 🙂

  7. Very good – informative – especially # 7 and 8. – No more imitation meat or “not from concentrate” juice anymore !
    Thank you for your work and sharing !

  8. you should qualify ‘eliminating fruit juice’ from your diet to “commercial made juice”. I don’t see the difference between jucing an organge and drinking juice and pulp and eating an orange.

  9. does anyone know if agave is bad?

  10. I guess the safest thing to do is “eat from the (organic) garden”, and buy food from other peoples gardens in the winter.

  11. I read part 2 first. This is depressing. What can we eat?

    It’s clear that any kind of convenience/packaged foods are bad.
    I’m always struggling with the amount of time it takes me to prepare healthy food.

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