Whenever I see the empty phrase “HEALTH FOOD” stamped on anything, I turn tail and run.
I’ve got nothing against truly healthy food, of course. But typically “HEALTH FOOD” is just some marketer’s code for “gross.”
Who the heck really likes the taste of kale? I’ll tell you who: Nobody - unless it’s cooked with bacon. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve never in my life ever heard someone say, “I just can’t get enough of these delicious rice cakes!”
So today, I’m going to give you a free pass: official permission to just say “NO!” to kale, and the right to refuse rice in any shape or form - and that’s just for starters.
See, the dirty secret about the “health food” movement isn’t just that a lot of it tastes like sewer sludge and no one wants to admit it.
It’s that most “health food” isn’t even healthy in the first place!
They use industry buzzwords and phrases like “low fat!,” “no cholesterol” or “high in iron!” on the packaging so you’ll fork over a fortune to poison or punish yourself, while the Big Food executives behind it laugh all the way to the bank.
The truth is most so-called “health foods” contain hidden toxins, secret sugars and other dangerous garbage you want nothing to do with if you’re truly interested in getting, and staying, healthy. And some are far worse than others. Here are the six super villains that score a spot of shame on my list of...
THE WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS ‘HEALTH’ FOODS
Kale: You already know I can’t stand it. Not long ago, kale was just a garnish you would politely push to the side of the plate. And don’t bother to toss it on the floor for the dog - even HE won’t eat it.
Today, it’s the trendiest “super food” around, sold by the tub in every supermarket - and if you join the masses in scarfing down kale salad and gulping kale juice, you could suffer a punishing and even crippling “mystery” disease that will leave your own doctor stumped.
It turns out, kale is like a sponge for a metal called thallium. If there’s any thallium in the soil, kale will suck it right up. In fact kale’s so good at grabbing thallium that farmers with contaminated soil used to grow the green to help clean the dirt!
Today, in the rush to get a slice of the $100 million (and growing) kale pie, farmers aren’t so picky about where they grow it - sticking it in any field of dirt - and as a result, much of the kale being sold is loaded with thallium.
One doctor in Marin County, California, found that some of his healthiest patients were suddenly coming down with bizarre and unexplained ailments: fatigue, neurological problems, cognitive dysfunction and even Lyme-disease like symptoms.
After some diligent research on his part he uncovered the culprit. He found they all were suffering from low-level thallium poisoning... and all had been eating a lot of kale. When he tested the kale that was for sale locally, sure enough, he found thallium.
Soy: The veg-heads just LOVE soy because it’s one of the cheapest and most abundant sources of protein in a meatless diet. Too bad it’s also the most DANGEROUS source of protein in ANY diet. Soy is a plant form of estrogen and eating it will deliver a low-but-steady dose of female hormones with every single bite.
Yes, the “soy revolution” may very well be what’s responsible for the increase in weepy, emotional men we can’t seem to escape from these days.
Estrogen from soy could also trigger early puberty in girls, and play a role in the development of breast cancer in women - and that’s just the short list.
Yet soy is being dumped into everything, even foods that you would assume are soy-free. You’ll even find it hiding out in canned tuna and PET food, for crying out loud.
If you buy packaged foods, check the ingredients carefully. Better yet, DON’T buy packaged foods... because even without soy, most of them are bad for you.
Quinoa: This trendy little grain is billed as a “perfect protein.” And while it’s true it contains all the essential amino acids that make up a complete protein, it’s not even close to perfect.
In fact, quinoa is actually 70 percent carbohydrate (and remember how the farmer fattens his livestock!). Quinoa is just 14 percent protein, and 16 percent fat - and the majority of the fat is in the omega-6 form that most people already get far too much of.
And believe it or not that may not even be the biggest problem with this so-called vegetarian superfood. Quinoa is loaded with phytates, which can bind to important minerals blocking their absorption, and lectins, which can enter your bloodstream and trigger autoimmune reactions.
So take my advice: quit the quinoa and leave this grain to the soy and kale consuming hipsters!
Granola: If you roll your own oats, use zero sugars and carefully control the ingredients, then your homemade granola is probably fine.
But store-bought granolas - from bars to cereals - are loaded with sugar and that includes most of the hippy-dippy stuff claiming to be “all natural” or even “organic.”
Some brands proudly announce that their granola is sweetened with maple, honey and “pure cane juice” to get you to fork over your cash. Since that stuff is all NATURAL it’s got to be good for you, right?
Wrong! It may as well be sweetened with Pixy Sticks, because once it’s inside your body it’s all just sugar.
Next thing you know, thanks to that supposedly “healthy” snack, you’re riding the blood sugar roller coaster, hitting the peaks and valleys that set the stage for insulin resistance and ultimately diabetes.
Rice: Rice is popular around the world not because it’s tasty or healthy but because it’s cheap, has a long shelf life, travels well and most importantly fills a lot of bellies.
But don’t be fooled, rice ISN’T health food. It’s a starch that can send your blood sugar levels skyrocketing, and every bowl you eat per day will increase your risk of diabetes by 10 percent, according to a 2012 study.
High starch diets are proven to increase the risk of both diabetes and pancreatic cancer. But then there’s what may be the biggest problem of all: ARSENIC!
Rice contains low-but-consistent levels of the poison, which according to multiple studies can increase your risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke and even death.
Sprouts: Store-bought sprouts are a Salmonella or E. coli outbreak waiting to happen in your gut and quite possibly responsible for more cases of food poisoning than anything else.
The seeds are often contaminated (those squatting workers in China, and elsewhere, aren’t just harvesting seeds in the fields). Then the seeds are sprouted in warm and wet conditions... the perfect breeding bacteria for yet another “sproutbreak” of food-born diarrhea.
So feel free to scratch these six so called health foods from your shopping list. And remember, while these superfoods - turned supervillains - may be the worst of the lot, they’re far from the only wolves hiding in health-food clothing out there.
Don’t fall for the health food hype. The next time a food skyrockets to the head of the “healthy” list do your homework before you add it to your shopping cart.