Health Foods Sometimes Bad Foods

The blog, The Healthy Home Economist, recently posted about skim milk, soy, and agave nectar exposing the truth of these falsely promoted “health foods.”  They are in fact not good for you! Read about it here:

These are the kinds of articles that we feel there need to be more of. To us, the take home message of this blog was: use your brain. Don’t buy into something just because someone tells you that it is good for you. Use your own discrimination. False advertising is an epidemic of most media, but particularly overruns the internet.  One cannot take for granted the labels of “natural” and “healthy.”  What are the standards for natural and healthy? We know that certified organic products are regulated by the USDA, but did you know that the label “natural” is not regulated?  An article in the Chicago Tribune explains.

Also, studies and statistics refered to cannot always be taken at face value.  Our last blog post went to the heart of using critical thinking when reading study reports and findings.  Statistics can be presented in a skewed manner to support certain propoganda.  For instance, what if I took a poll in several different gyms and found that 65% of the people who were participating in yoga classes have had rotator cuff injuries. If I worded it a certain way, it could seem like yoga causes rotator cuff injuries. But there are more factors to consider. Maybe those students came to yoga to heal their injuries caused by something else (not saying that yoga would actually DO that). Maybe the person who took the poll was an attractive female and the only people who volunteered to answer the poll were heterosexual males (as rotator cuff injuries are again, “statistically” known to be more prevalent in men). Or maybe the poll was taken only in gyms used by retired professional athletes. The point is, one should be cautious when digesting the surface information regarding any study.  Take in the information with a healthy amount of skepticism. Ask critical quesitons like, who is writing this, funding this, and why. Get a second opinion; discuss the topic with a professional. Collect as many different opionions as possible from diversified sources, but don’t just trust one source for information regarding your health or wellbeing (unless that source is ….. just kidding).

When it comes to food, we use some very simple rules. The less steps that had to be taken from that food being harvested and getting to your mouth, the better. Farmer’s markets are an excellent way to access foods as they have been presented by Nature without any unnecessary processing. Take what you get there and make a lovely meal.  Eating unprocessed meals can actually be quite the lifestyle shift.  You’ll have to make time for cooking, which can feel impossible if you’re busy.  Even if you must rely on premade meals eat ones made up of whole foods that don’t list added sugars or preservatives.  This sounds challenging, but your body with thank you!