The list of unhealthy “healthy” foods doesn’t end there. You can scratch out everything your high school nutrition teacher ever told you about eating this and not that. Science has shown that some supposed health foods may actually be doing more harm that good when it comes to maintaing a well-balanced diet.

Take a look at a few more don’t-even-think-about-it foods.

 

Soy Protein

Maybe you have a friend who has gotten you going on a soy diet, perfect for vegetarians or those cutting back on meat intake, or so you thought. For certain kinds of soy protein, this still holds true (Miso, tempeh, Natto, tamari). But unfermented soy is not your friend. Think edamame, soy milk, and soy protein.

One of the problems it that it’s hard to find 100% organic soy products. In the US, nearly all soy is treated with pesticides. Another problem is that many people have a hard time digesting unfermented soy, which leads to things like gas, indigestion, bloating, and GI issues. In addition, there have been links made to kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, asthma, and hay fever.

 

Farmed Fish

This is a tricky one. After all, many of us have heard about fish as a great source of potassium and other nutrients. But it turns out some kind of fish—like tilapia may be causing serious harm.

In determining why this fish may actually be a health risk, let’s consider what we’re feeding the fish before they ever make it onto our plate. A study conducted but the Environmental Working Group determined that fish across America were being fed genetically modified feed, laced with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at alarming levels. Carcinogens such as dioxins, toxaphene, and dieldrin are also a major concern.

 

Conventional Milk

So you’ve started off with some good intentions trying to make calcium a big part of your diet. Unfortunately, your average carton of milk in the US in genetically modified and full of hormones. Furthermore, the cows themselves are bing fed genetically modified feed which only leads to more contamination in the milk they produce.

Pasteurized milk, similar to fruit juice, is stripped of nearly all its essential nutrients. According to the National Institute of Health, this has lead to alarming statistics: approximately 65 percent of the human population cannot digest milk properly past the age of infancy.

Raw milk, found in other dairy products, is the key here in getting that calcium boost each day.

 

Vegetable Oils

If vegetable oil sits next to your stove and finds its way into nearly ever cooked meal, take a closer look at what you’re really putting into your body. These vegetables are genetically modified, and can lead to such health defects as birth defects, cancer, diabetes, immune system impairment, and increased cholesterol levels. Next time you’re at the store, reach for coconut oil or extra virgin coconut oil instead.

 

Table Salt

This should come as no surprise. Although it’s true that most foods in moderation are an acceptable part of your diet, people underestimate the small amount of salt intake compared with the severity of associated health risks. The kind of salt found in stores and placed at every restaurant table doesn’t stay natural for long. In fact, salt manufacturers strip their products of natural minerals and instead inject a number of harmful, artificial additives, then bleached white. Consider Himalayan salt of Celtic sea salt as the perfect substitutes.

 

It’s never to late to learn how you can be cooking and eating healthier. Knowledge is power when it comes to creating a meal plan that has your personal health in mind for the long run.