08 Everyday Foods That Might Be Less Healthy Than You Thought | Healthy Mind - Think Big

Hey there, readers! There are so many habits we’ve become accustomed to in life. The problem is we don't realize how many of them are unhealthy and harmful. This includes eating! Let’s talk about 8 Everyday Foods That are probably Bad For You. Is lemon tea bad? How about green juice? Why is coconut oil unhealthy? Wait, even gluten-free products are on the list? We’re talking about all that AND more… Let’s begin, shall we?

01. Gluten-Free Foods

We’re kicking off our listing with a controversial one. It’s been said that gluten-free foods might actually be unhealthy for you. First off, there’s a valid reason gluten-free foods are so popular. They’re extremely important for people with celiac disease. This is an autoimmune disease where eating gluten can damage your small intestine. It’s estimated that celiac disease affects 1 in 100 people worldwide. But the problem is that gluten-free baked goods are loaded with calories. In these calories is a ton of sugar. So if you’re eating gluten-free foods just to lose weight, you’re making a mistake. If you’re not allergic to gluten, you should probably stay away from the gluten-free stuff. There are plenty of healthy gluten foods that are full of great nutrients. This is something to consider if you're concerned about health. What’s your favorite gluten-rich food? Have you been told to stay away from it? Sound off in the comment section and start a conversation with our Healthy Mind - Think Big community. 

02. Low-Carb Foods

From the Atkins diet to Keto, it seems like there’s a new low-carb trend to follow every month. What you don’t realize is that a long debate has been raging as to how effective they really are. Low-carb diets may actually cause harm to you in the long run. I mean sure, cut back on the giant bagels and large fry orders. I think we all need to do that more. But while low-carb diets may help you lose weight, research shows they may also cause heart disease. Various studies over the years have pointed to a link between low carbs and cardiovascular disease. One study shows that low-carb consumers were 51% more likely to die from coronary heart disease. There are also reasons to believe that low carbs contribute to kidney damage, osteoporosis, and an increased risk of cancer. Experts say this happens because you're no longer getting certain nutrients. 

03. Coconut Oil 

This might really disappoint some people. Coconut oil is seen as a superfood. People use fatty acids as a way to fight heart disease and cognitive decline. It’s also shown to help burn fat. But at the same time, it could be unhealthy. That is if you’re using it all the time. When it comes to fighting heart disease, coconut oil may actually do the opposite of what’s intended. There’s reason to believe that this product increases your level of bad cholesterol. Coconut oil has a massive amount of saturated fat. About 50% more than most butter. It’s shown to increase your bad cholesterol in a way that olive or canola oils can’t. But at the same time, coconut oil can also increase your good cholesterol. The fatty acids only contain a small number of triglycerides. If you want to use coconut oil, I’d recommend you use it only every now and then. Its health benefits require more research. 

04. Dried Fruit 

Yes, dried fruit has some positives. They’re also delicious. But it turns out that dried fruits can do a lot of damage to your teeth. Did you know that dried fruits have 7 times the sugar content of regular fruits? They often don’t contain proper vitamins either. Dried fruit products that are found in supermarkets usually lack Vitamin C. In order to increase their vitamin power, lemon juice is added. But this only ends up decreasing the pH level in the fruit, making it more acidic. As a result, eating a lot of dried fruits will do damage to your teeth. More specifically, your teeth can break. Chewing dried fruits can remove fillings and even crack them. Your teeth will also become discolored, as dried fruits have artificial colors added to them. On top of that, eating dried fruits can decrease saliva in your mouth, which will only increase bacteria. So you might not want to eat dried fruits for anything other than a simple snack. Your mouth is suffering as is. 

05. Green Juice

This next pick is on every fitness freak's grocery list. That friend who won’t shut up about going to the gym, this is their favorite drink. But green juice isn’t as good as we want it to be. You’re not drinking poison or anything. It just doesn’t contain the health benefits we think it does. Many people turn to green juice to help with their digestion. The reality is that it doesn't have a ton of fiber. Any fiber it does have is reduced during the juicing process. Juices in general contain very little fiber. Fiber is needed for proper digestion. It is also crucial when trying to lose weight. If you’re not getting enough, your gut won't satisfied. You also won't be able to maintain a proper appetite. There are also fewer antioxidants in green juice. Studies have shown that blended foods have more. If your main focus is improving your digestion, I recommend you blend more fruits and veggies. This keeps the nutrients together. Before we continue, are you looking to get in shape? Well, you need to change your lifestyle a bit. 

06. Tea 

So many of you go to tea when you want to mellow out and relax. I personally love it as well. But one of the things I was shocked to learn was that tea can hurt your teeth. WHAT?! I thought for the longest time that sugary coffee did the most damage. Well, it still does! But tea can damage your tooth enamel. That’s the hard surface layer of your tooth, which protects it from decay. So how does tea manage to affect your teeth like this? Well, tea has something called tannins, which cause discoloration. If you’re going to drink tea, my advice is you have some water right after. This way, you can wash it away from your enamel. 

07. Agave Syrup 

For some, this next pick might not be an “everyday” product you carry in your home. So let me explain. Agave nectar is a highly processed type of syrup that originates from the agave plant. Agave nectar is usually used as a sweetener for certain drinks like iced tea or cocktails. It sometimes will also replace sugar or honey. But you’re going to want to watch out for the quantity. Agave syrup contains an unhealthy amount of fructose. This is the sugar from fruit. Too much fructose in your diet can hurt your liver. When fructose is processed through your body, it turns into fat. While the liver can usually handle excessive amounts, it will eventually become overwhelmed. This builds up, turning into fatty liver disease. High fructose products also contribute to heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and type-2 diabetes. So if your goal is to avoid sugars, and use more natural sweeteners, too much agave isn’t the smartest choice. 

08. Low-Calorie Foods 

You may think you’re doing the right thing by cutting calories. You’ve probably even lost a couple of pounds. But here’s the hard truth, you’re probably doing it all wrong! Your body needs calories! A low-calorie snack is good every now and then, but low calories simply deprive your body of the nutrients they need. It isn’t so much the amount of calories. It’s what’s in them. If you’re eating a medium-sized steak, that's a lot of calories in one sitting. But you’re also getting a ton of potassium, iron, calcium, and protein. If you’re drinking a can of Coca-Cola, you're getting 100 calories with no nutrients and a ton of sugar. You’re better off eating food with good nutrients than plain old empty calories. Here’s something else to consider. Most people who embark on dramatic diets end up gaining weight back. More than 80% of those on low-calorie diets regain weight after getting off of them. If you’re eating fewer calories, your metabolism slows down. The lack of protein in your diet will affect your body in several places. This includes your muscle tissue. 

You really have to be careful about the food you're putting into your body. There are just as many unhealthy diet foods as there are healthy. Have I sparked your interest? Let’s keep the conversation going with more posts. Check out our list of What should I eat to get fiber daily? Or What Can I Eat That Has Zero Calories? Or 09 Foods You Should Never Eat - Foods to Avoid. Go ahead, click one. Or better yet, read all. Learn more about how to make yourself healthier without hurting yourself. Have you eaten any of these foods? Let us know in the comments below. 

The information I provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. You should never use content in my writing as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified clinician. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if indicated for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. I am not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information in this blog. Thank you.

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