The Health Food Store could also be called the Church of Food Righteousness...but should we expect our health food store to only sell healthy food?
Merely by its name we expect it to be a place where all the criminals of the food world have been rejected but beware of what lurks, masquerading in eco packaging promising slimline happiness. Shopped naively, the health food store can put us right back to irritability with our bowel, elasticated waistbands and even allergies, cancer and diabetes.
Foods you shouldn't mistake for health foods:
High Fructose Corn Syrup: (HFCS) If you want to stay fat and bloated, with yeast infections, high blood sugar and risk of diabetes type 2, this is for you. Hidden in health bars and health drinks.
Fruit: It's still sugar.
Soy: If you want cheap contraception, eat commercial soy products. They can cause infertility, low sperm count, menstrual troubles and increased risk of cancer. It can make you zinc, calcium, copper and iron deficient and can cause protein deficiency, endocrine disruption and thyroid disorders. Worryingly, GM soy made animals grow hair inside their mouths.
Nuts: If you are lazy enough to prefer eating mould than exercising your hand on a nutcracker (do you even own a nut cracker?) eat pre shelled nuts. Once shelled, nuts are usually covered in mould, thus feeding candida in the gut and yeast infections.
Agave: A laboratory created super-condensed high fructose syrup that bears no resemblance to the plant from which it came. Most agave syrup has a higher fructose level than any other other sweeteners on the market.
Artificial sweeteners: Much worse for you than plain old sugar or even fructose, they have been linked to brain seizures, weight gain and cravings.
Dried fruit: High in sugar, often covered in sulphur dioxide (drying agent), or mould. Search for the ones marked no sulphur. It is particularly harmful to those with asthma who may be more sensitive to it.
Grains: Grains host bacteria and turn to sugar in the blood. They prevent absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc. Grains also cause a huge spike in insulin production which throws off the hormone production in the body.
Breakfast cereal: See Grains, then add sweeteners and mouldy fruit and nuts and you can get off to a very windy start to the day, followed by a crash.
Vitamins: The magnesium stearate (often used to bind the vitamins together and stop them sticking to the factory machinery) suppresses T cells--your natural killer cells--which are a key component of your immune system and causes the collapse of cell membrane integrity.
Drinks Cabinet: Walk past. Fruit drinks, carbonated health drinks and flavoured water are all full of sugar, fructose or agave, spiking our blood sugar and causing candida, cravings and weight gain. Carbonated drinks contain Carbonic Acid which destroy tooth enamel and aggravate gastric ulcers.
Herbal Tea: If you really want to go the whole hog and become that hippie in the rainbow bobble hat, use only unbleached tea bags otherwise apparently you'll be ingesting chlorine. Same with tampons and coffee filters (don't confuse the two), use unbleached.
Safe bets: Rodent hair and bugs. 100% natural. By law, foods are allowed to contain a certain amount of maggots, bugs and rodent hair. A can of sweet corn can legally contain up to two insect larvae. Peanut butter can contain one rodent hair and 30 insect fragments per 100g. Frozen broccoli can contain 60 or more aphids. Ground thyme can contain 925 insect fragments. They may or may not be organic. And you thought you were vegan?
Nuts: IN their shells.
Stevia: a highly sweet herb derived from the leaf of the South American stevia plant, it is one of the few healthy sugar substitutes out there.
Veg: Go crazy and fill your organic hemp shopper.
Sauerkraut: Organic raw biofermented, good for your intestinal flora and aids digestion. Fermented food is the new black.
Sprouted breads: Try them. You may start wearing patchwork balloon pants, but it will be worth it.
Fermented Soy products: Once fermented, the toxic compounds are destroyed, and tempeh and natcho are very healthy. You may want to stop living, but that's a small price to pay for a happy colon.
Raw chocolate: Higher in antioxidants than anything else out there. Even fashionable Acai.
Oils: Cold pressed raw oils including coconut oil are vital to our health. They do not make you fat. Coconut oil has shown to benefit the brain and help ease Alzheimer's. For optimal brain function an adult needs 1.4g of Omega 3 and 8 to 14g of Omega 6 per day.
Butter and Ghee: are good for you. Go figure.
Cheese: Proven to make you thinner and release bad fats.
I have a great big BUT to add before you start sobbing and watching your fruit bowl rot. Being obsessed with health is also not healthy. Becoming a food righteous bore, (if you haven't been invited to a dinner party for a very long time this is you,) and eschewing some of life's great pleasures for a regimented food philosophy can cause more damage to our social lives and personality than eating a few donuts ever could.
Now you know some of the health food taboos - be sure to break them.