13 “Health” Foods You’re Better Off Avoiding


Take swapping your dairy milk for almond milk. Is liquid from nuts really nutritionally superior to milk from a cow?Or splurging on pink Himalayan sea salt. Healthy habit or a little bit of nonsense?

We asked Andy Bellatti, a registered dietitian and the co-founder of the group Dietitians for Professional Integrity, for advice on what “health foods” are worth eating and which aren’t.


The answers to these questions might surprise you.

Multivitamins

Close to half of American adults take vitamins every day. Yet decades’ worth of research hasn’t found any justification for our pill-popping habit.

That isn’t to say we don’t need small amounts of vitamins to survive — without vitamins like A, C, and E, for example, we have a hard time turning food into energy and can develop conditions like rickets or scurvy. Here’s the thing: Research shows we get more than enough of these substances from what we eat, so no need for a pill!

Almond butter

Everything from Gwyneth Paltrow’s daily breakfast smoothie to the grocery store around the corner now seems to contain almond butter, but the stuff is incredibly pricey.

So we asked Andy Bellatti, a registered dietitian and the co-founder of the group Dietitians for Professional Integrity, what the harm was in substituting almond butter for plain old peanut butter, which is roughly four times cheaper. “It can just be peanut butter!” says Bellatti. “If the only ingredients are peanuts and salt, that totally works. It’s still going to have your protein, healthy fats, and vitamin E.”


Juice

When you juice fresh fruits and veggies, you remove all of their fiber, the key ingredient that keeps you feeling full and satisfied until your next meal.

What you keep is the sugar. In the short term, a high-sugar, low-protein diet means constant hunger pangs, mood swings, and low energy. In the long term, you can lose muscle mass since muscles rely on protein.

Gluten-free bread

Unless you’re one of the 1% of Americans who suffer from celiac disease, gluten probably won’t have a negative effect on you. In fact, studies show that most people suffer from slight bloating and gas when they eat, whether they consume wheat or not. So go ahead and eat that bagel.

Almond milk

Alternatives to dairy milk have been surging in popularity in the last few years, chief among them almond milk. Yet almond milk is practically devoid of nutrients.

By themselves, almonds are protein powerhouses. But a typical glass of almond milk, by volume, is just about 2% almonds and contains almost no protein. And all the vitamins inside are added. So if you’re looking for a truly healthy alternative, opt for soy, skim, or low-fat milk.