So we hear a product is natural and we immediately assume, it’s better than other alternatives and it must be good for you. Well, not quite. Consider this for a moment, poison ivy is all-natural, and even the highly toxic element arsenic that behaves like a metal is all-natural. Both, are bad and even deadly for you. So the focus shouldn’t be on whether a product is simply natural, but instead, if the product is a “healthy” all-natural.
Here are five unhealthy natural ingredients that come with more health risks than presumed benefits:
- Palm Oil- Once the FDA put trans-fat-labeling rules into place, many companies replaced the hydrogenated vegetable oils with palm oil. Although natural, many studies have shown that palm oil is actually just as bad for your heart as the trans fats hidden in partially hydrogenated soybean oil. Solution: Consider Safflower or sunflower oil instead, these are healthier alternatives.
- Sorbitol*– Sorbitol is a naturally-occurring alcohol found in various fruits and plants. Because of its sweet-taste and low-calories it is commercially produced and commonly used as a low-cal sugar substitute in everything from cake mixes to over the counter pharmacy products.Unfortunately, Sorbitol can cause a range of gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bloating. Children are especially susceptible to sorbitol’s gastrointestinal effects. Clinical studies show that Sorbitol can cause gastrointestinal effects at doses far lower than 50 grams per day! What’s worse, most people purchase Sorbitol without realizing it is the main ingredient in a food or product. Solution: Natural sweeteners like Stevia and Honey are really great alternatives to use when a little sweetness is needed.
- High-Fructose Corn Syrup– Believe it or not HFCS is labeled “natural.” There is very little nutritional value to HFCS, it provides empty calories, which promotes obesity and is linked to heart disease. Solution: Read your ingredients label and steer clear of foods with HFCS, commonly found in “low-fat” foods.
- Carrageenan- Carrageenan is derived from seaweed and used in dozens of so-called “natural” foods, processed, fresh and frozen, to keep the ingredients from separating. Carrageenan is linked to inflammation, which can lead to chronic diseases. Solution: Again, read your labels and steer clear of Carrageenan, mostly used in dairy products. Consider more fresh foods, perhaps recipes from scratch.
- Evaporated Cane Juice- Believe it or not, evaporated cane juice is not even a juice, but dried crystals that are left behind after raw sugar cane has been boiled. The crystals are then taken and processed, removing any and all vitamins and minerals that existed in the raw sugar cane. Solution: Opt out of foods with evaporated cane juice. Instead, consider foods that use sweeteners with real nutritional value, such as honey or real maple syrup.
As you can see, natural is not always a green-light that a product is good for you. Be smart and read those labels! Not only should you look out for questionable natural ingredients, but consider labels with clean ingredients you recognize and can pronounce. For example, Gargle Away® All Natural Throat Care by Nature’s Jeannie™ Here is the ingredients label:
Ingredients include: Himalayan Salt, Apple Cider Vinegar, Mediterranean Oregano, Licorice Root, Lemon, Organic Honey, and Cayenne Pepper.
Well known recognizable ingredients you can pronounce and understand at first read. No fillers. No preservatives. No processing aids. Just 7 healthy all-natural ingredients that when combined provide a powerful healing blend for sore throat, laryngitis and vocal care. Gargle Away is available for purchase on Amazon.com, Wegman’s Food Stores, Fruth Pharmacy and other retailers.