7 Ingredients That Are Robbing You of Nutrients
Your “healthy” diet may not be so virtuous if you’re consuming these vitamin- and mineral-sapping foods
Let’s get real: While you try your best to eat as much fresh, whole foods as possible, time, stress, money―life!―make it hard to not eat more-processed foods at least once in a while. No harm, right? Maybe not.
“Even if you're eating a well-balanced diet, you're likely consuming some packaged foods, such as cereal, yogurt, and frozen vegetables, that are going to make you deficient in at least one micronutrient,” says certified nutritionist Mira Calton, who co-authored the book Rich Food, Poor Food with husband Jayson Calton, Ph.D. “The fact is, Americans are overfed, but under-nourished.”
Luckily it’s not hard to rebalance your body’s nutrients. Just read the ingredients lists of any foods before you buy them and watch out for the following seven deal-breaker items. Ridding your diet of them will help you retain more micronutrients with every bite.
RELATED: While you're at it, check food labels for these nine ingredients nutritionists won't touch.
Aliases: Agave nectar, brown sugar, cane crystals, cane sugar, caramel, crystalline fructose, dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, honey, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, syrup
Found in: Sodas, dessert items, candies, frozen fruits and vegetables with sauces or marinades, sauces, soups
Robs Your Body of: Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium
“Vitamin C and glucose use the same transporters to get into cells, so they compete with one another,” Calton says. Our body wants to absorb a limited amount of fructose, adds Paul Jaminet, Ph.D., co-author of Perfect Health Diet, and "when we consume more than that, the intestine rejects it and feeds gut bacteria, leading to bacteria overgrowth." This extra bacteria tends to steal nutrients and damage intestinal cells, he says, inhibiting absorption of calcium and magnesium.
Increased Health Risks Due to Nutrient Depletion: Weaker immune system and bones, poorer night's sleep, compromised cellular and nerve function, chronic inflammation