3 supposedly 'healthy products' you should rid from your kitchen

By: Eating Made Easy

Identifying Harmful Toxins in Your Home

Nutrition science changes over the years, but it usually takes the government – and much of the public – a loooong time to catch up.

This delay is partly because of our country's policies (for example, the government considers an ingredient "safe" until a large body of science proves it to be harmful) and partly because of great marketing campaigns that convince us that a product is "natural" (which means nothing) or a healthy choice.

There are hundreds of food products that many people still think of as healthy, or better-than-the-alternative, that really aren't healthy at all. Below are three of those products.

It's not that these will necessarily hurt you in the short run, but they all contain questionable ingredients or dupe you/your body's natural system in some way. If any of these still occupy precious real estate in your kitchen cabinets, I'd recommend swapping them out for one of the suggested alternatives.

Photo Credit: Eating Made Easy

Photo Credit: Eating Made Easy

1. Cooking Spray

Why it's bad:

  • Cooking sprays DO contain calories, and probably a lot more than you think since almost no one sprays for only 1/4 of a second (the recommended serving).
  • Most brands contain preservatives.
  • Most brands contain propellants, including butane and propane, which though included in very small amounts, are just unnecessary when you could be using a little regular oil instead.

What to choose instead:

Photo Credit: Eating Made Easy

2. Disinfectant Wipes or Spray

Why it's bad:

You may feel like you're cleaning your kitchen when you wipe down with Clorox wipes or spray a disinfectant spray on your countertops, but what you're actually doing is depositing harmful chemicals all over the place where you prepare food.

Even the product website itself tells you not to use the wipes on your hands or body (that's a big clue that they're not safe on skin or surfaces that come into contact with food).

Photo Credit: Eating Made Easy

You're also not supposed to use these around pets or children, and when you're using them in the kitchen, you have to rinse the surfaces afterward – which I'm guessing most people don't do.

Photo Credit: Eating Made Easy

What to choose instead:

  • Soap and warm water! I love Branch Basics for just about everything, but you can use any mild, fragrance-free soap with warm water and some elbow grease (aka scrubbing).
  • Though Honest Company, Seventh Generation, and many people & earth-safe products are safe for kitchen use, nothing kills germs like good ol' soap & water.
3. Calorie-free Sweeteners

Photo Credit: Eating Made Easy

It's not just Splenda, aspartame and saccharin that are unhealthy. Research is beginning to show that allcalorie-free sweeteners can mess with your metabolism and even cause weight gain.

Why they're bad:

  • Even Stevia and other "natural" calorie-free sweeteners should be avoided (most of the time – I'm referring mostly to frequent use), especially if you're trying to lose weight. These can impact your body's glucose tolerance and cause you to crave more calories later, since your body is expecting calories whenever you eat something sweet.

What to choose instead:

  • Sugar, honey, maple syrup, or your favorite calorie-containing sweetener (or foods made with these real sweeteners).
  • No sweetener at all. This is the best choice, but I know it's not always what you're going for so I didn't make this my primary recommendation
Any other products you've stopped using due to new recommendations or changing science? Please share!

Detoxify your entire life: 15 things to throw away today
Spring cleaning: 15 things to throw away today
See Gallery
3 supposedly 'healthy products' you should rid from your kitchen


This should be an obvious one, but if you haven't even opened an item, definitely don't buy more. If you think you can use it, look around for a fun recipe. If not, toss it or donate it.


Leftovers make for a great lunch, but they can only last so long. Toss ones that smell or look funny.


Make sure to check the nutritional label on "low fat" foods. In many instances, sugar replaces the fat.


Super processed snacks are convenient, but not very healthy. There are a lot of recipes for snacks that don't come out of a box. Try making popcorn for a satisfying crunch.


There's no need to keep unhealthy candy around as a sweet temptation. Swap sugary candies out for dark chocolate to satisfy any springtime cravings.


Soda is okay for a treat, but it's not necessary to enjoy at home every day. In addition to hurting your teeth, soda has actually been found to increase appetite (even the diet kinds).


By now you've probably heard refined flour isn't the best for your health, so the white bread can go. Whole grain bread is a lot healthier and keeps you satisfied for longer.


If you can't tell what it is anymore or don't even remember freezing it, toss it. Make room in the freezer for things you'll actually eat, and try out a marking system to identify how long different foods have been in the freezer.


Unless you're a serious athlete or working out constantly, water is a perfectly acceptable post-workout drink. Sports drinks and flavored waters can have a deceptive amount of sugar in them, which can send you way over your recommended daily intake.


Sure, they have fewer calories than regular sugar, but many artificial sweeteners are filled with chemicals, and since they're lower in calories, sometimes you end up wanting to eat more.


Sadly, herbs older than six months begin to lose their flavor. So if you've been storing that parsley for a while, it's probably best to let it go.


Margarine can have high levels of trans fats, which experts believe raise cholesterol.


Unlike certain cheeses where you can cut off the moldy portion and continue eating, you should probably avoid eating produce with mold on it. Definitely throw out fruits and veggies that have started showing signs of mold.


Many studies have found that meat isn't always good for you. Deli meat is particularly unsavory because it often contains nitrates.


While bars can be great quick snacks, it's generally better to stick to real food. Like other processed foods, energy bars can contain a lot of hidden sugars and fat.


More from Eating Made Easy:
Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Feta and Dill
Blueberry Banana Coconut Smoothie
Crostini with Ricotta, Cherries and Mint
Read Full Story

Sign up for the Best Bites by AOL newsletter to get the most delicious recipes and hottest food trends delivered straight to your inbox every day.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.