The Dark Secret of Healthy Foods

Posted by Haley Kotwicki on August 10, 2016 at 2:00 PM

grapefruitEating healthy and clean has become a large part of pop culture since the organic movement decades ago. Articles are published every day about what the new super food is and what we should eat to cram our bodies with vitamins and antioxidants. Most superfoods do provide heaps of nutrients despite the hyperbolic ads and testimonials. Yet, there is a dark side to these superfoods for some people with chronic diseases. Here are 4 foods that can become villainous:


One of the newest super foods to appear in the media, kale is lauded for its fiber, vitamins and minerals. The leafy green vegetable isn’t just a pretty face. Kale contains roughly 112.8 grams of Vitamin K, which can be dangerous to people who take blood thinners, such as warfarin, oraspirin. Vitamin K is used by the body to help blood clot, so when it’s taken with a blood thinner, it decreases the medication’s effectiveness and makes the blood more likely to clot, according to Web MD.


It’s the fruit that appears in almost every cereal commercial on TV. Although it’s a rotund fruit, it’s known in health food and diet communities to help trim your waist. In addition, vitamin C is abundant in the sunny fruit. However, grapefruit isn’t always sunny. It can negatively affect prescribed medications also. On, Katherine Zeratsky, registered dietician and licensed dietician, explains that chemicals in grapefruit interfere with the metabolism of certain medications that:

  • Fight infections
  • Reduce cholesterol
  • Treat high blood pressure
  • Treat heart problems
  • Prevent organ rejection in transplant recipients

Metabolism is the rate at which your body breaks down food, drink or medication. If your body breaks down medication too fast, it won’t have enough time to take effect. Conversely, if your body breaks it down too slow, the amount of medication in your body may rise to a dangerous level.


They make on-the-go snacking easy, are full of vitamins and minerals, keep bowels regular and are as necessary to slapstick comedy as a cream pie. One of the numerous nutrients in bananas is potassium, which helps with muscle contractions and nerve impulses. However, you can have too much of a good thing. Excess potassium can cause an irregular heartbeat and heart palpitations, according to the National Consumers League and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Potassium doesn’t play nicely with some medications. For instance, it can negatively interact with ACE inhibitors (used to treat heart failure and high blood pressure) because they increase the levels of potassium in the body.

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Oatmeal is the DIY of breakfast foods. Fruits, seeds, nuts and spices form endless combinations and flavors to make oatmeal tasty and interesting. Oatmeal is well-known for its high fiber levels, which can regulate the digestive tract, bowel movements and blood sugar levels by slowing absorption; along with the add-ins that come with their own health (or non-health) benefits. Oatmeal itself is very healthy, but if your add-ins are sugar, cream or lots of dried fruit, you might as well have a sundae. Sugar and cream are obvious villains. However, dried fruit can be a danger too. It is loaded with fructose, which is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

When the next superfood emerges to rescue us from dastardly cupcakes or soft drinks, it could be a villain in disguise. Always read the nutrition facts on packaging and talk to your physician or dietician about a tailored diet plan for you.

Topics: Aging, Healthy Living

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