A health food store is a place to go for a wide selection of organic food, local produce, health food, and nutritional supplements. In addition to specialized food, most health food stores also sell a variety of personal care and household items.
But just because a store has “health” in its name doesn’t guarantee everything for sale is healthy, safe, and good for you — even if the packages are labeled “natural” and “organic.”
Health Food Store Dangerous Products
Here are a few items for sale in a health food store that could be hazardous to your health — and the health of your family, or pets.
- Detox teas: According to the Mayo Clinic, tea cleanses meant to rid the colon of toxins are unnecessary. Your kidneys, liver, and bowels do not need any extra help to rid toxins in your body. In fact, detox cleanses can even be harmful — they can lead to dehydration, cause changes in your electrolyte levels, and may cause cramping and make you to feel nauseated and bloated.
- Herbal supplements: Herbal supplements have the potential to be harmful if they are misused. Botanicals can have drug-like effects. They can interact with other supplements or medication in ways that can be dangerous — even life threatening, according to the Mayo Clinic. Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate them, therefore, manufacturers can sell them without approval from the agency. A study from the University of Adelaide in Australia found that herbal supplements might contain elevated concentrations of arsenic, mercury, and lead. Get advice from your physician or licensed herbalist before taking any botanical supplements. And research products before making a purchase.
- Essential oils: Essential oils are great for using in homemade cleaners and do-it-yourself beauty products. However, just because essential oils are natural doesn’t mean they’re completely safe and nontoxic. If essential oils are not used correctly, they can be a strong skin irritant and organ toxicant. And children or pets can be poisoned if they ingest essential oils. Always dilute oils according to directions and keep them out of reach of children and pets.
- Raw Milk: Some people like raw milk for its rich and creamy texture. And others believe the health benefits of raw milk are better than pasteurized milk. Pasteurization uses heat to kill off bacteria found in milk — like E. coli. But the process may also result in a decrease in the milk’s nutritional content. Nevertheless, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says pasteurization is especially beneficial for children, expectant mothers, the elderly, and other people with weakened immune systems, who are more susceptible to food-borne illnesses. They even note that raw milk is one of the riskiest foods when it comes to bacterial contamination. In fact, some states do not allow the sale of raw milk in stores. If you still want to drink raw milk, drink at your own risk.
- Agave nectar: Food scientists say agave nectar is not any better or worse for you than table sugar. In fact, many agave nectars consist of 70 to 90 percent fructose — more fructose than corn syrup. A natural sweetener sold in a health food store does not guarantee it’s a healthy alternative.
Make Wise Decisions
In all aspects of life, it’s important to make wise decisions — especially when it comes to our health and well-being.
Take a little time and do some research on products you intend to purchase online or at any store — even a health food store. Get familiar with product labeling, in order to know whether a particular product poses potential danger or harm.
Keep dangerous products out of a child’s reach — and protect pets, as well.
For your health and safety — learn more. Remember, every product sold in a health food store is not guaranteed to be safe for you.