doesn't necessarily mean it's good for you. We've discussed in this forum the problem with tofu, but there are other supposed "healthy foods" that are anything but.
Ever eat a rice cake? Much of it IS edible, but it has no nutrients beyond carbs. When a grain is puffed, it is exposed to intensely high heat that denatures any minerals or proteins it may have. It becomes acidic in digestive effect, as denatured foods always puzzle the body and require extra efforts in order to digest. Thus, rice cakes not only fail to provide adequate nutritional value, they will actually rob you of your nutrient stores, making it an anti-nutrient.
An anti-nutrient is something that robs you of nutrients. Most commonly the term is used to describe a compound that inhibits the absorption of another compound, but it suits in this case too.
For instance, raw egg whites have two compounds that tend to inhibit protein absorption. It's not a huge worry, and you need both yolk and white to have all the enzymes that DO help break things down, so do enjoy both the white and the yolk together whenever you can.
If you want to be very careful of these antinutrients, you can use one whole raw egg in the protein shake or other recipes and then add only egg yolks. Light cooking will kill these anti-nutrients, and so a soft-boiled or poached egg is better absorbed than any other type of prepared egg. A hard-boiled egg is practically an anti-nutrient, it requires as many calories to digest and assimilate as it offers.
Spinach is another natural food with its own inhibitors to essential minerals. Thus, cooking it is better, you'll be more likely to absorb the iron and calcium. And spinach sauteed with butter and garlic is much more tasty!
(So when someone starts preaching to you about the 100% raw food diet, think of spinach and educate them a little. Lots of foods do need to be cooked, they just need to be cooked properly.)
Ever eat a bran muffin and grimace? Guess what? You don't have to! Bran is actually just a part of a grain, and whenever you only eat a single part of a grain, you're eating something imbalanced. Bran is an especially harsh and unfriendly fiber, and it tends to constipate even the healthy. Plus, to make it even somewhat edible, usually the bad fats (partially hydrogenated vegetable oils) are added.
And what about granola? Tons of hidden fats, lots of refined sugars. Think again.
You know, one thing that I've learned from all this, is that when a real food tastes really good to you, chances are it's better for you than so-called "health food."
Protein shakes, meal replacement powders, protein bars, energy bars, forget about it. For the most part, they are still processed, refined, undigestable and unassimilateable. For the most part, all they'll do is give you a bit of energy in exchange for a congested liver, an overworked kidney and possibly kidney stones, and fat deposits, including cellulite. Most bars have a list of ingredients remarkably similar to that of a Snickers, but they don't taste nearly as good. ;)
Can anyone think of other foods in a health food store that are questionable? Besides these or tofu?