We all eat em’… cereals, fruits, sodas, pastas, flour, deli meat, and sweeteners. Some of the most common foods and beverages we consume daily are poisoned with toxic ingredients. In fact, over 60% of America is eating processed food that has one or more of these toxic ingredients in them for every meal! Convenience has taken over our country and it is now taking away our good health! As a country, we are in a serious health crisis! High cholesterol, high triglycerides, high glucose levels, auto-immune diseases, and cancer are on the rise from our unhealthy eating practices. Even if you think you are eating healthy, a lot of the so-called “healthy foods” have hydrogenated oils in them to keep them on the shelf longer.
Time to take a little ingredient inventory of your pantry and eliminate the toxic 10 as much as possible.
1) Hydrogenated oils When a regular fat like vegetable, corn, soybean, or palm oil is blasted with hydrogen and turned into a solid, it becomes a trans-fat. Look for partially hydrated oil, hydrogenated oil, & hydrogenated palm kernel oil on the label. This type of oil helps the product stay on the shelf for a longer amount of time. These oils Increase your (bad) LDL levels, triglyceride levels and lower your (good) HDL levels.
2) Refined Flour, Refined Pasta, Refined Wheat Flour When a whole grain is refined, it is stripped of its nutrients: fiber, vitamins, and minerals which makes it processed. What you will see on the label is refined flour or refined wheat flour. Even if it is wheat flour, refined means processed. This makes it very high glycemic index and will blast your blood sugars sky high.
3) High Fructose Corn Syrup This ingredient is known in the nutrition world as a “Sweet Poison”. This is found in basically everything to make it taste better. The only reason manufacturer’s use it is because it’s cheap. HFCS increases triglycerides, boosts fat-storing hormones, and drives people to overeat and gain weight.
4) Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Benzoate This is added to soda to prevent mold from growing, but benzene is a known carcinogen that is also linked with serious thyroid damage. Dangerous levels of benzene can build up when plastic bottles of soda are exposed to heat or when the preservatives are combined with ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
5) Pesticides The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ has come up with the “Dirty Dozen”, which will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide intake by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and choosing the least contaminated.
The Dirty Dozen are: Apples, Strawberries, Grapes, Celery, Peaches, Spinach, Sweet Bell Peppers, Nectarines, Cucumbers, Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, and Hot Peppers
6) Sodium Nitrates and Nitrites These two different preservatives are found in processed meats like bacon, lunch meat, and hot dogs. They’re some of the worst offenders, and they’re believed to cause colon cancer and metabolic syndrome, which can lead to diabetes. The word to look for on the label is “uncured” or “No Nitrates Added”.
7) Sulfites or Sulfer dioxide Sulfites are used to preserve foods like dried fruit, freshly cut potatoes, and fruit juice concentrates. It is also commonly used in making wine. These preservatives are known to cause allergic reactions in sensitive people.
8) Artificial Sweetener’s Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), saccharin (Sweet’N Low, SugarTwin), and sucralose (Splenda) may be even harder on our metabolic systems than plain old sugar. Studies suggest that artificial sweeteners trick the brain into forgetting that sweetness means extra calories, making people more likely to keep eating sweet treats without abandon.
9) Artificial Colors The artificial colors blue 1 and 2, green 3, red 3, and yellow 6 have been linked to thyroid, adrenal, bladder, kidney, and brain cancers. Always seek out foods with the fewest artificial chemicals.
10) MSG (Monosodium glutamate Monosodium glutamate is a processed “flavor enhancer.” Studies show that high levels of free glutamates (MSG) have been shown to mess with your brain chemistry. Some side effects have been headache’s, numbness in arms and fingers, lesions on the brain, symptoms of MS, Alzheimer’s, seizures and stroke.
As you can see, there are a lot of chemicals used in food processing that are not good for our bodies. If you have a local Whole Foods, Sprouts or Health food store in your area, I would suggest going there more often. It may seem more expensive to eat organic or to buy from the health food stores but think of it this way, You can either pay now for better quality food or you WILL pay later in Dr. visits, medication and disease! Start taking your health back and eat whole foods as much as possible! Your body will thank you!