As the old saying goes, “you are what you eat,” and since nowadays there are even more reasons to choose your foods wisely, we have written this article on 5 foods that should definitely be removed from your shopping list. It may not be all you need to do in order to be healthy, but its a good start. Healthy eating is a choice and making that choice means a healthy future for you and your family in the years to come. You will find that many of these foods are promoted as “healthy”, yet science tells us otherwise.
So lets dive in:
You probably know what LOL, ROFL, and LMAO means, but nobody will be laughing when they find out what CAFO means. Confined Animal Feeding Operations, the kind of place where animals are given excessive growth hormones, antibiotics and other veterinary drugs and raised in deplorable conditions that promote disease, thats where most processed meat comes from…. Processed meats like salami, sausaham, and roast beef are typically made with meats from animals raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), these meats are also filled with sodium nitrite and other chemical flavorings and dyes. Nitrites can be converted into potent, cancer causing nitrosamines in your body. In fact, research has linked nitrites to higher rates of colorectal, stomach and pancreatic cancer. But that’s not all. Most processed deli meats also contain other cancer causing chemicals that are created during cooking. Studies by the World Cancer Research Fund, confirm that processed meats increase your risk of cancer, especially bowel cancer, and NO amount of processed meat is “safe.” You’re better off swapping them for fresh organically-raised grass-fed meats, or fresh ocean fish.
Can you say BPA? BPA or Bisphenol A is used to make certain plastics and resin coatings, BPA-based plastic is clear and tough, and is used in a variety of common consumer goods (such as baby and water bottles, sports equipment, CDs and DVDs) and for industrial purposes, like lining water pipes. BPA is also used in the coatings on the inside of many food and beverage cans. In fact, many leading brands of canned foods contain Bisphenol A (BPA). The problem with BPA is that it is an “endocrine disruptor”.When ingested it imitates the hormone estrogen in the body and this has been shown to cause many negative health effects, including problems affecting the prostate, breast, testis and mammary glands. It also influences obesity as well as altering brain structure and chemistry. Babies and infants appear to be the most sensitive to BPA with later physical and neurological difficulties linked to this toxic chemical. Most mothers are aware that BPA is found in many plastic baby bottles and other plastic items and are actively avoiding them, but did you know that just a couple of servings of canned food can exceed the safety limits for daily BPA exposure for children? So why tomatoes? The high acidity of tomatoes causes BPA to leach from the can into your food. To avoid this hazardous chemical, you should avoid canned foods entirely and stick to fresh fruits and vegetables, or switch over to brands that use glass containers instead—especially for acidic foods like tomatoes.
I hate to tell you this, but butter is better, its a healthy fat. Unfortunately the low-fat craze has got us confused into thinking margarine is actually good for us, truth is, there are a lot of unhealthy components to most margarines including: Trans fats: These unnatural fats in margarine, as well as shortenings and spreads are formed during the process of hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oils into a solid fat. Trans fats are linked to heart disease, cancer, bone problems, hormonal imbalance, skin diseases, infertility, difficulties in pregnancy, problems with lactation, ow birth weight, as well as growth problems and learning disabilities in children.
A government panel of scientists looked at the evidence and determined that man-made trans fats are unsafe at any level. Free radicals: Free radicals and other toxic breakdown products are the result of high temperature industrial processing of vegetable oils. They contribute to numerous health problems, including cancer and heart disease. Emulsifiers and preservatives: Numerous additives of questionable safety are added to margarines and spreads. Most vegetable shortening is stabilized with preservatives like BHT. Hexane and other solvents: These are industrial chemicals used in the extraction process and can have as yet undocumented toxic effects.
Traditional butter, when made from non-CAFO cows, is rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is not only known to help fight cancer and diabetes, it may even help you to lose weight, thats right…butter can help you lose weight!, which definitely cannot be said for its trans-fat substitutes. Much of the reason why butter is vilified is because it contains saturated fat, i’ll get into that in another article, but suffice to know that saturated fat is actually good for you, its a healthy fat!
Heated vegetable oils are amongst the worst substances you can take into your body .They are definitely not the health food that you were lead to believe they were. This is largely due to the fact that they distort the important omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in your body. Ideally, this ratio is 1:1. The average diet already contains more Omega 6 than Omega 3, using vegetable oils worsens this ratio and results in widespread inflammatory disorders as well as other ill-effects in the body.
Corn oil has a typical omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 46 to 1, Soybean oil has a ratio of 7 to 1 while Canola is the best of the worst at 1 to 2. Anytime you cook a food though, you risk damaging to the oil you use through the heating process, even if it is canola. The oils you cook with must be stable enough to resist chemical changes when heated to high temperatures, or these damaged oils can further impact your health. When you cook with polyunsaturated vegetable oils (such as canola, corn, and soy oils), oxidised cholesterol is introduced into your system. As the oil is heated and mixed with oxygen, it turns rancid. Rancid oil is oxidized oil and should NOT be consumed—it leads directly to cardiovascular disease.
Trans-fats are made when these oils are hydrogenated, which we learnt about before with margarine. So what’s the best oil to cook with? Of all the available oils, coconut oil is the best for cooking because it is almost a completely saturated fat, which means it is much less susceptible to heat damage. Coconut oil also contains unique and beneficial fats for your body. Olive oil, while certainly a healthful oil, is easily damaged by heat and is best reserved for drizzling cold over salad, or having as a condiment with other foods.
I hope you’re not sitting on the couch with a bowl of popcorn while reading this, because I have 2 more acronyms for you: PFOA and PFOS. These two substances are chemicals used in the food and packaging industry to keep grease from leaking through fast food wrappers. They are not supposed to be eaten, yet they are increasingly showing up in laboratory tests as contaminants in blood. Microwave popcorn bags are lined with PFOA, and when they are heated the compound leaches onto the popcorn. These chemicals are part of an expanding group of chemicals commonly referred to as “gender benders”, because they can disrupt your endocrine system and affect your sex hormones.
The US environmental protection agency has ruled that they are “likely carcinogens,” and has stated that PFOA “poses developmental and reproductive risks to humans.” Researchers have also linked these “gender benders” to a range of other health problems, such as: Infertility — A study published in 2009 in the journal Human Reproduction found that both PFOA and PFOS, dramatically increased the odds of infertility. PFOA was linked to a 60 to 154 percent increase in the chance of infertility.
Thyroid disease — A 2010 study found that PFOA can damage your thyroid function. Cancer — PFOA has been associated with tumors in at least four different organs and has been associated with increases in prostate cancer in PFOA plant workers. Immune system problems — Studies by Swedish scientists indicate that these chemicals have an adverse effect on your immune system. PFOA was found to decrease all immune cell types studied, in the thymus and spleen, and caused immunosupression.
Increased LDL cholesterol levels – A 2010 study in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that children and teens with higher PFOA levels had higher levels of total cholesterol and LDL or “bad” cholesterol, while PFOS was associated with increased total cholesterol, including both LDL cholesterol and HDL or “good” cholesterol. So my advice to you is to go traditional, get one of those old popcorn machines instead of microwaving. In fact I strongly recommend avoiding any product you know containing these toxic compounds, including non-stick cookware, but also foods sold in grease-proof food packaging, such as fast food and microwave popcorn.
So my advice to you is to go traditional, get one of those old popcorn machines instead of microwaving. In fact I strongly recommend avoiding any product you know containing these toxic compounds, including non-stick cookware, but also foods sold in grease-proof food packaging, such as fast food and microwave popcorn.
Guidelines for Healthy Food
With so many “new” foods coming onto the market and old foods being grown or prepared in new ways, its not easy to know whats good and whats not, but here are some guidelines that can assist you. Good, healthy food can be identified by the following:
- It is grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers
- It’s not genetically engineered
- It contains no added growth hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs
- It does not contain artificial anything, nor any preservatives
- It was not grown in a factory farm
- It is grown with the laws of nature in mind (meaning animals are fed their native diets, not a mix of grains and animal byproducts, and have free-range access to the outdoors)