To eat or not to eat, that is the question. It seems almost everything is bad for you these days in some way or another. Even that broccoli your eating, is it organic? No? So you’re ingesting cancer causing chemicals that are surely killing you slowly over time? Yes, its exhausting. We obviously can’t avoid everything, so we’ve created a list of the top ingredients you should ALWAYS steer clear of.
1. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) – worse for your health than alcohol and tobacco, can trigger or worsen learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease and more. It’s been linked to headaches, migraines, obesity, eye damage, fatigue, depression, heart irregularities, seizures and more. Commonly found in fast foods and chinese restaurants as well as in doritos, parmesean cheese, soy sauce, campbells soups and many more. It’s also now being used in some cosmetics and shampoos.
2. Carageenan - is a common food additive that is extracted from a red seaweed, Chondrus crispus, which is popularly known as Irish moss. Carrageenan, which has no nutritional value, has been used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve the texture of ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, soy milk and other processed foods. Marketed as being safe, extensive tests over the past 10 years have shown otherwise. Studies that prove when you ingest carageenan you cause inflammation in your body. We know that chronic inflammation is a root cause of many serious diseases including heart disease, Alzheimer’sand Parkinson’s diseases, and cancer.
3. High Fructose Corn Syrup – Commonly found in many processed foods, HFCS is a convenient additive as it not only sweetens but increases the shelf life. Side effects of eating HFCS include obesity, diabetes, tooth infections, anemia, poor immunity, fatigue, mood swings, with drawls, increased risk of heart attack and heart disease and LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides Increased. It can be found in a variety of food products including soft drinks, salad dressings, ketchup, jams, sauces, ice cream and even bread.
4. Hydrogenated Oils - Hydrogenated oils became popular in North America because they take much longer to spoil than other oils used in food manufacturing. In recent years, hydrogenated oils have been linked to a long list of health concerns, and as a result many companies and fast food chains are removing them from their products. These side effects include high blood pressure, hydrogenated oils are much thicker in consistency than other oils, which in turn makes the blood thicker when consumed. The heart has to work harder to pump thicker blood through the body, which contributes to high blood pressure, a chief side effect of hydrogenated oils. As well as this its also been known to cause high cholesterol and even cancer.
5. Soy – In the early 90′s soy burst onto the scene with tons of claims of health benefits soon after it started to emerge that these were faux claims and quite the contrary. Soy is especially bad for women as it raises progesterone levels and has been linked to infertility, miscarriages, endomitriosis and irregular periods. But soy didn’t forget about the males, it can cause a loss of libido and erectile dysfunction. In addition to the above both sexes who consume a diet high in soy have a risk of developing anxiety and mood swings as well as food allergies. If you must eat soy opt for an organic, fermented version like tempeh. But even them do so sparingly.
6. Artificial Dyes and Colourings - As of July 2010, most foods in the European Union that contain artificial food dyes are labeled with warning labels stating the food “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” The British government also asked that food manufacturers remove most artificial colors from foods back in 2009. One study found that the E-numbered food dyes do as much damage to children’s brains as does lead in gasoline, resulting in a significant reduction in IQ. They are mainly added to food for aesthetic purposes and are not necessary. Lots of food made for children contain dyes so be sure to read the labels carefully.
7. Aspartame And All Artificial Sweeteners - Aspartame, also known by the brand name Nutrasweet, is made up of three components: 50% phenylalanine (a chemical that affects human brain activity by transmitting impulses), 40% aspartic acid and 10% methanol (poisonous wood alcohol). In my opinion this is the worst one of them all. There are over 92 different health side effects associated with aspartame consumption. Avoid it at ALL costs!
For more information on what to eat and not to eat be sure to check back for some upcoming blog posts!