Three ingredients to avoid at all costs
Most of what we eat is not “real food.” Instead they include chemicals, additives and preservatives, or they’re simply mimicking real food. Look at pretty much any processed food and you’ll find a laundry list of ingredients, most of which you probably can't pronounce.
Just stop and think for a moment, would a fresh tomato last on your counter unchanged for months? No, but we all know someone who has a bottle of ketchup in their cabinet (not even the fridge) with an expiration dated a year in the future.
Have you ever wondered how any of that is possible?
Well I'm here to inform you that its because of man-made substances (aka food preservatives) that were created to delay the degradation in food products, by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, fungi, or antioxidants, and the oxidation of food constituents. The true purpose is to extend the shelf life of foods so companies have more time to sell them to us. Just imagine if all of your food spoiled as quickly as that bag of lettuce you buy every week just to throw it away.
While I still purchase packaged foods (my rule is five easily understood ingredients or less), there are some ingredients I absolutely avoid at all cost.
Here are my top 3 preservatives to avoid no matter what.
#1 -Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
If you've ever felt addicted to the taste of certain foods it was most likely flavored and enhanced with MSG. MSG is an amino acid considered to be highly addictive and one of the key secret ingredients added to give many foods a delicious and irresistible flavor.
I've been dodging foods laced with MSG since childhood, as this is the first preservative my nutritionist mother educated my sister's and I on. I knew at a very young age that MSG was not good for the tummy but it wasn't until junior high school that I really understood what a endocrine disruptor was.
One of the main bodily reactions of MSG intake is triggering insulin, adrenalin, fat storage and the food craving response which leads to obesity, diabetes, seizures, strokes, heart attacks, and the list goes on.
Oh and don't be fooled when you see a packaged food advertised as not containing MSG because this additive goes by many names like: Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Soy Protein Isolate, Barley Malt, Calcium Caseinate, Yeast Extract, Vegetable Protein Extract, Glutamate, Glutamic Acid, Sodium Caseinate, Textured Protein...
MSG is widely found in processed food products like Chinese food (including takeout), store-bought salad dressing, canned meat, deli meat, packaged chips, malt extract/flavors.
If you read last week's blog,then you know that you pay a premium whenever you buy anything ready-made, so making your own salad dressing and other pantry staples will save you money.
The WellNeith® Eats Digital Recipe Book, my new recipe ebook, has several tasty salad dressing, sauces, plant milk and broth recipes for you to try.
#2 - Artificial Food Dyes & Food Coloring
Food colorings are used to give foods a more "attractive" appearance, but studies have shown these additives linked to serious health problems, including asthma and hyperactivity in children. Growing up in a health conscious household, my mother avoided these top three artificial food colorings at all cost:
Red #3: A carcinogen that is added to cherry pie filling, the classic faux cherry used to top your milk shake or your cool glass of cherry coke, ice cream and baked goods. This additive is linked to nerve damage and thyroid cancer. Red #40 Found in many foods to enhance color. All modern food dyes are derived from petroleum. A carcinogen that is linked to cancer in some studies. Also can cause hyperactivity in children. Banned in most European countries. (Worst Offender)
Blue #1: Used in bakery products, candy and soft drinks. Can damage chromosomes and lead to cancer. Blue #2: Used in candy and pet food beverages. Can cause brain tumors. My mother repeated these dangers so much to me as a child that to this day I refuse to consume anything with a blue dye color. My toxic radar is up so high that I won't even allow the nail salon technician to use blue bath salts in my pedicure water or my dental hygienist to polish my teeth with blue colored prophy paste.
Caramel coloring: In soft drinks, sauces, pastries and breads. When made with ammonia, it can cause cancer in mice. The FDA does not required Food companies to disclose if this ingredient is made with ammonia.
#3 - Artificial Sweeteners
You guys know the phrase, "The darker the berry, the sweeter the fruit", right? Well when it comes to artificial sweeteners, it's more like "the longer the ingredient list, the more toxic the sugar."
Saccharin (Carcinogen found to cause bladder cancer in rats), Aspartame (An excitotoxin and thought to be a carcinogen. Can cause dizziness, headaches, blurred vision and stomach problems), High fructose corn syrup (Sweetener made from corn starch. Made from genetically-modified corn. Causes obesity, diabetes, heart problems, arthritis and insulin resistance), and Sucralose (i.e. the silent killer Splenda! Can cause swelling of liver and kidneys and a shrinkage of the thymus gland)
These fake sweeteners are among the worst of the worst and many people have no clue that they consume these toxic ingredients each and every day.
Your Health is Only as Good as the Food You Consume
There is a lot of information out there. Believe me, I know how hard it is to sift through expert opinions and conflicting claims to find a morsel of truth. The more knowledge you have about nutrition and food consumption directly correlates to better decision making. If you are suffering from food related health issues (which most people are), then you can make a change TODAY! Do not let fear and lack of clarity deter you from taking the first step. Let's start by scheduling a phone consultation to discuss your health concerns, identify your wellness goals and explore how I can support you.