There is an epidemic in this country, a health crisis of epic proportions – heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. This epidemic is putting a strain on the health care system and the current and future economies. What is the culprit? Poor diet, poor stress management and lack of exercise. Our society is hooked on addictive processed ‘dead foods’ and when their health pays for it – they turn to medication instead of proper diet and exercise.
To understand what is happening we must look at what so many people are eating today that is lacking in proper nutrition for our bodies:
Foods That Are ‘Dead’
- most cereals (filled with sugar and food dyes – blue # 1, blue # 2, red # 3, red # 40, yellow # 6, and yellow tartrazine)
- milk (filled with growth hormones and antibiotics)
- flavored milk (loaded with as much(or more) of sugar
- pancakes (white flour is also refined)
- boxed waffles (filled with sugar and chemicals that give them long shelf life)
- fast-food breakfasts (McDonalds/Burger King/Wendy’s/etc…)
- bacon/hot dogs/ham/luncheon meats/corned beef/smoked fish or any other processed meat (filled with sodium nitrate)
- fruit juices (that are not freshly squeezed) (filled with sulphur dioxide)
- anything white (bread, pasta, rice, sugar, flour) (filled with potassium bromate)
Food Matters printed a document listing the ‘Top 10 Food Additives To Avoid’ – this document is helpful as it explains why we should stay away from these additives. You can find the document via this link: http://www.hungryforchange.tv/article/top-10-food-additives-to-avoid
Used in so-called “diet” or “sugar-free” products (including diet coke, coke zero), jello, desserts, sugar-free gum, drink mixes, table top sweeteners, cereal, breath-mints, puddings, kool-aid, iced tea, chewable vitamins, toothpaste, cough syrup
Reasons to avoid: Aspartame is not your friend. Aspartame is a neurotoxin and carcinogen. Known to erode intelligence and affect short-term memory, the components of this toxic sweetener may lead to a wide variety of ailments including brain tumour, diseases like lymphoma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, depression and anxiety attacks, dizziness, headaches, nausea, mental confusion and seizures.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Used in most processed foods, breads, candy, flavored yogurts, salad dressings, canned vegetables, cereals
Reasons to avoid: High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is highly refined artificial sweetener which has become the number one source of calories in America. HFCS packs on the pounds faster than any other ingredient, increases your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, and contribute to the development of obesity and diabetes.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG/E621)
Used in Chinese food, potato chips, many snacks, chips, cookies, seasonings, most Campbell Soup products, frozen dinners, lunch meats
Reasons to avoid: MSG is used as a flavor enhancer but also affects the neurological pathways of the brain and disengaged the “I’m full” function which results, for many, in weight gain. MSG is an excito-toxin, and regular consumption may result in depression, disorientation, eye damage, fatigue, headaches, and obesity.
Trans Fat (Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils)
Used in margarine, chips and crackers, baked goods, fast foods
Reasons to avoid: Trans fat increases LDL cholesterol levels while decreasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol, increases the risk of heart attacks, heart disease and strokes, and contributes to increased inflammation, diabetes and other health problems.
Common Food Dyes: Blue # 1 and Blue # 2, Red # 3 and Red # 40, Yellow # 6 and Yellow Tartrazine (E133, E124, E110, E102)
Used in candy, cereal, soft drinks, sports drinks, pet foods, fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, cherry pie mix, ice cream, baked products, American cheese, macaroni and cheese
Reasons to avoid: Artificial colorings, may contribute to behavioral problems like ADD and ADHD in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ. Animal studies (poor animals) have linked other food colorings to cancer.
Sodium Sulphite (E221)
Used in wine and dried fruit
Reasons to avoid: According to the FDA, approximately one in 100 people are sensitive to sulfites in food. Individuals who are sulfite sensitive may experience asthma, headaches, breathing problems and rashes.
Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite (E250)
Used in hotdogs, bacon, ham, luncheon meat, cured meats, corned beef, smoked fish or any other type of processed meat
Reasons to avoid: Sodium Nitrate is the chemical that turns meats bright red but it’s highly carcinogenic once it enters the human digestive system. There, it forms a variety of nitrosamine compounds that enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc with a number of internal organics: the liver and pancreas in particular. This toxic chemical is linked to many cancers.
BHA and BHT (E320)
Used as a preservative in potato chips, gum, cereal, frozen sausages, enriched rice, lard, shortening, candy, jello
Reasons to avoid: This common preservative keeps foods from changing color, changing flavor or becoming rancid. Effects the neurological system of the brain, alters behavior and has potential to cause cancer. BHA and BHT are oxidants which form cancer-causing reactive compounds in your body.
Sulphur Dioxide (E220)
Used as a preservative in beers, soft drinks, dried fruit, juices, cordials, wine, vinegar, and potato products
Reasons to avoid: Sulphur additives are toxic. Adverse reactions include: bronchial problems, asthma, hypotension, flushing tingling sensations or anaphylacic shock. It destroys vitamins B1 and E in the body. Not recommended for consumption by children.
Potassium Bromate (E924)
Used to increase volume in bread and bread-rolls
Reasons to avoid: Potassium bromate is known to cause cancer in animals (again, poor animals). Even small amounts in bread can creat problems for humans.
So knowing all of the above – why do we each so much processed junk? The excuses are endless – accessibility, affordable, time-management, no other better choices, etc. Food companies are knowingly putting these additives into our foods to ensure we become addicted to them. The tobacco companies added nicotine to cigarettes so that people become addicted to them and we all know that smoking is highly addictive and horrible for our health – so why do we allow these addictive and hazardous chemicals into our foods without any question? Knowing what we are putting into our bodies is the first step in changing the addictive behaviour, then we can move towards finding foods that will help us remove the toxins we bombarded our bodies with throughout the years. After the detox – we can then change our diet to include more organic vegetables, fruits, seeds/nuts, beans and legumes and leaner organic meats to properly fuel our minds and bodies. It is also vital to exercise 3 – 4 times a week, go for a vigorous walk or jog, play tennis, basketball, baseball, take an exercise class or join a gym. Meditation and yoga will help you stay focused and keep your anxiety and stress levels down.
It is time to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful! Loving yourself and taking care of yourself will insure your success in life and love and most importantly – will keep you healthy so that you can inspire others.
To begin your journey, a great resource is the documentary Hungry For Change a film by Nutritional Consultants, James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch. This film will arm you with the information you need to begin your journey to health and well-being. The film takes an in-depth look at what the food companies are not telling consumers and why diets will never work.
Together, we can make the world a more positive one!