No one standard diet fits all. There are many valid theories designed to guide people towards proper nutrition. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) model presents a balance of flavors – sweet, salty, sour, pungent, and bitter. This model is present in many cultures. A common Thai dish, Pad Thai, contains each of these flavors. This model can be used to maintain health or address illness. It has existed for thousands of years and requires no modification. Western theories, however, are altered continuously.
One controversial theory is the American Food Pyramid. The old food pyramid, with heavy grain intake, is a model for diabetes. The new food pyramid, with heavy milk consumption, is a model for inflammatory type disease. Ancient grains and fresh milk have been dietary staples throughout the historic world. Contemporary processing, however, have rendered these substances unfit for consumption in the United States.
The consequences of hormones include increased antibiotics and sodium to combat infection and bacteria. Cow’s milk in this country readily contains more puss than milk, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows. Worse, the FDA has turned a blind eye to Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs).
The modification of whole wheat has resulted in a grain that produces gluten-like sensitivities and excess mucus. As the mucus lines the digestive track, the body is unable to absorb nutrients. This leads to deficient blood (feeling cool during the day and warmer at night; consistently waking up about 3am; headaches, vision decline, irritability). Deficient blood does not move (unresolved local pain, stabbing pain, feeling stuck or depressed). Together, they contribute to infertility, eye floaters, and constipation. Excess mucus further inhibits the movement of blood and weakens the digestive system that contributes to feeling nauseous, irritable bowel, thirst with a disinterest to drink. This dynamic is the basis for autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and lupus.
Excess mucus formed by eating whole wheat, American cows’ milk, cold food, sweets, and fired food can weaken the digestion and serve as the basis for abnormal growths in the body, fibroids, cysts, et cetera. In Chinese medical theory, it is the basis for excess worry, sweat cravings, and afternoon fatigue. All of this is usually worse for women due to iodine deficiency. Back in the 1960s, the FDA enriched salt, bread, and milk with iodine, a substance naturally formed in kelp that our diet tends to lack. Estrogen depletes iodine stores in the body. Iodine deficiency is the basis for endometriosis, cysts, prostate swelling, goiters, fibroids, and the like.
Iodine supplement are inexpensive. Get some for the whole family. Watch this video of Dr. Jorge Flechas explaining the mechanism of iodine deficiency.
Avoid cows’ milk (Rice Dream is great), wheat (you wanted to reduce carbs anyway), and corn by products (nasty stuff).
Drink warm or room temperature beverages. Tell your waitress, “No ice.”
Learn about the dangers of GMOs and get involved in local efforts, like California is doing now, to demand labeling.
Food labels can claim that any ingredient is natural, regardless of ill health effects.
As the American public is educated on the realities of toxic additives, various industries devise new strategies. National Public Radio, Oprah, and Dr. Oz have exposed the dangers of Genetically Modified Food (GMO), vaccinations, hormones in meat, corn syrup, and harmful food coloring.
In response, for instance, the Corn industry has a commercial that cleverly touts corn syrup as healthy with a fact about corn sugar processed by the body like any other sugar, which is correct, but corn syrup is a not processed by the body like any sugar.
Military members and hospital workers are now required to get useless flu vaccinations that still use mercury as a stabilizer. A recent study indicated that people who get the flu vaccination are far more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
Younger people and children have been exposed to these toxins for over 20 years. Children, teens, and young adults, and older adults often require resetting the system through a few days, weeks, or even months of slow juicing. Hurom offers an easy to use and clean slow juicer that delivers vital nutrients to the cellular level. Kale, broccoli, and wheat grass taste yummy with a few carrots and green apples!
I am not interested in speculating on government agendas or suggesting to what limits industries will go to increase profit margins. I am interested in helping people get healthy, fit, and off of medication. I have more specific nutrition articles to address the needs of infants, toddlers,teens, adults, mental health, and weight loss. Feel free to ask questions to focus on your own health concerns. Below is an outline of ten harmful food additives.
1. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) – an amino acid used as a flavor-enhancer in processed foods (one of the most common food additives).
Why It’s Bad: It’s a known excitotoxin, which is a neurotoxic chemical additive shown to harm nerve cells— overexciting them, sometimes to the point of cell death. Regularly consuming excitotoxins like MSG destroys significant numbers of brain cells and can lead to serious health problems, including neurological disorders. (The two other common excitotoxins used in food are aspartic acid (found in aspartame) and l-cysteine, which is used as a dough conditioner.) In addition, regular consumption of MSG has been shown to stimulate the appetite and contribute to weight gain and obesity.
AKA: MSG goes by several aliases, such as Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Hydrolyzed Plant Protein, Vegetable Protein Extract, Yeast Extract, Glutamate, Glutamic Acid, Sodium Caseinate, Textured Protein, Soy Protein Isolates, Barley Malt, Calcium Caseinate and Malt Extract.
It’s Found In: Processed foods like salad dressings, low-fat yogurt, canned meats, frozen entrees, potato chips, canned soups (including Campbell’s Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup), and flavored crackers (like Wheat Thins, Cheez-Its and Triscuits).
2. Aspartame – one of the most widely-used artificial sweeteners.
Why It’s Bad: Like MSG, aspartame is an excitotoxin. It also is believed to be carcinogenic, and produces neurotoxic effects such as headaches, dizziness, blurry vision, and gastrointestinal disturbances. Aspartame contains 10-percent methanol, which is shown to be broken down by the body into the toxic by-products formic acid and formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is considered to be a potent nerve toxin and carcinogen, which may explain why aspartame accounts for more reports to the FDA of adverse reactions than all other foods and food additives combined.
AKA: NutraSweet, Equal, Canderel, Spoonful, Natrataste, AminoSweet, plus others.
It’s Found In: Over 6,000 products contain it, including diet and sugar-free sodas and drinks, sugar-free chewing gum, yogurt, breath mints, instant breakfasts, frozen desserts, juice beverages, and gelatins. Avoid Its Pals: Splenda (Sucralose), Sweet ‘n’ Low (saccharine)
3. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) – a highly-refined sweetener in which corn starch is separated from the corn kernel. The corn starch is converted into corn syrup through a process called acid hydrolysis.
Why It’s Bad: Nearly all HFCS are made from genetically-modified corn. It is the number-one source of calories in the US diet and has been shown to contribute to weight gain and development of diabetes. HFCS also is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, arthritis, insulin resistance, and elevated triglycerides and raised LDL cholesterol. In 2009, the Environmental Health Journal reported that a study conducted by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy found mercury in 9 of 20 samples of commercial HFCS. The HFCS came from 3 different manufacturers including popular brands such as Quaker, Hunts, Kraft, Yoplait, Nutri-Grain, and Smuckers. Mercury is a heavy metal and is considered a potent brain toxin. The presence of mercury-contaminated caustic soda with HFCS is common.
AKA: Corn sugar, glucose/fructose (syrup), high-fructose maize syrup inulin, iso-glucose, and fruit fructose.
It’s Found In: Soda, salad dressings, breads, cereals, yogurt, soups, lunch meats, pizza sauce and condiments. On average, Americans consume 12 teaspoons of HFCS per day.
4. Artificial Food Coloring – If your food isn’t naturally colorful, these additives tint them much like the dyes that color clothing.
Why It’s Bad: Artificial food dyes were originally synthesized from coal tar — and now they are derived from petroleum. They have long been controversial, and are one of the most widely used additives in food products today. Many dyes have been banned because of their adverse effects on laboratory animals. Studies have confirmed that nine dyes currently approved for use in the US raise the following health concerns.
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI) study on food dyes, “The three most widely used dyes, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, are contaminated with known carcinogens. Another dye, Red 3, has been acknowledged for years by the Food and Drug Administration to be a carcinogen, yet it is still in the food supply.” CPSI further reports that these nine food dyes are linked to health issues ranging from cancer and hyperactivity to allergy-like reactions.
A large-scale British government study (published in 2007in the UK medical journal Lancet) found that a variety of common food dyes, as well as the preservative sodium benzoate, increased hyperactivity and decreased the attention spans of children. These additives were shown to adversely affect children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), along with children having no prior history of behavior problems.
The European Union (EU) has put labeling regulations in place to inform consumers of the health risks, but the US has failed to follow suit.
AKA: Caramel color, FD&C Blue #1, Brilliant Blue FCF, Bright blue, Blue # 2, Ingtotine, Royal Blue, Red Number 3, Erythrosine, FD&C Red No.40, Allura Red AC, Yellow 5 and 6, FD&C Green Number 3, Fast Green, Sea Green, to name a few.
It’s Found In: Beverages, candy, baked goods, cereal, energy bars, puddings, jams, bread, macaroni and cheese, deli meat, frostings, condiments, fast food, ice cream, sherbet, sorbet, plus meat and fish (to make them appear “fresher”).
5. BHA and BHT – Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) are preservatives used in many foods to prevent oxidation and extend shelf life.
Why It’s Bad: BHA and BHT are oxidants, which have been shown to form potentially cancer-causing reactive compounds in the body. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, considers BHA to be possibly carcinogenic to humans, and the State of California has listed it as a known carcinogen.
Where It’s Found: In packaging materials, cereals, sausage, hot dogs, meat patties, chewing gum, potato chips, beer, butter, vegetable oils, cosmetics, and animal feed.
6. Sodium Nitrite and Sodium Nitrate – two closely-related chemicals are used to preserve meat.
Why They’re Bad: When added to meat, the nitrates are readily converted to nitrosamines, which are associated with an increased risk of certain types of cancers. This chemical reaction occurs most readily at the high temperatures. In a 2007 analysis, The World Cancer Research Fund revealed that eating 1.8 ounces of processed meat every day increases your cancer risk by 20%.
AKA: Soda niter, Chile saltpeter
They’re Found In: Cured meats, bacon, ham, salami, corned beef and hot dogs, pate, pickled pig’s feet, canned meat (Vienna sausages, deviled ham), smoked salmon, dried fish, jerky.
7. Potassium Bromate – a form of bromide that is used as an additive to increase the volume in some breads, rolls, and flours.
Why It’s Bad: It has been shown to cause cancer in animals and is banned in the EU, Canada, and several other countries. The FDA, since 1991, has requested that bakers voluntarily stop using it. It is rarely used in California because a cancer warning is required on the label. Bromide is considered to be an endocrine disruptor.
AKA: Bromic acid, potassium salt, bromated flour, “enriched flour.”
It’s Found In: Most commercial baked goods in the US, including Wonder Bread, Sunbeam, Home Pride (but not in Pepperidge Farm, Arnold, Entenmann’s, and Orowheat brands). It’s also common in flour, and occurs in some toothpaste and mouthwash brands as an antiseptic.
8. Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) – produced by Monsanto, rBGH is a genetically-engineered version of the natural growth hormone produced by cows. It is used to boost milk production in dairy cows.
Why It’s Bad: “rBGH milk” contains high levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), excess levels of which have been implicated as major causes of breast, colon and prostate cancers. rBGH milk is not required to be labeled.
Giving cows rBGH has been shown to increase the incidence of mastitis. When a cow has mastitis, pus and blood are secreted into the milk. It also leads to antibiotic resistance, which is tied to the spread of virulent staph infections such as MRSA. Hormones in food have been linked to onset of early puberty.
Consumer feedback spurred such megabrands as Dannon and General Mills, and the supermarket chains Wal-Mart, Starbucks, and Publix to phase out products with hormones rBST and rBGH.
AKA: Recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST).
It’s Found In: All dairy products that aren’t specifically labeled “No rGBH or rBST.”
9. Refined Vegetable Oil – there are many different kinds of commercially-refined vegetable oils, including soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, canola oil, and peanut oil.
Why It’s Bad: Refined cooking oils are made by intensive mechanical and chemical processes that extract the oil from the seeds. The refining process also utilizes chemical solvents and high temperatures. The oils are then typically deodorized and bleached. This process removes the natural vitamins and minerals from the seeds and creates a product that has been shown to become rancid and oxidize easily, causing free radical formation.
These oils are also high in Omega-6 fatty acid, which is inflammatory and neutralizes the benefits of Omega-3s in your diet. The oxidation effect has been shown to contribute to inflammation in the body; DNA damage elevated blood triglycerides, and impaired insulin response. Additionally, many refined vegetable oils are hydrogenated. This process creates trans fatty acids, which are known to contribute to heart disease and some cancers.
10. Refined Grains – are devoid of fiber and vitamin B compared to unpolished and unrefined grains that still have the bran, germ and the aleurone layer intact. This makes refined grains as good as refined sugars, which are practically empty calories. Refined grains have a higher glycemic index and can hasten the onset of degenerative diseases like cancer and coronary disease. Go for minimally processed grains if you are not gluten intolerant or allergic to grains.