Top 10 Toxic Foods, Preservatives & Additives
In this section of Seattle Organic Restaurants I'm going to talk about the top 10 toxic foods, preservatives & additives.
1. Soft Drinks, Sport Drinks and Sugar Sweetened Beverages
Soft drinks have artificial sweeteners (Saccharin, NutraSweet, Aspartame) that are small quantities of poison because these alter brain neurochemistry. These drinks also have high fructose corn syrup that has mercury and over time damages body cells.
2. Refined SugarHigh consumption of sugar, and the corresponding elevated insulin levels, can cause weight gain, bloating, fatigue, arthritis, migraines, lowered immune function, gallstones, obesity, breast cancer, gum disease and cavities, and cardiovascular disease. It’s best to use raw cane sugar as much as possible.
3. MSG (or Monosodium Glutamate)
MSG is used to flavor food, since food no longer has real flavor because of over cooking and a variety of chemicals and pesticides used and lack of any nutrients left in over farmed soil - destroys nerve cells in the brain but the authorities don’t seem to care much since MSG may be hidden in infant formula, low fat milk, candy, chewing gum, drinks, over-the-counter medications (especially children’s), as a binder and filler for nutritional supplements and fruit yogurts, in prescription drugs, IV fluids given in hospitals, and in the chicken pox vaccine. Lovely, no? But that’s not all. This stuff is harmful because, it inhabits natural growth hormone and dramatically promotes irreversible obesity. Other reactions include headaches, nausea, weakness, a burning sensation in the back of neck and forearms, wheezing or difficulty in breathing, and changes in heart rate, pulse rate, and/or heart palpitation.
In order to cut out MSG from your diet, you will need to remove foods with the following ingredients in their label: Monosodium glutamate, free glutamate, hydrolyzed proteins (any type), autolyzed yeast, yeast extract, caseinate, and “natural” or artificial flavors. Hello, now you can eat again!
4. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)GMOs are plants or animals that have had their DNA modified. In the US, the majority of the corn, soybean, cotton, and canola crops are now genetically modified, and one or more of these can be found in nearly every processed food. Testing that has been done in the past has shown GMOs can increase food toxicity, allergy susceptibility, immune suppression, resistance to antibiotics, and the incidence of cancer but testing has been stopped for many reasons to suppress the national media “frenzy” until there is a national (or military) policy regarding food in US and subsequent food shortages that may take place if GMO foods/plants were stopped.
5. BHA/BHTBHA/BHT or simply fried oil has been used and left to cool and then re-heated and used again – like they do in some restaurants. What does this do? Not a whole lot except: affects sleep, increases appetite without the body needing food/energy, and, long term, can liver and kidney damage, baldness, behavioral problems, cancer, fetal abnormalities, and growth retardation. Although there is no actually evidence, but I believe personally that it would even lead to mental retardation.
6. Sodium Nitrate and NitriteThese are preservatives that are added to canned foods and processed foods in particular processed meat products such as bacon, corned beef, ham, hot dogs, lunch meats, and sausage, yeah the lovely sausage. Do I really need to say more about this?
7. Caffeine - In particular from coffee and processed tea-bags (but excluding most organic teas in particular GREEN TEA which is actually anti-oxidant)
Natural caffeine (coffee, cocoa, tea) in moderation (1-3 small cup of coffee/tea per week) is fine for most people. Caffeine as an additive which is added to soft drinks, gum, diet pills, and pain relievers is an addictive stimulant that causes calcium to be excreted from the bones, which can lead to osteoporosis, and can increase infertility. At higher doses, caffeine can cause birth defects, miscarriage, heart disease, depression, behavioral changes, and insomnia. Withdrawal symptoms include headaches, irritability, sleepiness and lethargy.
8. Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)Brominated vegetable oil is used to keep flavor oils in soft drinks in suspension. Bromate, the main ingredient of BVO, is a poison. Just two ounces of a 2% solution of BVO can severely poison a child. In adults, this additive reduces immune defenses and depletes histamine, which can lead to allergic reactions.
9. Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil is made by reacting vegetable oil with hydrogen. When this occurs, the level of polyunsaturated oils (good fat) is reduced and trans fats are created. Trans fats can be found in foods such as vegetable shortening, some margarines, crackers, candies, baked goods, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, salad dressings, and many processed foods. They are associated with heart disease, breast and colon cancer, atherosclerosis and elevated cholesterol.
Many experts claim that less than 10% of pesticides have been tested to have very little major effect on humans but that said, pesticides accumulate in our bodies over time and in fact 99% of mothers’ milk in the United States, for example, contains dangerous levels of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). All of us also have measurable levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxin, heptachlor, chlordane, aldrin, dieldrin, and other pesticides in our bloodstream. And since our bodies cannot remove these chemicals, over time, they weaken our endocrine, reproductive, circulatory, immune, and central nervous systems. As a result, our likelihood of having heart disease, cancer, and allergies is greatly increased. Pesticide accumulation also undermines our ability to resist infectious organisms, may impair fertility, and contributes to miscarriages and birth defects. But I often wonder what is in the other 90% of pesticides that have not been tested for safety on humans. Ummm – food for thought?
What to doDrink lots of pure water or spring water to flush out toxins from your body and have some fresh raw vegetable juices to replace the minerals that you lose by drinking lots of water. Sleep at least 8-9 hours per day to strengthen your body’s immune system. Exercise to relax your body and mind. Also important, the less TV you watch, the less you will be exposed to food advertising, and the less processed food you will eat. And finally, be mindful of what you eat. All of this will not start from day one for everybody but you can do all of these step by step and before long you are doing all to keep your body healthy and yourself out of hospital.