What Not To Eat
By N. Curtis
Besides that grimy diner down the street that is in flagrant violation of the sanitary code, there are other foods you need to avoid. Reading labels on food items isn't just for the health conscious person anymore. It is essential for everyone to be educated on what to look for when considering food purchases. There are, unfortunately, several hidden ingredients in many of the foods we eat on a daily basis. Others are more visible, but are ignored. The overall health of a great number of people is being compromised by "foods" like the ones we'll look at here.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup is derived from cornstarch. It is typically a combination of 45% sucrose and 55% fructose. It is treated with an enzyme that converts glucose to fructose. The end result is a sweeter product. Food manufacturers love this sweetener because it mixes easily, extends the shelf-life of the product, and can be as much as 20% less expensive than other sugar sources. High fructose syrup is used in yogurt, ketchup, jelly, syrups, fruits, desserts, soda, baked goods, and freezer food items, just to name a few.
The body doesn't process high fructose syrup the same way it does cane or beet sugar. Our metabolic-regulating hormones are actually altered in the way they function so the body can somehow process this sweetener. As a result, high fructose syrup forces the liver to put more fat into the bloodstream, which results in our bodies craving more to eat and thus, we become overweight as we store more fat. Of course, obesity can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and several other health problems if left untreated.
Trans fat is also known as trans fatty acid. It is produced via the chemical process of hydrogenation of oils, which solidifies liquid oils and increases the shelf life of the foods which contain them. Blah blah blah. Bottom line- it’s horrible. In French- horrible. In Spanish- horrible. In Swedish – fasansfull. No matter how you say it or what language it’s in, trans fats are HORRIBLE. They are found in fried foods, margarine, vegetable shortening, snack foods, baked goods, and some vegetable oils. Some healthy oils are Virgin olive, lin/flax, canola, un-hydrogenated soy and mustard.
Trans fat increases the risk of heart disease and increases blood cholesterol levels. Trans fats also add body fat to the mid-section (hello one piece swimsuit), which is known to increase the risk of heart disease.
Artificial sweeteners, colorings, flavorings, emulsifiers, flavor enhancers and preservatives are all, well, artificial ingredients we find in several foods, even though the effects on our bodies are questionable. Our bodies weren't designed to metabolize artificial ingredients. Examples of artificial food ingredients would include aspartame, saccharine, neotame, acesulfame, and sucrolose. It is best to avoid highly processed foods to eliminate these from your diet. Diet soft drinks, breath mints, jams, jellies, gelatins, frozen desserts, candies, cough drops, chewing gum, frosting, processed fruit and juices, puddings and baked goods can all contain artificial sweeteners and artificial ingredients, and should be avoided.
An increased risk of bladder cancer has been linked to a high consumption of saccharine. Some studies have linked the consumption of Acesulfame K to the lung and breast tumors, leukemia, and chronic respiratory disease.
People should also avoid refined sugar. It’s called “refined” so you would think it was good for you. Nope. That means they stripped it of all the good stuff to make a cheaper, more harmful product. Instead use natural sweeteners like pure maple syrup, raw cane or beet sugar, stevia, molasses and raw honey. Because the ill-effects of refined sugar are enormous.
White refined flour and pasta made from white refined flour have had the bran and germ removed from them. These products have no essential nutrients, even after partial enrichment. Since white refined flour is absorbed very quickly, the consumption of pasta and white breads has been linked to rapid changes in sugar/insulin balance. Eventually, this reaction could cause cell resistance to both, resulting in adult diabetes. Whole grain products are a healthier choice overall.
Sodas – especially colas. They have no nutritional value. They are full of sugar and corn syrup. Sodas have been linked to childhood and adult diabetes. And it is also murder on your teeth. All that sugar causes cavities.
Other enemies to your body are Bacon, full- fat cheeses, pre-packaged chocolate chip cookies and chocolate donuts.