Friday, March 9, 2012

"Top foods That are Killing Us Slowly from the Inside Out"

Welcome to Nutrition Month

My favorite month of the year....well as far as "months" are concerned...get me to July and I am much happier with the calendar lol.

Let's start here.

What Foods Shouldn't We Eat

This could be a pretty comprehensive list.  But I am going to start with those things that WE REALLY should NEVER consume.

I know some of you are going to find some controversy in this list, but having done my research these are the things that we avoid as much as possible at our house.

#1 GMO's 

The food industry is constantly trying to make things grow faster and bigger.  But at a cost to our health. They are modifying the way these organisms were created by God, and thus altering the way our bodies assimilate them.  These crops are also made to be resistant to any and all natural enemies such as molds, insects etc.  The way in which they do this is to introduce chemicals into the genome of the plant, thus also introducing these chemicals into our bodies as well.

Top Genetically Modified Foods to Avoid

As of 2004, 85 percent of the soybeans grown on U.S. soil have been genetically modified.  Because soy is widely used in the production of other items (including cereal, baked products, chocolate and even ice cream), chances are everybody in the U.S. is eating GM soy. It might be worth noting, however, that tofu and soy sauce are usually made from non-GM soybeans, a variation from most other soy products, which likely are GM-based. The bulk of the soybean crop is not destined to human consumption but instead used for livestock feed. For those who aren't vegetarians, this becomes another source of GM foods, as the gene is passed on through the meat.

Bt-corn is a form of sweet corn that has been genetically modified to include an insect-killing gene. This means the farmer doesn't have to spray with pesticides because the insects die from eating the corn. No spraying means less harm to the environment. The move has caused debate, however. The same gene that attacks corn predators also appears to kill the Monarch butterfly.

GM tomatoes don't rot as quickly as regular tomatoes, so they can tolerate longer periods of transportation. GM tomatoes also can be left to mature on the plants, rather than being picked green. This results in a more tasty tomato that doesn't need to be stored until ripening.

We don't normally think of oils as part of our food list, but the truth is that they're not only for cooking and flavoring, but show up as an ingredient in a large number of prepackaged foods we eat on a regular basis.
The U.S., India and China are the world's largest producers of GM cottonseed oil. As a result, it's hard to avoid this GM food, even if you don't buy it bottled. In the U.S., GM-modified oils are sold as cooking oils, but also commonly used for frying snacks such as potato chips and also used in the production of margarine. Canola or rapeseed oil became an important crop only after being genetically modified. Before that, the oil was too bitter to be used in foods. The modification did away with the bitterness and also increased rapeseed's resistance to herbicides. This allows crops to be sprayed with weed-control products without running the risk of affecting the actual crops.

Golden Rice
Golden rice was first created to fight vitamin A deficiency, which affects 250 million people around the world and can cause blindness and even death. Rice is one of the most common foods on Earth. In fact, almost half of the world's population survives on a single daily bowl of rice. Because getting vitamin supplements to every single person on the planet would be impossible, scientists believed that the answer was to create a grain of rice that already had vitamin A in it. And so golden rice was born.

Squash is more prone than some crops to viral diseases, which is why it was genetically modified to ensure crop survival. The original purpose was achieved, but the modification backfired in an unexpected way. It seems cucumber beetles that carry bacterial wilt disease like to feed on healthy plants, like the GM squash. After visiting unhealthy plants, they land on the nice, healthy GM squash plant and pig out, wounding the leaves and leaving open holes on them. When the beetles' feces fall on the leaves, they're absorbed into the stem and cause bacterial wilt disease.

Animals Fed with GMO Feed Products
A large part of the GM presence in animal feed does not come from foodstuff but instead from additives aimed at making food more nutritious. Animal feed is commonly enhanced with vitamins, amino acids, enzymes and even coloring. These additives are passed on to the animal's system and eventually make their way into your body when you consume meat, eggs or dairy products. Traces of GM cannot, however, be detected in animal by-products, so it's impossible to know if an animal was raised on GM-enhanced feed. Unless you buy organic meat and dairy products, it might be impossible to determine what you're eating.

GM salmon is, as we speak, on its way to our dinner table. Wild salmon matures slowly, taking up to three years to reach its full size. GM salmon, on the other hand, not only will grow faster but also should reach about twice the size of its wild cousin. The creators of the GM salmon, a private company called AquaBounty, promises to harvest the salmon before it reaches its full size, thus preventing "giant" versions. The GM salmon, known as AquAdvantage, is meant to be grown in fish farms. According to proponents of the modification, this would reduce fishing of wild salmon, in turn protecting both the wild population of fish and the environment from human intrusion. 
Sugar in history has been one of the most highly traded commodities.  Looking at history we can see how we are damaging our health with the over consumption of sugar.
Historical Consumption of Sugar
1700 4lbs of sugar a year
1800 18 lbs of sugar a year
1900 90 lbs of sugar a year
2010 180 lbs of sugar a year (equals ½ lb a day 453 grams)
Why is Sugar Bad for Us
  • Sugar can suppress the immune system
  • Sugar can upset the body's mineral balance.
  • Sugar can contribute to hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, concentration difficulties, and crankiness in children.
  • Sugar can produce a significant rise in tryglycerides.
  • Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
  • Sugar can reduce helpful high density cholesterol (HDLs).
  • Sugar can promote an elevation of harmful cholesterol (LDLs).
  • Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.
  • Sugar contributes to a weakened defense against bacterial infection.
  • Sugar can cause kidney damage.
  • Sugar can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Sugar may lead to chromium deficiency.
  • Sugar can cause copper deficiency.
  • Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
  • Sugar can increase fasting levels of blood glucose.
  • Sugar can promote tooth decay.
  • Sugar can produce an acidic stomach.
  • Sugar can raise adrenaline levels in children.
  • Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.
  • Sugar can speed the aging process, causing wrinkles and grey hair.
  • Sugar can increase total cholesterol.
  • Sugar can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
  • High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
  • Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
  • Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
  • Sugar leads to decreased glucose tolerance.
  • Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.
  • Sugar can increase systolic blood pressure.
  • Sugar causes food allergies
  • Sugar can cause free radical formation in the bloodstream.
  • Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
  • Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
  • Sugar can overstress the pancreas, causing damage.
  • Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.
  • Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.
  • Sugar can cause liver cells to divide, increasing the size of the liver.
  • Sugar can increase the amount of fat of the liver.
  • Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
  • Sugar can cause depression.
  • Sugar can increase the body's fluid retention.
  • Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance.
  • Sugar can cause hypertension.
  • Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.
  • Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha and theta brain waves, which can alter the mind's ability to think clearly.
  • Sugar can increase blood platelet adhesiveness which increases risk of blood clots and strokes.
  • Sugar can increase insulin responses in those consuming high-sugar diets compared to low sugar diets.
  • Sugar increases bacterial fermentation in the colon (candida growth).
How Much is Safe and How Much are We Eating
According to an American Heart Association Study done in 2009, an average adult male should consume no more then 38 grams of added sugar, adult female-25 grams, children under 13 no more then 12 grams, and teens no more then 18-37 depending on height and healthy weight.  **added sugar means sugar from sources other then fruit/vegetables that is "added" to foods**
The issue is not the sugar found in natural sources such as fruits and vegetables it is the processed sugars we consume in processed foods and add to our foods.
Avoiding these processed forms of sugar is the easiest way to lower the amount of sugar ingested.
Our bodies need salt in order to keep our electrolytes properly balanced.  Iodized table salt which is found in every processed food on the planet as well as 95% of salt shakers is causing serious health issues.
Salt in it's pure form is completely healthy and needed by our body, however the process of creating table salt robs it of any of the health benefits.
Salt is dried at over 1200'F which alters the chemical composition of the salt turning it into sodium chloride.  It then has anti-caking agents such as calcium silicate and dextrose added to it
Common Side-effects of Table Salt Consumption:
1. Calcium absorption. Excessive sodium can inhibit the absorption of calcium by increasing its secretion in the urine. Proper absorption of calcium is essential for bone and joint health and proper muscular function. Interestingly, natural sea salts often contain calcium and magnesium, the latter a mineral which enhances calcium absorption.
2. Water retention. Too much table salt causes the body’s tissues to hold water in an attempt to maintain fluid balance in the body. Cells function best when the salt content of the fluid within them (intra-cellular fluid) and the salt content of the fluid surrounding them (extra-cellular fluid) is the same. When there is too much salt in the body, cells will release water from within to dilute the sodium-saturated water around them, and vice-versa. The water remains trapped in the tissues as the body attempts to maintain the salt to water ratio. Water retention is not just uncomfortable; it contributes to weight gain, high blood pressure, and other problems (see below).
3. Circulatory problems. Some people’s blood pressure is more profoundly affected by salt than others. Nonetheless, even the experts have trouble distinguishing who is most susceptible to sodium-induced high blood pressure (hypertension), so keeping your salt intake in check is a good idea. When sodium causes high blood pressure, the potential for lethal circulatory problems is significant. Those with hypertension are more at risk for heart attack, stroke, and overall blood vessel damage.
4. Kidneys. These vital organs are also affected by excessive sodium intake. If blood vessels in the kidneys are damaged by hypertension, the kidney becomes less efficient. Thus, excess fluid and toxins accumulate in the body because the kidneys are not able to filter them out efficiently. As noted above, retained fluid increases blood pressure and the cycle continues.
5. Pregnancy. Pregnant women need to be especially careful with their salt intake. They often need more salt to maintain correct electrolyte balance, but taking in more of the common table salt variety may do more harm than good. For example, reducing the absorption of calcium – which table salt intake can do – is definitely a bad idea during pregnancy.
#4 POP

Most of us know that pop really isn't healthy....but how many know why.

We've talked about sugar already, but want to put it into perspective for you just how much sugar is in a can of pop.

Each sugar cube is equal to 4grams of sugar each or 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Beverages with bubbles contain phosphoric acid, which can severely deplete the blood calcium levels; calcium is a key component of the bone matrix. With less concentration of calcium over a long time, it can lower deposition rates so that bone mass and density suffer. This means that drinking sodas and carbonated water increases your risk of osteoporosis.

Add in the caffeine usually present in soft drinks, and you are in for even more trouble. Caffeine can deplete the body’s calcium, in addition to stimulating your central nervous system and contributing to stress, a racing mind, and insomnia.  

Do you think only dark pop has caffeine....think again.  Mountain Dew has 40% more caffeine then coke or pepsi.

Here is a great graphic showing what pop does to your body.

Pop isn't just the only sugary drink that you should avoid.  Jump over the the website and see how much sugar is in some of your favorite beverages.

#5 ARTIFICIAL SUGARS  "Diet-Low Fat-Sugar Free"

Artificial sugars names include:

Acesulfame potassium
Neohesperidine dihydrochalcone
Acesulfame Salt

Aspartame is by far the most commonly used in this list.  There are some 20,000+ products that contain aspartame.  Another 10-15,000 products contain the others listed either separately or in combination.

The sad thing about asparatame and the other artificial sweeteners is that they are used so extensively in the diabetic industry as well as the diet industry.  Our brains do not know how to recognize the chemical components of these substances.  Aspartame actually increases a persons cravings for carbohydrates, which in turn increases appetite.  People who consume aspartame once a day are prone to eating 500+ more calories.

Aspartame causes an endless list of negative side effects.  The main reason this happens is due to chemical methanol.  When methanol is metabolized it quickly converts to formaldehyde.  Long term use of aspartame can create a significant build up of methanol/formaldehyde and that is what has been seen to cause many of the problems associated with aspartame poisoning.

I could go on for hours about the dangers of aspartame-if you've ever talked to me you know this.  I am simply going to refer you to the best website on the subject

#6 ARTIFICIAL OILS "Fried Foods,  Margarine, Pre-packaged Foods"

Growing up with a bakery in my kitchen, I learned quickly about the cost saving of using margarine instead of butter to help the profit line.  However my parents where just as blinded by the rest of the world as to the dangers of this artificially made substance.

As well the "smear" campaign against butter has been something I have heard for as long as I can remember.  I've always thought, natural substance, artificial substance-can't understand why the natural isn't healthier!  Well in fact it is.

Here is the short list of what the world of artificial oils can do to your body:

  • Directly promotes heart disease

  • Promotes cancers: breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer

  • Results in low birth weight infants

  • Raises LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol

  • Raises blood sugar levels and promotes weight gain

  • Interferes with the absorption of essential fatty acids and DHA

  • Impairs brain function and damages brain cells

  • Accelerates tumor growth

  • Accelerates the progress of type-2 diabetes

  • Raises serum cholesterol

  • Impairs immune system function

  • Promotes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • Impairs development of the brains of fetuses

  • Causes gallbladder disease

  • Causes liver disease

  • Causes 30,000 deaths per year in the United States alone

  • Clogs blood, makes blood cells stick together

  • Blocks the body's creation of natural pain-reducing hormones (eicosanoids)

  • Causes the creation of free radicals that promote inflammation

  • Creates nutritional deficiencies of healthy oils and essential essential fatty acids(EFAs)

  • Promotes cystic fibrosis

  • Lowers essential fatty acids in the breast milk of nursing mothers

  • Clogs artery walls and promotes atherosclerosis

  • Cause gum disease and rotted teeth

  • Lowers tissue oxygen intake

  • Causes infertility

  • Directly damages blood vessels

  • Causes high blood pressure

  • Weaken cell walls and compromises cellular structure

  • Causes dandruff and acne

  • These oils are present in every processed food in some way or another.  But the most dangerous place they are used is in deep frying foods.

    Deep Frying

    Deep fried foods are not only high in fat and calories, but sometimes deep frying alters a food into a more carcinogenic food (cancer causing).  The most common carcinogenic deep fried food is potatoes. Deep fried potatoes, also known as french fries or potato chips (a huge weakness of mine, are actually carcinogenic because they contain a chemical in them called acrilamides.
    Because the potato is starchy, and because of it’s chemical makeup, these acrilamides spawn from them when deep fried – so things like potato chips and french fries are actually carcinogenic.
    Deep fried foods are also very acidic within the body. They can cause acid overload, and you can get an upset stomach and diarrhea pretty easily because they are so loaded in fat and other nasty ingredients.  You also may notice you have indigestion after eating deep fried foods – they aren’t the friendliest to you digestive system.

    #7 DAIRY  Milk-Cheese

    So here goes the controversy.  Most of us have grown up learning that "Milk makes Strong Bones".  This couldn't be further from the truth.  North Americans (both US and Canada) are amongst the highest consumers of dairy products in the world.  We also have the highest percentage of osteo bone health diseases (osteoporosis).  If Milk makes strong bones....what happened?

    If you have ever thought of using the bible as a nutrition guide, we actually find the answer to how to consume milk in Exodus 23:19.  While most of us don't eat goat, this passage translates to  "don't mix milk and meat together" totally explains why a high consumption of milk leads to osteo health issues.

    Here are some interesting facts about milk:

    • Human infants take about 180 days to double their birth weight, human milk is 5 to 7 percent protein. Calves require only 45 days doubling their birth weight and cows milk is 15 percent protein. 
    • The overall death rate for the babies raised on human milk was 1.5 deaths per 1,000 infants while the death rate in the babies fed cow milk was 84.7 per 1,000 during the first nine months of life. 
    •  The primary type of protein in cow's milk is casein. Cow's milk has 20 times as much in human milk, which makes the protein from cows milk difficult or impossible for humans to digest or absorb.
    • When a single food can be isolated as the cause of an allergy, 60 percent of the time, that food is cows milk. Symptoms of this allergic reaction to cow's milk in infants can include asthma, nasal congestion, skin rash, chest infections, irritability and fatigue.
    • Milk doesn’t reduce fractures. Contrary to popular belief, eating dairy products has never been shown to reduce fracture risk. In fact, according to the Nurses’ Health Study dairy may increase risk of fractures by 50 percent!
    • High exposure to estrogen has been shown to cause many health issues.  60-80% of the primary sources of estrogen ingestion in the US is through milk consumption.  The issue is that farmer's milk cows 300 days of the year, during which time they can be pregnant for as much as 285 days of the period.  During late pregnancy a cows estrogen production increases 33 times the normal amount, this estrogen is then passed into her milk and on to humans. 
    • Most cow's milk (organic included) has measurable quantities of herbicides, pesticides, dioxins (up to 200 times the safe levels), up to 52 powerful antibiotics, blood, pus, feces, bacteria and viruses. Cow's milk can have traces of anything the cow ate, including such things as radioactive fallout from nuke testing.

    Lactose Intolerance

    Between the ages of 18 months and 7 years humans lose the enzyme lactase that is used to break down lactose found in breast milk.  This enzyme also is used by calves to break down the lactose (or milk sugars) in cows milk.  This reduction occurs in 75% of the population.  The other 25% show a reduction of lactase production up until about age 25.

    In essence we are ALL lactose intolerant.

    Because of the lack of lactase our body has to find other was to break down the milk enzyme.  This occurs in our lower intestines. The bacteria normally found in our lower intestines is responsible for this break down.  However, this isn't how these bacteria are meant to be used.  This puts an extra load on their normal function, which results in a higher output by them of their own waste-which in turns leads to blotting, and cramps.  Then our body produces mucous in an effort to rid ourselves of the excess of this waste.  This reaction results in severe health issues.

    Health Issues Connected to Milk Consumption

    • Allergies
    • Anemia
    • Acne
    • Breast/Uterine Cancers
    • Bowel Disorders (IBS, Chrons, Colitis)
    • Diabetes
    • Ear Infections
    • Heart Disease
    • Nasal Congestion
    • Osteoporosis
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
    • Vitamin D Deficiency


    I can hear you all saying..."but Amy we don't EAT plastic"


    Here is a list of products that I can honestly say are in plastic in my home, or came to my house in plastic.

    Spices, Vitamins, Meats, Veggies, Breads, Condiments....the list can go on forever.

    I would say walking down the grocery aisle you would find hmmm 98% of all the products you find will be in direct contact with a plastic product.

    This problem came to light a couple of years ago when baby bottles lined with BPA became headline news.  This prompted many companies to remove the BPA from their product lines.  However many still contain this chemical as well as many others that have been shown to cause illnesses including cancers.

    But plastic itself with or without BPA is still a problem.  Especially when it comes to heating it. Plastics are made by combing organic and inorganic materials.  Many have chemical additives included to strengthen the plastic, or weaken it depending on the usage.

    When plastic is heated the molecules of the chemical additives change structure and are released into the food touching it.

    Two of the most commonly eaten foods are on a list of foods that even the experts won't eat are there because the come into direct contact with plastic during the manufacturing, storage, cooking process.

    Canned Tomatoes

    The expert: Fredrick vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A
    The problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people's body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. "You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that's a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young," says vom Saal. "I won't go near canned tomatoes."
    The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe's and Pomi.
    Microwave Popcorn
    The expert: Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group,
    The problem: Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize-and migrate into your popcorn. "They stay in your body for years and accumulate there," says Naidenko, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then.
    The solution: Pop natural kernels the old-fashioned way: in a skillet. For flavorings, you can add real butter or dried seasonings, such as dillweed, vegetable flakes, or soup mix.
    There are 3 categories of processed foods
    Real Food made to last longer:
    Processed food that is made from real food that has been put through chemical processes and are infused with chemicals and preservatives.  Examples:  Canned fruits/vegetables, canned meats, cheeses etc.  Preservatives are used in these foods to keep them from spoiling.
    Junk foods:
    Junk foods contain very little REAL food.  They're made of devitalized processed foods that have been fried, baked or otherwise had high levels of fats, chemicals and preservatives added to them.  Examples, chips, pop, cookies, cereals, drive through foods.  Our bodies have a hard time finding any nutrients from these foods. 

    Fake food
    Fake foods are primarily made of chemicals and contain gum and sugar fillers.   Examples: instant coffee, bottled salad dressing, dehydrated soups.
    What makes these foods harmful.  Processed foods have one thing in common....the nutrition they input is greatly out weighed by the energy it takes our body to process digest, absorb and eliminate them.\
    Our ancestors preserved foods naturally, using salts, fermentation and sun drying.  Food processing has evolved away from these simple practices.  Nearly 6,000 additives and chemicals are used by food companies to process our food.  Many of them are shown to have devastating effects on our health.
    Alot of manufacturers add in vitamins and minerals.  The sad thing is this is necessary because of the processing of the "real" food has stripped these nutrients out of the foods.

    SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.....ready to find out what you can eat???? I sure am.  Next blog to come will include lists of foods TO EAT!

    Hugs and health


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