There are many misconceptions about natural foods and processed foods. The biggest one is that processed foods contain toxic chemicals and natural or organic foods do not.
The fact is that all foods, regardless of how it is grown, processed and packaged, are made of chemicals and contain some traces of toxicity.
A perfect example is a common potato that contains a certain level of arsenic and solanine, both very toxic to the human body if too much is consumed.
This is why I am STRONGLY against all these fad diets that have you consume massive amounts of a small food group. You have heard about these, the cookie diet, the mango diet, juicing, the cabbage diet and the list goes on and on and on. What makes them popular is its simplicity, eat massive amounts of ‘just this’ and you will lose weight.
The best diet is one that has a LARGE variety of complex carb and protein sources. In a single day I may get all my protein from eggs, fish, poultry and on the weekends meat. I am not overindulging in just one protein source. The same goes for my complex carb intake. Variety is the spice of life!
Natural Toxins in foods…
Here is a list of toxins that are found in natural foods:
Cyanide apricot and peach kernels, bamboo shoots, almonds, lima beans
Oxalic acid spinach
Nitrates celery, cabbage, spinach
Aflatoxin peanuts, corn, wheat rice,
Arsenic rice depending on the soil it is grown in. This is not meant to mean
the soil is contaminated, it just means the soil ‘naturally’ has it.
This isn’t to scare you into NOT eating these foods, it is just to make you aware that there is toxicity all around us and to also make sure you mix the types of foods that you eat so as to not over do it in one specific toxin.
Depending on how a food is processed, it can contain a variety of toxins itself. I usually stay away from ANYTHING canned because it is usually pumped with sugar or sugar derivative and if it is vegetables, stripped of its fiber content in order for it not to spoil right away. This extends shelf life which allows the vendor to eventually sell its inventory rather than throwing it away.
So some of the main additives I try to stay away from or minimize because it may be impossible to avoid are:
Sugar, I try to minimize it if I can’t get something that has zero sugar.
High Fructose Corn Syrup, this I stay away from completely! This is basically sugar on steroids. If I see it on something I want to buy I quickly put it back on the shelf. You will see this commonly in canned foods, ketchups and barbeque sauces.
GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms), this is a tough one to avoid. This is genetically modified corn and soybean for example where its genetic makeup is modified to resist bugs, etc. The problem is that the majority of these two crops are GMO. And even if you were to stay away from it, you may buy meats and poultry that was fed GMO crops along with other additives in their meals.
So it is very hard to be clean here but at least you are educated to read labels and see if there are ‘natural’ alternatives out there. You can see meats and poultry that says it was raised without the use of GMO. At this point it is very expensive but hopefully as more and more people become aware of GMO, the food industry can be forced to go back to natural means.
MSG, is a salt chemical that is known to cause headaches, heart problems and brain issues.
Most vegetables oils are toxic regardless if they are trans-fat, hydrogenated and even unsaturated. Many of these oils are derived from GMO canola, soy or corn oil.
Instead stick with a healthy alternative like olive oil, grass fed butter, coconut oil and even hemp oil.
I like to use olive oil and coconut oil. To save money, you do not have to buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil if your intent is to cook with it. Just buy normal olive oil. The Extra Virgin just gives you extra flavor to use on salads so you are just burning money if you use it to cook with.
Hope this ‘buyer beware’ post helps in choosing what to eat and what quantities to eat in order to be…Fit Forlife!