10 Foods That Will Harm Your Health

October 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Unhealthy Food, Unhealthy Body

Food shopping, like many of our daily activities, involve decisions, decision, decisions…. Our modern life style often prevents us from making good nutritional decisions. There’s not enough time, convenience takes precedence, old habits dictate. As far as nutrition is concerned, the ugly truth is that poor decisions will play havoc with your health. Have you ever stopped and considered the research you do and the decisions you make about your nutrition and compared these decision with those you undoubtedly make in regard to your most valuable possessions, e.g. you house, car, computer or washing machine etc. You would not knowingly put toxic substances into your car engine, or infect your computer with viruses, would you? Neither would you knowingly tolerate termites eating their way into your home. Yet, this is exactly what a great many people do to the most precious possession they have – their own body. The foods produced by our modern day food industries – who have existed less than the last 5% of human existence – are the main cause of modern day diseases like coronary heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, and others. Moreover, they are the cause of what has now become a worldwide epidemic – obesity. The food producers stock our supermarket shelves with unhealthy and outright poisonous foods, often with false and totally misleading labeling. False advertising is supposedly illegal in most countries but this law does not seem to apply to the food industry. However, you do have a choice; you are under no obligation to consume these foods.

You just need to make sound decisions when you stand at the doorstep of your supermarket, or when you are ordering your take-away food for lunch or fast food at a restaurant or food stall. So, let’s reveal the food choices you should limit or not consume at all if you care about your health and well being. Beware that this is a LONG blog post. It is full of depressing information but ends with some recommendations on the type of decisions you can make to better look after yourself and your family.

Beware These Foods

Wheat

The wheat produced today is not the wheat our forefathers consumed. Instead, it is a genetically modified and scientifically engineered food product that has been developed and “refined” over the last 50 years. Tragically, it has also been observed that the history of wheat parallels the history of modern day chronic disease and obesity. To quote Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D. (Huffington Post, 18 Feb 2012) “There are 3 reasons why wheat products, not just gluten, in parallel with sugar consumption, is a major contributor to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, depression and so many other modern ills.” This new modern wheat is different in three important ways:

  1. It contains a super Starch, a substance that contains high levels of a starch called amylopectin A which is very fattening.
  2. It contains a form of gluten that causes several inflammatory diseases like diabetes and obesity.
  3. It contains forms of an addictive drug that causes hunger feelings and makes you more hungry.

Gluten itself can trigger inflammation, obesity and chronic disease in several major ways.

  1. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation that can lead to insulin resistance. This, in turn, may cause weight gain and diabetes as well as autoimmune diseases, irritable bowel, reflux, cancer, depression, osteoporosis and more.
  2. Low-level inflammation reactions to gluten trigger the same problems even if you don’t have full-blown celiac disease but just have elevated antibodies.
  3. Recent research has also revealed that adverse reactions to gluten may result from problems in very different parts of the immune system than those implicated in celiac disease. This means that people can be gluten-sensitive without having celiac disease or gluten antibodies and still have inflammation and many other symptoms.
  4. Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) present in whole wheat causes body inflammation as well. It can lead to heart attacks.

Sugar

There is little doubt that sugar, as far as nutrition goes, is public enemy number one. If in doubt, watch the video that appears in my blog post titled “The Uncomfortable Truth About Sugars“. Food products rich in sugar are cakes, biscuits, muffins, bagels, fruit juices, soft drinks and also breads.

Artificial Sweeteners

These substances are most commonly added to soft drink products. The greatest fallacy is their presence in the “diet drinks” and “sports drinks”, often advertised as “health drinks”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin actually cause greater weight gain than sugar. The dishonesty of drink suppliers does stop there either

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), a sweetener first manufactured in Japan as early as 1965. Also called glucose/fructose, it is a substance that has undergone enzymatic processing to convert glucose into fructose to improve the sweetness. Fructose is essentially a toxic substance that our bodies do not digest properly. HFCS is a very common additive in all sorts of foods. Check your food labels and you will find that it commonly appears in packaged and processed foods.
  • Aspartame, made up of aspartic acid and synthetically modified phenylalanine which, in this sweetener, creates methanol. The methanol easily enters sensitive body tissue like brain and bone marrow where an enzyme converts it into a substance which damages proteins and DNA. Certain studies claim this toxin aids in the development of dementia like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson disease. Stay clear of it.
  • Splenda (sucralose) is an artificial sweetener that contains no elements of natural sugar. In fact, it contains a degree of chlorine. Splenda destroys healthy essential gut bacteria.

Soy Products

For many years, I believed the hype about soy milk being a healthy drink. The truth is the most soybeans that enter the food chain today are genetically modified in order to withstand high levels of pesticide. The ONLY soy products which are healthy are those made from organic soy that has been properly fermented. Unfermented soy products have, in numerous scientific studies, been linked to immune system degradation, thyroid problems, cognitive damage, reproductive disorders and infertility, even cancer and heart disease. The damaging ingredient in unfermented soy is called glyphosate and can be found in products like protein bars, soups and sauces, baked goods, breakfast cereals, dietary supplements and bottled fruit drinks. It is simply amazing that soy industry representatives, either active within regulatory bodies or influencing such bodies, have been able to hide the ugly truth from the public. Food producers even get away with using synonym names for soy to label their products; names like bouillon, natural flavor or textured plant protein.

Processed Meats

A 2011 review, produced by the World Cancer Research Fund, which was based on more than 7,000 clinical studies, found that processed meats are unhealthy and should be entirely excluded from your diet. These foods include deli meat like sausages, salami and ham. The problem with these foods is the origin of the meats used and the chemical processes used to prepare the foods. Most meats used originate from animals raised in feed lots where they are given growth hormones, antibiotics and other drugs meant to promote their growth despite deplorable living conditions. These meats contain sodium nitrite which is a preservative that also contains an agent that destroys microorganisms that might carry disease. Good for the animals, maybe, but read on to discover what it does inside your body. Nitrates are converted in your body into cancer producing chemicals (nitrosamines) which are linked to colon, stomach and pancreatic cancers. And it doesn’t stop there. Most deli products may also contain harmful chemicals that do not originate in animal feed lots but are produced during the manufacturing process. These include:

  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs). Many deli products are smoked as a curing process and excess smoke generated during this process can transfer PAHs to the meat. PAHs are known cancer producing chemicals.
  • Heterocyclic amines (HCAs). These compounds are created when meats, or other foods, are cooked at high temperatures. They are associated with stomach, colon and breast cancers.
  • Advanced glycation products (AGEs). Again, these compounds are formed when foods are cooked at high temperatures and particularly when grilled or fried without water. AGEs absorbed in your body increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and disease.

See separate blog post about Advanced Glycation End Products here. Further References .If You Eat Processed Meats, Are You Risking Your Life at Mercola.com.

Vegetable Oils and Margarine

Vegetable oils include palm oil, soybean oil, corn oil and even canola oil. I choose to quote Mike Geary, a Certified Nutrition Specialist and originator of The Truth About ABS program, who explains the dangers of hydrogenated oils and margarine in a no-nonsense fashion . “Hydrogenated oils are industrially produced, chemically altered oils subjected to extremely high pressure and temperature, with added industrial solvents such as hexane for extraction, and have a metal catalyst added to promote the artificial hydrogenation, followed by bleaching and deodorizing agents…..and somehow the FDA still allows this crap to pass as food. These oils aren’t even worthy of your lawnmower, much less your body! They’ve been linked to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more. Even small quantities have been shown in studies to be dangerous. If you care about your health, check the ingredients of everything you buy, and if you see partially hydrogenated oils of any kind, margarine, or shortening, protect yourself and your family by choosing something else.” If you don’t believe him, then allow me to quote Dr. Mercola, in his article on foods to avoid: “Of all the destructive foods available to us, those made with heated vegetable oils are some of the worst. These oils may be healthy in their natural stage but are anything but healthy after the manufacturing process they undergo to become commercially available.” Oxidized cholesterol is introduced into your system every time you eat something cooked in vegetable oil. The oil you use for cooking should be stable enough not to change its chemical structure when heated. Processed vegetable oils DO change their chemical structure and become oxidized (rancid). This oxidization converts good cholesterol to bad cholesterol. In introduces oxidized cholesterol into your blood and this will cause build-up of plaque like substances in your arteries. The manufacturing process for vegetable oils also introduces trans fats which happen to be the worst fat you can consume. And, finally, you should be aware that many of these commercial oils are made from genetically modified crops Further Reference: Why Hydrogenated Oils Should be Avoided at All Costs”.

Foods Packaged in Grease Proof Food Wrappers

The best example of foods packaged in these types of toxic materials may be microwave popcorns. Chemicals in a group called perfluoroalkyls which contain perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) are embedded in grease proof food wrappers in order to stop grease leaking through the wrapper. Bodies like the Environmental Protection Agency has classified these chemicals as “likely carcinogens” and claimed that PFOA causes reproductive risks for humans. Various researches have also linked PFCs to health dangers like infertility, thyroid disease, cancer, immune system damage and increase LDL cholesterol levels. So, how do you protect yourself from this type of industrial food packaging assault? Be aware that these substances occur in non-stick cookware, foods sold in grease-proof food packaging such as fast foods and microwave popcorn.

Canned Foods

The problem here is the protective coating applied to canned food containers. The epoxy resin used contains Bisphenos A (BPA), a chemical widely used in the manufacturing of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy raisins. This chemical is linked to reproductive abnormalities, breast and prostrate cancers, diabetes and heart disease. The canned foods identified as high risk are acidic foods which can cause the chemical to leach into the food stored. Canned tomatoes have been identified as the acidic food product most likely to be contaminated. BPA can leach into the food you consume from products such as polycarbonate tableware, food storage containers, water bottles, and baby bottles. The leakage is said to depend on the temperature of the liquid stored and the age of the container. To minimize exposure to this chemical, do NOT microwave polycarbonate plastic food containers , avoid canned foods, and choose glass, porcelain or stainless containers as a preference.

Fruit Juices

A great many people would consider fruit juices a healthy addition to their nutrition. However, I caution you to read the label to determine the sugar content in juice you purchase. In many cases, it is as high as 10%. Such a ratio of sugar would put the juice into the same category as Coke or Pepsi.

Table Salt

The problem with table salt is that it is a processed product, not a natural product. Processed salt contains 98% sodium chloride to which has been added chemicals such as iodine, moisture absorbents and, in some European countries, fluoride. By contrast, natural, unprocessed salt is made up of 84% sodium chloride. The remaining 16% of its content are natural minerals such as silicon, phosphorous and vanadium.

Further Bad News

I have outlined a large range of foods which are best avoided if you care about your health. To add to the list, and I apologize if this blog post is getting just a bit depressing, recent research has revealed another range of poisonous substances that may well have found their way into your food supplies. The following substances are banned in most countries but, depending in which country you live, may well appear in common foods you purchase.

  • Ractopamine. This substance is banned in the EU and China. However, various consumer reports have found this substance in 20% o all pork products.
  • Antibiotics. Recent studies have found that no less than 80% of supermarket meats in the U.S. contain antibiotics which damage your gut flora.
  • rBGH. This substance commonly appears in milk production in the U.S. This substance has been banned in Canada, EU, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Israel because it the levels of the hormone IGF-1 which, in turn, increases the risk of cancers.
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Although more than 50 countries around the world require GMO foods to be labeled, and many countries have banned such foods, GMO foods are NOT labeled in the U.S. The disturbing fact is that close to 90% of soy, corn, canola and sugar beet products in the U.S. are not genetically modified. A 2012 study on animals revealed that GMO foods revealed serious health risks from the consumption of GMO foods, including the development of tumors and liver damage.
  • Potassium bromate. This substance appears in breads and was identified by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSP), a non-profit Washington based consumer advocate group, as a potential cancer risk in 1991. This substance has been banned in several countries.

The horrible truth is that the best way to avoid foods that are bad for your health, is to steer clear of food products labeled as “health claims”. Such labeling is often a blatant scam that promotes “whole grains” in processed foods that are full of sugar and wheat.