We indeed are what we eat and what we are eating in many ‘first world
nations’ is quite scary. The chemicals added to these ‘foods’ are
disrupting our hormones, causing cancer and leading to a variety of health
“In the 21st century our tastes buds, our
brain chemistry, our biochemistry, our hormones and our kitchens have been
hijacked by the food industry.” ~ Mark Hyman
The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan is
one of my favorite books. He describes his journey through 4 different ways of
obtaining food: industrialized (or fast) food, conventional farming practices,
organic/symbiotic farming practices, and people that hunt/forage for their
meals. He follows the food chain literally from the ground to the table.
“Much of our food system depends on our not knowing much about it,
beyond the price disclosed by the checkout scanner; cheapness and ignorance
are mutually reinforcing. And it’s a short way from not knowing who’s at
the other end of your food chain to not caring–to the carelessness of both
producers and consumers that characterizes our economy today. Of course, the
global economy couldn’t very well function without this wall of ignorance
and the indifference it breeds. This is why the American food industry and
its international counterparts fight to keep their products from telling
even the simplest stories–”dolphin safe,” “humanely slaughtered,”
etc.–about how they were produced. The more knowledge people have about
the way their food is produced, the more likely it is that their
values–and not just “value”–will inform their purchasing
decisions.” ~ Michael Pollan
I highly encourage you to do your own research in regards to not only the
products that you put into your body but also the products
you put ontoyour body (check out the Skindeep website to
research your personal care products). If you’d like to live a life full of
health and vitality, start by controlling your food choices. This is the
easiest and most controllable factor in regards to health. I always aim for
fresh, local and in season produce. And in regards to what I DON’T ever eat,
well that’s this list below.
- Canned Foods - We live in a world where
convenience is king. I know this. It’s hard to find fresh produce and to
only eat what is in season, kind of. When you buy canned foods, however,
you are also buying BPA - a toxic chemical linked to reproductive
abnormalities, neurological effects, diabetes, heart disease and a
heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers. Canned foods that are
highly acidic, such as tomatoes for example, cause the BPA to leach into
your food. I recommend you avoid canned foods, whenever possible, and
stick to what’s fresh and season. You can also switch over to glass
containers or frozen foods instead.
- Processed Meats - Most deli meats are typically
made with meats from animals that are not raised in an ecologically sound
fashion. They are given growth hormones, antibiotics and other drugs that
stick in their bodies and are passed on to you when you eat their flesh.
They are also raised in horrible conditions that gives rise to innumerable
diseases that are then treated with more drugs. These meats are also
treated with sodium nitrite (which adds color and flavor) which your body
converts to nitrosamines, which are cancer-causing chemicals. Most processed meats also contain a variety of other
cancer-promoting chemicals including HCAs, PAHs, and AGEs. Says
Michael Pollan in his book the Omnivore’s Dilemma, “were the
walls of our meat industry to become transparent, literally or even
figuratively, we would not long continue to raise, kill, and eat animals
the way we do.” If you’re going to eat meat, avoid all
processed meats at all costs. Go for local and sustainably raised (and
grass-fed) meat. Wild caught salmon (and other fish) are a great
alternative as well.
- Margarine -
The low-fat diet craze is perhaps one of the worst diet fads to happen in
the last 50 years. Healthy fats are ESSENTIAL to your diet as your cells
are built with fat. Margarine, and other butter impostors, are loaded with
trans fats, free radicals, emulsifiers, and preservatives. Any of these
alone can lead to: heart disease, cancer, bone problems, hormonal
imbalances, skin disease, infertility, and many more health problems.
Don’t let clever marketing fool you. Good old fashioned butter, when
made from grass-fed cows, is a healthy substance filled with conjugated
linoleic acid which actually helps to fight cancer and diabetes.
- Vegetable Oils - Vegetable oils (and margarine,
made from these oils) are oils extracted from seeds like the rapeseed
(canola oil) soybean (soybean oil), corn, sunflower, and safflower. They
were practically non-existent in our diets until the early 1900s when new
chemical processes allowed them to be extracted. Vegetable oils are
manufactured in a factory, usually from genetically modified crops that
have been heavily treated with pesticides. Unlike butter or coconut oil,
these vegetable oils can’t be extracted just by pressing or separating
naturally. They must be chemically removed, deodorized, and altered. These
are some of the most chemically altered foods in our diets. Vegetable oils
are found in practically every processed food, from salad dressing to
potato chips to mayo to conventional nuts and seeds. Today, people
consume, on average, about 70 pounds of vegetable oils throughout the
year! Anytime you cook a food, you run the risk of creating heat-induced
damage. The oils you choose to cook with must be stable enough to resist
chemical changes when heated to high temperatures, or you run the risk of
damaging your health. One of the ways vegetable oils can inflict damage is
by converting your good cholesterol into bad cholesterol–by oxidizing
it. When you cook with polyunsaturated vegetable oils (such as canola,
corn, and soy oils), oxidized cholesterol is introduced into your system.
As the oil is heated and mixed with oxygen, it goes rancid. Rancid oil is
oxidized oil and should NOT be consumed–it leads directly to vascular
disease. Trans-fats are introduced when these oils are hydrogenated, which
increases your risk of chronic diseases like breast cancer and heart
disease. Instead, whenever I cook, I use either butter or coconut oil.
Coconut oil is practically 100% saturated, which means it is stable at
high temperatures. It also is very beneficial to the
health of your body.
- Microwave Popcorn - Honestly, you shouldn’t eat anything that’s been put in a microwave,
but especially microwave popcorn! The bags of microwave popcorn contain chemicals called
perfluoroalkyls which keep the grease from leaking through the fast food
wrappers. These ‘gender bending’ chemicals disrupt the endocrine
system and are carcinogenic. They are linked to infertility, thyroid
malfunction, cancerous tumors, and immunological problems. I highly
recommend you toss your microwave out today. Opt for the old fashioned
route of stove-top or air-popped popcorn. And also know that most fast
food or junk food wrappers contain these chemicals and are adding toxicity
to your body.
- Non-Organic Produce - I’ve read plenty of
articles about the ‘safest non-organic’ produce to
eat. Which simply makes me laugh. Sure, the thick skin of the fruit or
vegetable may ‘protect’ the edible portion inside, but what about the
fact that the chemicals are sprayed on the plants, leach into the
groundwater and are absorbed into the plant by the roots? And what about
the workers and the surrounding areas of conventional farms that are
affected by the toxic chemicals? Produce that has been treated with toxic
chemicals affects the planet as a whole regardless of the thickness of the
skin of the product. Do yourself, and the rest of us a favor, buy local and organic whenever possible.
- Table Salt - Did you know that processed salt is 98% sodium
chloride and the remaining 2% consists of dangerous chemicals like
ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate in addition to fluoride? Natural salt,
like sea salt for example, is only 84% sodium chloride with the remaining
16% consisting of trace minerals like silicon, phosphorous and vanadium.
Salt is essential to your health in it’s natural form. I personally
enjoy the flavor of Himalayan sea salt. But there are a variety of salts
out there. Try black lava salt from Hawaii or Fleur de sel from France.
But like anything, go easy on the salt in your diet. Even though the
minerals are good for your body, too much can still lead to a variety of
health problems like high blood pressure. And remember, most processed foods are loaded with sodium, so avoid them
at all costs.
- Soy Products - Soy is one of the leading genetically modified
(GM) foods on the planet today (along with corn). GM soy has been shown to
cause damage to the female reproductive system and is toxic to the
placenta. Soy can be found in practically everything from protein bars to
bottled fruit drinks to soups and sauces to baked goods and even breakfast
cereals! It’s important to read labels as soy is hidden in many
processed foods. The only
soy which can promote health is organic fermented soy products.
- Artificial Sweeteners - Without going into too
much scientific detail,aspartame forms methanol in the body. Methanol is
carried into the brain and bone marrow, where it’s converted into
formaldehyde, which damages DNA. All animals, except humans, can
harmlessly break down methanol into formic acid. This is why animal
testing is incorrect in regards to the safety of artificial sweeteners and humans. If you need to
sweeten something go for natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup or
- Sugar - As a continuation of the point above, sugar suppresses the immune system, leads to
weight gain and leaches precious minerals from your body. Sugar, even in
small amounts, is detrimental to your health. It suppresses the immune
system for hours and plays significant effect on your hormones, throwing
your body out of balance and into a state of biochemical chaos. If you eat
sugar, morning, noon and night, your body is always in this state of chaos
leading to disease. Furthermore, sugar is actually an anti-nutrient,
meaning that it leaches nutrients from your body! Because certain
nutrients are removed from sugar in the refining process, your body cannot
process it. So, it leaches minerals from your body to attach to the
refined sugar molecules in order to move the sugar through your body.
Also, because it’s an anti-nutrient, sugar also causes calcium to
be lost in the urine, which in turn is replaced by calcium from the bones,
leading to osteoporosis.You may say ‘but I don’t eat sugar,’ but
what you mean is that you don’t ADD sugar to your meals and drinks. Once
you start reading labels of boxed foods, you’ll soon learn that sugar
(in all of its chemically created/altered forms) is present in most, if
not all, processed foods. It’s almost impossible to avoid! Stay away
from processed foods and drinks in order to stray away from sugar and
stick to the natural sweeteners.
Honestly – the easiest way to stay healthy is to eat whole un-refined and
fresh foods. As Michael Pollan stated beautifully: “If it came
from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.” Words
to live by, my friends.
About the Author
Erin Schumacher is
a Certified Natural Health and Holistic Nutrition Practitioner (CNHP; CHNP)
She specializes in detoxification programs, internal cleanses, and helping
clients build strong immune systems. She also travels internationally to do
raw food workshops, yoga retreats, and personal coaching. In addition, Erin is
a Certified Power Yoga Instructor and a Certified Raw Food Chef from the
SunKitchen. For more information, visit ErinSchumacher.net.
8 Foods You Must Never Eat
Thursday, December 26, 2013 15:16
If you’re reading this message, I would assume that you’re vertical,
breathing and your heart is beating.
I want to help you stay that way for as long as possible!
So I’m going to tell you about 8 common foods (or food ingredients) that
should be labeled with a skull and crossbones because they will
help ensure you’re horizontal, without a pulse and deep-sixed long before
you should be.
These foods that are so deadly and harmful that
eating (or drinking) them on a regular basis will most assuredly chop
years off your life, and guarantee that the years you have left will
find you facing sickness, disease and very likely obesity.
I call them the Evil Eight.
Here they are:
ANY soda — diet or regular — is acid in a bottle (or can). It’s
SO acidic that it takes 32 CUPS of water to neutralize the acid in
just ONEcan of soda in your body!
Having so much acid in your system puts a tremendous strain on your kidneys,
which filter acid out of your bloodstream and put it into your urine.
Your body also uses its own alkaline minerals (including calcium
from your bones and magnesium from your muscles) to neutralize the
acid. Eventually that can lead to osteoporosis, weak muscles, tooth
decay and brittle, porous bones that fracture easily.
Plus soda contains the worst form of sugar on the planet–high
fructose corn syrup (more on that further down).
Don’t think diet soda is any better–because here are the dangers of
2) Artificial sweeteners
Simply put, they’re poisons. No other way to say it.
Take aspartame (NutraSweet), for example–the artificial sweetener
found in most diet sodas.
A recent comprehensive study showed that drinking just ONE 12 oz. diet soda
a day increases your risk of leukemia by an alarming 42%!
Plus the study also showed a 102% higher risk of multiple myeloma
and 31% increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in men!
Note that diet soda is by far THE largest source of aspartame in the US.
Every year, we consume about 5,250 tons of aspartame in
total, of which about 86% (4,500 tons) comes from diet sodas.
Plus here are some other documented side effects of aspartame:
- Blindness in one or both eyes
- Decreased vision and/or other eye problems such as blurring, flashes,
- Eye pain; Dry eyes/decreased tears
- Confusion/memory loss
- Severe drowsiness and sleepiness
- Numbness of the arms and legs
- Slurring of speech
- Severe depression
- Anxiety/phobias (fears)
- Personality changes
- Heart palpitations/rapid heart beat
- Shortness of breath
- High blood pressure
- Diarrhea, sometimes with blood in stools
- Stomach pain/pain while swallowing
Skin and Allergies:
- Itching without a rash; Hives
Endocrine and Metabolic:
- Loss of control of diabetes
- Thinning or loss of hair
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Severe PMS symptoms
But wait! There’s more:
The most severe effects of aspartame poisoning are:
- Irreversible brain damage
- Birth defects, including mental retardation
- Aspartame addiction and increased craving for sweets
- Hyperactivity in children
- Severe depression
- Aggressive behavior
- Suicidal tendencies
I know what you’re thinking at this point.
What about Splenda?
Answer: It’s no better.
Studies are associating Splenda with a growing list of medical
problems that include:
- Flushing or redness of the skin; rashes
- Anxiety; panic attacks
- Nausea; bloating; diarrhea; vomiting
- Stomach cramps
- Depression; becoming withdrawn
- Feeling forgetful; memory loss
- Feeling irate, impatient, hypersensitive, moody
- Chest and body pains
If you want to use a non-calorie sweetener, use Stevia.
It’s been around for centuries and has a proven track record of SAFETY.
3) High fructose corn syrup
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is directly associated with
the following conditions:
- Kidney disease
- High cholesterol
- Raised insulin levels (leading to diabetes)
- High uric acid levels (which can result in arthritis)
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Plus studies have shown unsafe levels of mercury in high
fructose corn syrup.
Mercury is a poison to your brain and nervous system.
It has been linked to fertility problems, memory and vision loss, chronic
fatigue, neuro-muscular dysfunction, autism, heart disease, Parkinson’s
disease and multiple sclerosis.
What makes this problem SO huge is the fact that HFCS is found in just about
EVERY type of product on the store shelves! In addition to (regular)
soda, that includes ketchup, barbecue sauces, salad dressings, gravies,
drink mixes, breads, cereals, cookies & cakes, ice cream, crackers,
pastries (including Pop-tarts), stuffing, granola bars, cottage cheese,
yogurt, and even cough syrup and cold medicines!
So what should you do?
Read labels and find alternatives. Organic products typically
don’t contain HFCS.
Plus, the less you rely on packaged foods, the better (more on that below).
4) Hydrogenated oils
Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils contain trans-fats, which are
fats that don’t exist in nature, so your body CANNOT metabolize them.
Instead, they just accumulate in your tissues, clog your arteries and cause
inflammation, cell damage and heart disease.
These Franken-fats are found in deep fried foods, margarine, baked goods,
powdered and artificial coffee creamers, and most processed (packaged)
Look for the words “hydrogenated” or “partially
hydrogenated” on package labels. If you see them, do NOT buy
5) Nitrite cured meats
Cured meats made with sodium nitrite (or sodium nitrate) include hot
dogs, lunch meat, bacon, ham and corned beef.
When you eat nitrites, they can be converted into nitrosamines (which are
potent cancer-causing chemicals) in your body. The primary
types of cancers associated with nitrite consumption are colo-rectal,
stomach and pancreatic.
In addition, children born to women who ate a lot of cured meats during
pregnancy have a two to three times greater risk of developing a brain
tumor than those born to mothers who did not eat cured meats.
6) Processed foods
Processed “foods” include all packaged foods (in boxes, cans, jars, bags
or frozen cartons) that contain ingredients other than a real, unalteredfood.
Although the appeal behind them is convenience and an indefinite shelf life,
they are extremely dangerous and loaded with chemicals and
preservatives that your body was never meant to ingest.
Besides the chemicals they contain, processed foods are deadly to your
health for these reasons:
* They provide no usable naturally occurring nutrients;
they use up loads of your digestive enzymes, and then basically turn to
nothing but waste.
* They contain no water to transport nutrients or carry away wastes
from your body, like fruits and vegetables do. Instead, they add to
the waste pile, making you very toxic.
* Since processed “foods” don’t nourish you, even
though your stomach may be physically full, your body thinks it still needs
more food because it hasn’t gotten nourished from what you’ve eaten…so
your hunger bell will ring again soon, my friend.
That’s why you can polish off an entire family-size bag of Doritos then
feel hungry again an hour later.
It’s no wonder that 1 out of 3 people in the US is obese
and those numbers continue to climb, huh?
7) Farmed salmon
Farmed salmon are crammed into little pens and fed things they were nevermeant
to ingest like soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers.
As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D than fresh caught
and higher in contaminants such as carcinogens, PCBs and
pesticideslike dioxin and DDT.
Fresh caught salmon (and ALL kinds of fish) is always best.
8) Tap water
All water is NOT created equal.
Since our bodies are naturally (meant to be) alkaline, our water
must be alkaline too. But thanks to acid rain and
the chemicalsadded by municipalities, that’s not always a given.
Regular (unfiltered) tap water is acidic and contains harmful toxins like fluoride
Avoid tap water (this includes water fountains) at ALL possible
cost, no matter what you may read in the news or your local politician may
Strive to drink bottled or filtered water of some type.
So there you have them–the Evil Eight.
But knowing about the Evil Eight is only half of the equation.
Because it’s even MORE important to avoid them at all cost AND help to undo
the harmful effects they may have already had on your health!
Here are the best ways YOU can fight the Evil Eight:
1) Eat to live–don’t live to eat
What’s best for your body (and will help you live disease-free
well into your golden years) are REAL foods eaten in easy-to-digest
Once you get away from things like soda and processed foods, you lose your
taste for them and end up craving REAL food.
Here’s a perfect example. I haven’t had soda in probably 25 years,
but I mistakenly took a sip of a pre-poured Diet Coke at a party once,
thinking it was iced tea.
It tasted like kerosene! I had to run to the bathroom and spit it out.
You’ll soon wonder why you ever settled for anything less!
When you exist on nutritious real foods, your body naturally becomes more alkaline.
All of your systems can work like they’re supposed to.
Excess pounds can slide off. Aches and pains can dissipate.
You may need less or no medication.
And you help add years on to your precious life.
Note: If you’ve got gluten sensitivity or Celiac,
Great Taste No Gluten is for you instead:
2) Rebuild your internal army
If you’ve been eating the Evil Eight a lot or even occasionally,
chances are excellent that your friendly intestinal flora may be seriously imbalanced… and
your digestion impaired and immune system greatly compromised as a result.
to help keep your population of friendly bacteria strong and ready for
whatever dangerous viruses, infections or toxins come your way.
Plus it helps your beneficial bacteria compete with the harmful bacteria for
“parking spaces” along your intestinal wall, crowding the bad guys out
so they can be swept away with your bowel movements.
3) Fill in for Nature
Hard to digest meals and processed foods require a Herculean effort on the
part of your system to break down… and in this process, it expends
BOATLOADS of enzymes.
But unfortunately, there is not an endless ocean of enzymes inside of you.
Sooner or later, you will reach the point where your body can’t adequately
produce them anymore.
So if you’ve had a less-than-stellar diet and the Evil Eight have been your companions
for a while, chances are good that you may be close to an “enzyme
That’s where you can help where Nature may be running short… with an enzyme
Do all you can to keep the Evil Eight out of your life and fight back from
the health toll they may have already taken on you.
And I guarantee you’ll see a difference in how YOU feel very soon!
To your health,
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