Posted by joe rigs on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 Under: Health
1. Vegetable Oils (including soybean, canola and corn oils)
Why: These oils are loaded with rancid and inflammatory polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). They’re not only a cause of inflammation, but also oxidative stress, obesity, neurological disorders and more.
What to choose instead: Opt for healthy, natural fats like butter, olive oil or coconut oil. These fats and oils are packed with nutrients and can even protect you from disease. You can even choose natural fats like lard or tallow when you get them from a trusted source such as a local farmer.
2. Farm-Raised Fish
Why: Farm-raised fish are fed an unnatural diet which includes things like PCPs, synthetic dyes and even chicken feces (eek!). They also have high levels of antibiotics and pesticides.
What to choose instead: Always look for wild-caught fish. Try to choose smaller varieties most of the time to avoid higher levels of mercury and other toxins. Fish is still an excellent source of nutrients including selenium and omega-3 fats and is a far better option than taking omega-3 supplements.
3. Industrial Milk
Why: Milk from cows raised in CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) is more difficult to digest than it’s natural counterpart. That’s the best part. Commercial dairy cows are pumped full of antibiotics and growth stimulants to force them to produce more and more milk. Infections and inflammation are inevitable and this milk often contains more toxins, bacteria and... wait for it... puss. You do not want to dunk your cookies in that!
What to choose instead: Get to know your local farmer. The best option is to get your milk and dairy from small local farmers who care for their animals and feed them an appropriate grass-fed diet. Fresh, raw milk is loaded with nutrients and is easier to digest then commercial pasteurized milk. The next best option is to choose organic grass-fed dairy.
4. Soybean Products
Why: About 90% of soybeans are now genetically modified and the truth is, we simply do not know the long term health implications of GMOs. Studies have linked GMOs to cancer, infertility and a variety of other diseases. That’s just the beginning of the problem. Soy products are highly processed, heavily sprayed with chemicals and are known to suppress thyroid function in humans. If that wasn’t enough, the farming practices (monoculture) used to raise soy are causing the erosion and degradation of our soil. In other words, our farmlands are turning into deserts. Other GMO crops to avoid include corn, canola, sugar beats and cottonseed.
What to choose instead: If consuming legumes of any kind, choose organic and raw. Soak them overnight before cooking to help mitigate anti-nutrients such as phytic acid. Choose fresh, local and seasonal produce whenever possible. Soy has traditionally been fermented and used as a condiment and not a staple. Fermented soy products can actually have some benefits and include tamari, soy sauce, tempeh, miso and natto.
5. Processed Sugar
Why: I was going to call this one High Fructose Corn Syrup but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Most white sugar is now made with GMO sugar beets, in addition to the corn that makes HFCS. These sugars are not only devoid of nutrients, they can potentially rob your body of nutrient stores. These processed sugars spike your insulin putting you on a perpetual sugar roller coster.
I also can’t ignore the so-called “healthy” sweetener, Agave Syrup. Agave is not natural and it certainly not unprocessed or raw. In fact, it a highly processed sweetener that barely ranks above HFCS. Steer clear of this so-called “healthy” sugar alternative.
What to choose instead: I’m not completely anti-sugar. How much and what kind you ingest really depends on your personal goals. Sugar is not inherently bad– it’s just that we consume about 20 times the amount we ingested just a couple of hundred years ago. In other words, in 1822 we consumed the equivalent of 1 can of soda every five days. Today we consume the amount of sugar in about 18 cans of soda every five days. Trust me, we haven’t adapted that quickly to eating that much sugar.
Choose things like honey, maple syrup or good old-fashioned organic cane sugar. Again, the amount you eat depends on your personal health situation and goals.
6. Whatever doesn’t make you feel good
Why: Every individual is, well, an individual. We might have different reactions, allergies or sensitivities to various foods so number five remains open for you to discover on your own. Food sensitivities can be a source of chronic stress and inflammation which can lead to a multitude of health issues.
What to choose instead: Choose self experimentation. Remove some of the most common highly reactive and allergenic foods and see how you feel. These food include but are not limited to: gluten containing grains (wheat, rye, barley), corn, soy, dairy, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and eggs. Other foods can include nuts and seeds, mushrooms and nightshade vegetables. If you’ve already adopted a largely real, whole food diet, and still feel there room for improvement, then consider investigating these additional foods.
The foods on this list should really be almost completely eliminated from your diet. The only reason I say “almost” is because we don’t live in a bubble... nor would we want to. We go out to eat, we gather with friends and family and we enjoy eating a variety of foods.
It’s probably inevitable that, when going to a restaurant, we’re going to be eating some type of vegetable oil. When spending time with loved one’s we may eat the occasional piece of conventional cheese. We may even order dessert that has, god forbid, some refined sugar.
This isn’t a license to make these less-than-perfect choices a part of your daily or even our weekly lives. However, we shouldn’t obsess to the point where we stop living or enjoying the some of the deliciousness that life has to offer... like a good cannoli or something.
Some foods you can and should eliminate entirely. Number one on that list is hydrogenated oils. I Can't Believe It's Still On The Market. I Can't Believe People Still Eat That Crap. I Can't Believe It's Not Vasaline. I could go on... :)
All in all, avoiding most of these foods should be a fairly simple task but even if some are more challenging than others, it’s well worth the effort. These changes will go a very long way to giving you more energy, relieving symptoms, reducing stress and inflammation and improving your overall health.
In : Health
Tags: soy vegetable oil fat lard bacon milk cafo gluten wheat hfcs agave farmed fish