I was hoping to keep this list short, just 4 categories, but after much thought, I had to include all of these categories as foods to avoid. The point is to eat real food, with real ingredients. There are lots of resources out there that talk about real foods such as Lisa at www.100DaysOfRealFood.com and Vani at www.FoodBabe.com. These two have lots of resources to gaining “real health” instead of the latest fad diet or healthy supplement.
So this is my list of things that we cut out, in the order that we cut them. It is not easy making all these changes, but there are many healty benefits waiting. You can feel free to make one change at a time.
Avoid Refined Sugars
Refined sugars are not good for our health. This includes all forms of white sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, agave, fake maple syrup, corn syrup, etc. I wrote a post that you can read about Avoiding Sugar. These sugars can start the downhill fall towards obesity, followed by type 2 diabetes, followed by hypertension (high blood pressure), followed by heart disease. And that’s the short list. Sugar is also feed for cancer cells.
Instead, use Stevia, Sucnat, Honey, Evaporated Cane Juice (organic).
Avoid Refined Flour
Avoid white flour, pastry flour, white wheat flour. These refined flours are now know to increase your chance of heart disease. This is because the refined flours are really carbohydrates, or in other terms, Sugars. We are extracting the carbohydrates out of the flour and remove the other elements in the wheat germ to get white flour. This also removes all of the nutritious parts of the whole grain, leaving just the sugars.
Only use whole wheat flour, or coconut flour, or other whole grains such as oats, millet, barley, etc.
This includes Soy, soya, soy beans, soy oil, soy lecithin. Here’s my post on why soy is bad. Soy was not a primary source of food until recently. It is even in the FDA’s Poisonous Plant Database. Many people will point to the Asian cultures and say that they have been eating soy for years. That’s not quite right though. The Asians have been using soy only since they learned to ferment it. This reduces the inhibitors that block the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Avoid Vegetable Oils
This includes Soybean Oil, Soy Oil, Canola Oil, Rapeseed Oil, Corn Oil, Cottonseed Oil, margarine, vegetable shortening (crisco). The Polyunsaturated Oils can lead to a multitude of problems. Besides that, these oils are the byproduct of industrial processes and have more in common with motor oil than vegetables! These oils are extracted using chemicals like hexane, and then they have to be deoderized, bleached, and treated before people can use them.
Instead use Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Olive Oil, Lard, BUTTER. If you buy butter, you should get Grass Fed butter. KerryGold butter is one and Kalona Supernatural butter is another. These butters are much higher in vitamin A and D than the other butters. They also taste better. Imagine that! Kerry Gold is not terribly expensive at Trader Joe’s.
Avoid Artificial Ingredients
This includes artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, natural flavors, food coloring, and chemical ingredients you wouldn’t normally have on hand in your home kitchen. This also includes MSG and the variations of MSG.
Artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame are especially bad for us. Did you know that the body will convert Aspartame into Formaldehyde? Here’s an article that describes Aspertame (and sugar). There were more than 7000 adverse reactions to Aspartame PRIOR to the FDA approving it. Aspartame is related to brain tumors, multiple sclerosis (MS), epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s and much more. Why even take the chance?
Artificial flavors AND natural flavors. A definition of artificial flavors and natural flavors is here. Natural Flavor could mean “flavor from the extraction of fluid from the spotted toad’s cartiladge” which is then chemically processed down to a single chemical substance. But since it came from nature, even though it is heavily processed, it can still be called “natural”. Funny how that is. Artificial flavors are just that, something that was created in a chemical labatory. These are used to enhance the appeal of food, to get you to eat more.
Food Coloring such FDC Blue #1 or FDC Yellow #5 is made from tartrazine. Tartrazine is a coal-tar derivative linked to asthma attacks and other conditions. Did you know that Red #3 has been identified by the FDA as a carcinogen? Why is it still approved? We try to avoid ALL artifical food colors. Unreal Candy uses natural colors such as beetroot juice, purple cabbage juice and the like.
Chemical Ingredients, or things that you can’t pronounce, shouldn’t be eaten. Even though it looks like bread, or tastes like bread, is it really bread? Sara Lee’s Soft and Smooth Whole Grain White Bread contains a lot of mysterious ingredients such as: ethoxylate monoglycerides, sodium stearoyl lacylate, calcium peroxide, datem, azodicarbonamide. Even DATEM is an abreviation for something they can’t even fit on the label. It stands for “diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono and diglycerides.” Just how do you pronounce that? When I make bread at home, I include: wheat, yeast, water, salt. That’s it. I have never added ethoxylate monoglycerides to my bread, or sodium stearoyl lacylate. I don’t even know where I could buy these!
Instead buy whole ingredients, from things that were around 100 years ago. When we buy bread, it’s Ezekiel Sprouted Wheat Bread, or other sprouted wheat breads.
Genetically modified organisms are plants (and animals) where scientists alter the DNA of the organism so that other traits appear or disappear. GMO Soy and GMO Corn are modified to grow BT Toxin directly in the bplant itself. This helps keep insects away from them. They are also modified to be resistant to “Roundup” and are called “RoundUp Ready” crops. Do you really want to be eating this? We don’t know what the effect will be on human health because long term studies have not been done on them. Actually long term studies are being actively performed on humans right now, namely.. you.
Instead, buy organic! Organic produce is not supposed to have any GMO’s in them.
Avoid Factory Farmed meats and fishes
Factory farmed beef, chicken, and pork are a problem. These animals are being fed GM corn and soy byproducts and not their natural diet. This produces meat that is sub-par and not what it used to be. The GM soy and corn ends up in the meat itself.
Instead you should be eating grass fed beef (or chicken, or pork). It is much healthier than what is now called “conventional” grown beef (or chicken or pork).
Farmed fish is another problem. The way factory farmed fish is done creates a toxic wasteland of a pond where the fish are raised. This leads to fish having lower levels of every nutrient, while increasing the levels of toxins such as mercury.
Instead, eat wild caught fish.
Avoid The Dirty Dozen
Each year there is an updated list of the Dirty Dozen. This list refers to fruits and vegetables that are high in chemical pesticide residue. To avoid these, it is best to buy organic versions. Organic fruits and vegetables will contain some pesticides, but these will be organic pesticides, not chemical pesticides. The dirty dozen this year includes: apples, celery, sweet bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, blueberries, potatoes and 2 extra: green beans and kale / greens. Each of these should be purchased organically if possible.
Conclusion of What To Buy
Here’s the list of ok things to buy:
Organic fruits and vegetables
Wild caught fish
NO pre-packaged foods
Sprouted wheat bread (if you need bread)