Some time ago, I wrote an article on the dangers of some foods or rather specific ingredients or chemical additives that are added to our everyday foods. I am talking about foods that we consume on a day-to-day basis such as chewing gum, sodas, soups, meats, muffins and virtually anything that can be consume has … Read More
Some time ago, I wrote an article on the dangers of some foods or rather specific ingredients or chemical additives that are added to our everyday foods. I am talking about foods that we consume on a day-to-day basis such as chewing gum, sodas, soups, meats, muffins and virtually anything that can be consume has potentially a harmful component that you may want to know about. I have collected a few of these:
The idea of aspartame as being so harmful came about during 2003 when documentaries like The Corporation (2003) and recently Food Inc (2008) exposed how aspartame became a part of our everyday lives. I won’t in detail on the origins, but the short story of it is that there were very little testing done on humans and then pushed by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and then eventually, after being rejected first, by Health Canada. Studies have found that there is indeed a connection between aspartame consumption and the development of brain tumour. What happens is that when aspartame breaks down into your stomach, it turns into a substance called DKP. The substance produces a chemical that then induces the growth of tumours. Aspartame also is harmful for those who are diabetic as it is makes it more difficult to control sugar levels. At some cases, it has been found to cause the kind of convulsions that are usually mistaken as insulin reactions. In addition, mood disorders linked to levels of serotonin which eventually lead to depression, and other emotional disorders. Other side effects are visual problems, birth defects and brain damage. I want to raise your awareness of this, because this may seem hard to comprehend, but aspartame is found in virtually every so called “diet” product like Coca Cola Diet, Pepsi Diet, Coke Zero, Dentyne chewing gums, breath mints, carbonated soft drinks, cereals, chewing Gum, flavored Syrups for Coffee, flavoured Water Products, frozen ice, frozen ice cream novelties, fruit spreads, gelatin, sugar free, hard candies, ice cream toppings and the list goes on and on. What you should do? Be more watchful when buying products, read the label and avoid buying the product if you see the word aspartame in it.
2. Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
MSG is a flavour enhancer that is usually found in Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats. The FDA and also Health Canada has deemed this chemical compound into a “generally recognized as safe,” MSG has existed in foods for many years, this is why we know that this component has a number of short and long run side effects: Headache, flushing, sweating, facial pressure or tightness, numbness, tingling or burning in the face, neck and other areas, rapid fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations), chest pain, nausea and weakness. In addition, MSG has feel liked to hormonal changes, memory loss, obesity, stunted growth, mood swings, infertility, asthma attacks, depression, paranoia, Pariskon’s , Lou Gehrig’s and Alzheimer’s disease. MSG can also be found in infant formula, fruits and vegetables wax coating (wash them!), vaccines and other medications liquid supplements for the elderly. What should do? Read the labels and avoid finding monosodium glutamate in the ingredients. I looked around a lot and I see that virtually every instant soup contains. In addition, MSG has other names: such as yeast extract, soy protein, gelatine etc. For a full list go here.
3. Genetically modified foods or Genetically-modified organisms
Genetically-modified foods (GM foods) have been the centre of controversy. There are those who claim they completely safe and that they are here to help the world get rid of hunger. There are also those who claim that they are harmful for consumption that have a number of side effects. Unlike aspartame and MSG, GM foods have not fully been accepted as being bad for us. Regardless, I will list down some of the opposing views on it and I think, when an issue that relates to food is deemed controversial, it is best to assume it is harmful and we should avoid these just in case. To be clear, with GM foods I am also referring to Genetically-modified organism (GMOs) as they are most commonly known an they refer to crop plants created for human or animal consumption using the latest in molecular biological techniques. What this means is that plants that have been modified using the latest in biological and genetical procedures to induce or enhance a desired trait. In this sense, genes are being played around and at times merged into one another to reach a specific goal. A wide example of this goal is using the Bacillus thuringiensis bacterium that is transferred into corn, thus enabling the corn to produce its pesticides against varieties of insects. GMOs have been claimed to be able to avoid pesticides, to be able to resistant to disease, resist cold temperatures, drought, and to enhance nutritional levels. GMOs are not very prevalent in the world’s food supply. In 2000, 68% of all GM crops were grown by U.S. farmers. In comparison to 23% for countries like Argentina, Canada and China. Some of the most common GMOs in our everyday reach are soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce and virtually every vegetable and fruit that is not labelled as organic. Now to the claims against GMO goodness. I think when you when you think you are engineering foods, you must understand that our bodies (our complex organism) cannot be prepared or evolved well enough to handled recently laboratory created foods. In addition, the harm caused to other organisms. When you GM organism like pollen, they turn to be deadly to insects like bees, butterflies, and many other species of insects. Of course, your an imagine that there may be some gene transferring as there will be a gene exchange at the process of pollination via pollen. As human species, of course, our concern is the potential lethal impact to human beings. Many children in the U.S. and Europe have developed life-threatening alleges such as peanuts and other foods. Other type of allergies have also been reported and for this I am sure I don’t need to name them since I am sure you know a lot of these. Other unknown side effects have also been reported in the process of introducing foreign genes into plants. A recent study examined the effects of GM potatoes on the digestive tract in rats. The study claimed that there are appropriate differences in the intestines of rats fed GM potatoes versus those rats that were fed unmodified naturally grown potatoes. When looking into the detail, the study shows that the gene introduced into the pototoes produces a substance known as lectin, a toxic deadly to mammals. Of all the claims made by various studies all over the world, there is a consensus in the scientific community and that is that GM foods are indeed liked to possible allergenicity to humans. What you should do?: Avoid GMOs by purchasing organic labelled products to as much as possible.
Sugar, in its current form, have been only present in the last 20 years. The kind of present form I am talking about is that of highly refined sugars that we know today such as forms of sucrose (table sugar), dextrose (corn sugar or the sugar you find in soda drinks) and high-fructose corn syrup. These forms of sugar can be found in many diverse applications and in foods like bread, breakfast cereal, mayonnaise. Consumption of sugars in the United States has increased in the past last decade moving from 26 lbs to 135 pounds per person per year. During the last century sugar consumption per person per per year was only 5 lbs. For those of us who know someone who has diabetes would know that sugar is a major factor in the increase of insulin levels, which also increases the growth of hormones, which in turn attacks the immune system. When we consume those delicious desserts and candies, there is an influx of sugar that goes right into our bloodstream upsetting the body’s blood sugar balance and thus triggering the release of insulin the body uses to keep blood-sugar level at a constant and safe level. Insulin is also important for the storage of fat, so that when you eat sweets high in sugar you make way for increased weight gain. Perhaps the number 1 most important and most dangerous effect of sugar its linkage with cancer. It is now known that cancerous cells preferred food us Glucouse. Glucouse is directly link to cancer cell increase, simply by knowing which foods contain low levels of glucose you are making way to slow down the growth of cancer cells. In fact, this is a recent study that some of you may have noticed by scientists in the University of California at San Francisco who no maintained that sugar is as harmful as tobacco. The study and their statement suggests that a high calorie, sweetened food is indirectly responsible for a 35 million annual deaths worldwide due to a lifestyle-related condition related to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
“There are good calories and bad calories, just as there are good fats and bad fats, good amino acids and bad amino acids, good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates. But sugar is toxic beyond its calories.”
The rampant cases of diabetes type-2 is indeed no news and we are also seeing cases of children with this disease when a few years ago it was unheard of. What should you do? Avoid sugar, there are alternatives such as Stevia, Agave nectar or even organic honey. If you think Splenda is ok, it is not and if you have to take sugar try to use brown raw sugar or sugar cane.
5. Processed meats
The linkage of cancer to the consumption of processed meats is now highly accepted. Some of these types of cancer include: colon, breast, prostate and pancreas. There is a consistent evidence of studies all over the world that prove this. An study shows that there is a 67% increase in pancreatic cancer for people who consume moderate amounts of processed meat in a frequent basis. Skeptics tend to argue that the problem with processed meats is that they contain animal fat molecules. However, the majority of studies suggest that the issue is related to toxic chemicals, heavy metals and environmental pollutants that are found in those fat molecules. The problem, however, is not only related to the saturated animal fats by the cows. The problem lies on the fact that processed meats contain a chemical additive called sodium nitrite. Sodium nitrite is a known carcinogenic compound. Once it enters in the human digestive system it forms varieties of nitrosamine compounds that then enter the bloodstream and create havoc with a number of internal organs like the liver and pancreas. Processed meats are found in a variety of products in the supermarket these include: bacon strips, breakfast sausage, hot dog sausage, pepperoni, sandwich meat, ham, and even the meats that are found in canned soups. What should you do? Avoid eating processed foods. If you can’t get away at least reduce the intake, make it a Sunday delicacy to have some kind meat per week and then per month and then per year. Ultimately, we should avoid it altogether.
Contrary to popular believe milk is not good for you and not good for your bones. Milk is known not only because it is not a significant source of calcium (unless it is added), but instead that it depletes calcium from you bones. Many studies around the world are showing that there is a long list of detrimental effects linked to the consumption of milk. Some of these suggest that milk actually neutralize calcium. Exactly this is how it works: As in all the animal proteins, mil acidified the body’s pH which then creates a biological correction. The function of calcium in the body is to be a great neutralizer and biggest storage of calcium is in the bones. So calcium so important to give strength to our bones, is then utilizes to neutralize the effects of milk in the body. Once calcium is pulled out the bones, it leaved the body via our urine leaving us in return with calcium deficit.
“Consumption of dairy products, particularly at age 20 years, was associated with an increased risk of hip fracture in old age. (“Case-Control Study of Risk Factors for Hip Fractures in the Elderly”. American Journal of Epidemiology. Vol. 139, No. 5, 1994).”
Like processed meats, the milk that find in the supermarket is also a processed food. If in processed meats we should worry about sodium nitrite, the in milk we should be concern that milk contains a substance called the bovine growth hormone (rBGH). A man-made synthetic hormone used to artificially increase milk production. Some studies have shown that the rBGH has been found that the consumption of this compound in our bodies, indirectly through milk, has a high connection with onsets of breast cancer as well as other cancer types.
“Drinking rBGH milk would thus be expected to significantly increase IGF-1 blood levels and consequently to increase risks of developing breast cancer and promoting its invasiveness.” – Dr. Epstein
What should you do? If you love milk so much, it is recommended that you switch to almond milk, in fact, I recommend the switch. I have been consuming it and replacing on cereals, french toast, cake recipes and anything else. Almond milk is a alkalizing. As I was talking about the Corporation (2003), this segment of the documentary mentions how journalists uncover the reality of milk.
In this subject, such as the case of GMOs, is highly debated, however as with all the foods and substances in this post, there is a mountain of evidence that suggest that flu oride is harmful. Fluoride is a pollutant, a by product of copper, iron and aluminum manufacturing. The problem of how to legally dispose of fluoride was solved in the 1930s when a study concluded that fluoride prevented tooth decay. More recent studies in Canada and the United Kingdom show that original fluoridation studies are flawed. These studies conclude that fluoride produce more harm than good. Four major studies involving 480,000 children comparing fluoridated areas and non-fluoridared areas showed no significant differences in decay rates. It is not only that fluoride is found in toothpaste but also in the water supply. In some parts of the world where food and water are naturally fluoride-abundant, severe fluoride toxicity is common and manifests as debilitating and disfiguring diseases. Some of these include irreversible crippling of bones and crumbling of teeth. Dr. Susheela, a researcher on the topic of fluoride suggests:
“It is now an established fact that fluoride ingestion over a period of time can affect the structure and function of cells, tissues, organs and systems resulting in a variety of clinical manifestations”
At short supplies, such as in when added to water supply in the United States can induce the following side effects: aches and pain the joints, nausea,vomiting, pain in the stomach, polyuria (frequent urination) and polydipsia (excessive thirst), muscle weakness, fatigue, anemia, repeteated abortions. What should you do? Try to drink distilled water, avoid using Teflon (as scratched teflon surfaces will release PTFT a power fluoride toxin), avoid juices coming from fluoridated areas, avoid toothpaste with fluoride and most of all do not drink water directly from the tap. All of all these founds, of course, I am sure I may have missed some detail here and there. I welcome you to help me complete this article or add your comments or do a part 2 of this article. Add your own knowledge of harmful foods. It is always good to learn this and act now and do not wait until you get diagnosed with disease to become conscious and avoid these harmful products and substances.
Sources used in this post:
- http://www.preventcancer.com/press/releases/july8_98.htm, June 21, 1998
- Effect of diets containing genetically modified potatoes expressing Galanthus nivalis lectin on rat small intestine (Lancet, Vol 354, No 9187, pp 1353-1354, Oct 1999)
- Buffers urged around Bt corn fields (Environmental News Network http://www.enn.com/enn-news-archive/1999/07/071499/btbuffer_4342.asp)