There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about what’s healthy to eat and what isn’t. Most of the time, the best foods for you depend on your individual make-up and the state of your health. However, there are certain foods even most doctors and food scientists won’t eat.
10 Foods You Shouldn’t Eat
1. Canned Tomatoes
When you want to add tomatoes to a dish, fresh is best. The lining of the tin cans that house the tomatoes contains a synthetic estrogenic compound called bisphenol-A (BPA), which has been linked to infertility, birth defects, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
The high acidic content of the tomatoes are what make it especially dangerous as this acid leeches the BPA right in. Consuming canned tomatoes while pregnant may be harmful to your unborn child.
According to a study published by Hormones and Cancer,[1. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12672-010-0015-9] in utero exposure to BPA may increase the likelihood the child with develop breast cancer later in life.
For nearly 30 years, saturated fat was vilified and blamed for the development of high cholesterol and heart disease. Recently, Time Magazine released an article declaring that it was not only safe to eat butter, but healthy.
Margarine has no health benefits whatsoever and should not be consumed. This butter substitute contains trans fats, harmful free radicals, emulsifiers, and preservatives that can be harmful to your health.
Hexane, for example, a solvent used to extract the oil needed to make the margarine, has been linked to chronic neurological damage.[2. http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/hexane.html]
3. Microwave Popcorn
Microwave popcorn should be avoided for several reasons. For one, a large percentage of corn produced in the United States is genetically-modified. This means each bite contains pesticides (Bt toxins).
Microwave popcorn bags are lined with Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and when heated, they release the endocrine-disrupting chemical into the popcorn. The Environmental Protection Agency has declared these chemicals “likely carcinogens.” PFOA has also been linked to infertility and developmental impairment in children.
Furthermore, the microwave isn’t a healthy way to cook or reheat food. Studies have shown that eating even a small amount of microwave-cooked food can result in an elevated white blood count, which indicates inflammation.[3. http://www.aaimedicine.com/jaaim/apr06/hazards.php]
4. Farmed Fish
Farmed fish is the most harmful type of fish to eat. These fish are crammed into pens and pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones to compensate for the deplorable conditions in which they’re raised. Farmed salmon do not feed naturally but are instead given soy, poultry, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers to sustain them.
I recommend wild-caught Alaskan salmon for optimum nutritional benefits. These salmon are caught in cold, pure Alaskan waters and contain no synthetic chemicals.
Wild-caught salmon offers a full spectrum of essential amino acids that encourage cellular repair and optimal immune function.
5. Conventionally-Raised Root Vegetables
Conventionally-raised potatoes, sweet potatoes, and parsnips are best avoided. Root vegetables contain a much higher concentration of herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that get absorbed through the soil and leech into the food.
Once the vegetables are dug up, they are sprayed before being placed on the truck to ship to the grocery store. This keeps them from sprouting and makes them look more attractive to consumers.
When purchasing root vegetables, always opt for organic. The health benefits are worth the extra expense.
Most table salt is made from crude oil flake leftovers. The refining process removes 80% of the minerals that make salt good for you. These minerals are then replaced by bleach, sodium bicarbonate, potassium iodide, fluoride, and aluminum derivatives.
Even if you love the taste of salt, there’s nothing appetizing about that.
I recommend unrefined sea salt for optimum health benefits. It contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, and trace elements such as phosphorus, bromine, boron, zinc, iron, manganese, copper, and silicon.
7. Unfermented Soy Products
Ninety percent of the soy produced in the United States is genetically-modified, which means the pesticides are grown right in. You can’t wash them off. Soy also contains anti-nutrients such as saponins, soyatoxin, phytates, trypsin inhibitors, and phytoestrogens that have been linked to dozens of health problems.
Traditionally-fermented soy products such as tempeh, natto, miso, organic soy sauce, and pickled tofu have been shown to improve digestion and ease chronic inflammatory conditions.
8. Synthetic Sweeteners
Synthetic sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose (Splenda), and high fructose corn syrup are best avoided.
Aspartame is made from three neurotoxic chemicals; aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. These chemicals have been linked to child behavioral problems, chronic neurological disorders, insomnia, chronic fatigue, and psychological disorders.
Sucralose (Splenda) isn’t the healthy sugar alternative its manufacturers advertise it to be. This synthetic, chlorinated sweetener has been linked to gastrointestinal problems (due to reduced gut bacteria), migraine headaches, allergic reactions, dizziness, seizures, and weight gain.
High fructose corn syrup has been linked to obesity because it interferes with the hormones in your brain that tell you when you’re full. This synthetic sweetener has also been linked to metabolic syndrome, memory impairment, and a malfunctioning immune system.
Your best bet for a safer sweetener is raw, organic honey or Stevia.
9. “Vegetable” Oils
When most people hear ‘vegetable oil’, they believe the oil they are using is made from vegetables and therefore healthy to use. Unfortunately, this is just clever food marketing hype.
Soybean, corn, canola, cottonseed, sunflower, and safflower oil are highly over-processed and contain large amounts of omega-6 fatty acids; those that can contribute to chronic inflammation.
For healthy cooking, choose organic coconut oil, or olive oil or clarified butter (ghee).
10. Processed Meat
Processed meats like bacon, pepperoni, and hot dogs are best avoided as they have been linked to an increased risk for the development of prostate and colon cancer.[4. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0020456] (Uncured meats are OK in moderation if they are USDA Organic or grass-fed from a local farmer).
Your best bet for optimum health is to eat foods that are as close to nature as possible. Fresh, organic produce, nuts, seeds, meat, poultry, wild-caught fish, eggs, and healthy fats should make up the bulk of your diet.
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