Some foods and drinks are packed with minerals and vitamins while others contain preservatives, additives, colorings, and toxic substances. Chewing gums, juices, and diet sodas are loaded with artificial sweeteners, which are manmade chemicals. They contain no minerals and vitamins and are empty of nutritional value. Some artificial sweeteners are made using choline and other substances that are known carcinogens. They cause metabolic acidosis which makes the body to produce too much acid. Artificial sweeteners also promote obesity and have been associated with diabetes, fibromyalgia, and Parkinson’s disease. According to some researchers, they may cause epilepsy, birth defects, and mental retardation.
You should also avoid foods and beverages that contain refined sugar. Sugar-laden foods cause spikes in blood sugar levels and weight gain. Nutrition experts recommend substituting refined sugar with raw cane sugar. Eating sweets, cakes, candies, and other products with refined sugar increases the risk for cardiovascular disease and breast cancer. High consumption of sugar causes fatigue, gallstones, and bloating.
Monosodium glutamate is an artificial chemical and preservative, which is linked to brain damage, heart problems, and headaches. It is a flavor enhancer that is found in foods such as salty chips, sauces, luncheon meats, and sausages. Asian inspired sauces also contain MSG. Avoid teriyaki, curry, fish, and soy sauce, as well as commercial soups. Monosodium glutamate can trigger different reactions, including weakness, nausea, and chest pain. It is associated with heart palpitations, numbness, sweating, and flushing. Carrageenan is also a chemical additive found in chocolate-flavored soymilk, condensed milk, milkshakes, and ice cream. It increases the risk for colon cancer and gastrointestinal problems. Carrageenan is linked to intestinal inflammation, ulcerations, impaired glucose tolerance, and gastro-intestinal cancer.
Refined flour products such as pastas and white bread are cheap and tasty. However, they lack essential vitamins and minerals and are bromated and bleached. Refined flour increases the risk for diabetes, heart problems, and overweight. Whole grain flour, on the other hand, supplies vital nutrients and is low in cholesterol, saturated fat, and sodium. Whole grains are loaded with dietary fiber, selenium, iron, and manganese. You can choose from different foods such as wild rice, whole rye, brown rice, and whole oats.
Genetically modified organisms are animal and plant species with a modified DNA. Some studies have shown that GMOs are linked to increased resistance to antibiotics and immune suppression. In addition, they increase our susceptibility to allergies. Potential health hazards of GMOs include increased risk for cancer and liver problems. It is best to avoid genetically engineered foods such as canola, soy, and corn.
Some people use oil, leave it to cool, and then use it again. Some restaurants re-use fried oil as well. This can lead to many health problems such as kidney and liver damage, retardation, and fetal abnormalities. The use of fried oil has been also linked to behavioral problems. Sodium nitrite and nitrate are added to different processed and canned foods. Nitrites react with other substances and are transformed into nitrosamines, which are known carcinogens. Foods such as lunch meats, hit dogs, corned beef, and sausages contain nitrites. Partly hydrogenated vegetable oils are also associated with various problems, including colon and breast cancer and heart disease. These oils lower good cholesterol and increase bad cholesterol levels. Diabetics should avoid partly hydrogenated oils because they damage the blood vessels. Foods such as commercial salad dressings, crackers, margarine, and shortening are high in hydrogenated oils. You should also avoid processed, fried, and snack foods and baked goods.
Written by Jennifer Tardiff, who runs and regularly contributes to an online health and food guide: http://www.lowcarbdietguide.org/