By Dr. Shannyn Pearce, D.C., Nutrition Specialist
Many foods are promoted as “healthy”, but in reality they are wreaking havoc on your health. In this article I will highlight the top five foods and ingredients you should avoid.
1. Soy and Soy Protein Isolates. Soy has been touted as a health food for a long time, but actually, 90-95 percent of American soy is genetically modified (GMO) and these organisms are used to create soy protein isolates, which are used as fillers and protein in many packages food items. Most of the soy consumed in America is also unfermented. All unfermented soy products are best avoided if you value your health. Thousands of studies have linked unfermented soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility, estrogen imbalance, and even cancer and heart disease. In order to avoid soy and soy protein isolates you must read your labels. They are found in most bars, protein powders, supplements, baked goods, breads and even sauces.
2. Artificial Sweeteners. We’re all familiar with those pink, blue and yellow packets. Contrary to popular belief, studies have found that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, found in your favorite diet soda, can stimulate your appetite, increase carbohydrate cravings, and cause fat storage and weight gain. In one of the most recent studies, saccharin and aspartame were found to cause greater weight gain than sugar. Artificial sweeteners hide under many names, so familiarize yourself with the most common list and again, read those labels!
• Amino sweet
• Asulphame K
3. Margarine. Fabio was wrong – I CAN believe it’s not butter! Given the trans fats, preservatives and solvents found in margarine, it’s NOT a health food.
It’s barely a food at all. Margarine also contains free radicals and other toxic products that are the result of high temperature industrial processing of vegetable oils. They contribute to numerous health problems and inflammation. So instead of margarine, choose real butter from grass fed cows.
4. Deli Meat. Conventional deli meat contains growth hormones, antibiotics and other veterinary drugs. These meats are also filled with sodium nitrite (a commonly used preservative and antimicrobial agent that also adds color and flavor) and other chemical flavorings and dyes. Although they are cheaper and more convenient, deli meats should not be consumed on a regular basis. Choose fresh, organic and grass fed meats when possible.
5. Fruit Juice. This one shocks a lot of people, but store bought fruit juice is full of sugar and void of vitamins and minerals. Fruit juices are typically pasteurized, and when heated at these high temperatures you strip the fruit of its nutrients. Basically all that’s left is flavored sugar. Don’t be fooled by the words “natural” or “no sugar added.” The juice itself still contains entirely too much sugar. Think of it in this way: When you sit down to drink an 8-ounce glass of orange juice, you’re consuming the juice of 4 medium-sized oranges in a matter of seconds or a few minutes. Compare this to how long it would take to eat 4 oranges, and you can see how eating fruit in its whole form is best. Choose raw juice instead, preferably one that contains mostly vegetable juice. Better yet, try juicing your own!
Healthy living doesn’t have to be hard. Make a few simple changes like these and you are well on your way to the health of your dreams.
Dr Shannyn’s Favorite Green Juice
In a juicer, combine:
2 organic granny smith apples
4 stalks organic celery
1 organic cucumber
1 bunch organic kale
1 lemon (peel on if organic)
1 lime (peel on if organic)
1 inch ginger root
Delicious and detoxifying!
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Dr. Pearce, D.C. specializes in natural health and offers free nutrition classes at Reve Body Sculpting. For more information on how to start improving your health, call 859-219-0626.