You know those big long words on the bottom of the food label that we can barely pronounce? Well therein those words lies the root of our suffering.
Previously, I have written extensively on the effects of gluten on the body. Now I want to dive into how some of the most frequently used chemicals in our food supply are directly responsible for our declining health.
I am frequently asked by patients to design a diet plan they can follow that will help them attain their weight loss goal. We have to remember weight is only ONE symptom among the list of many others that we experience while we unknowing ingest these palatable toxic delicacies.
I agree counting calories is still important. But if you stop and think about it, there was the low carb diet, the low fat diet, the no carb diet, the fasting diet and a whole list of other crazy diets that told you exactly what you wanted to hear. But have any of them worked long term?
The US continues to be the most obese nation!! What if the solution to longevity is simpler than we think? What if we look to other countries who invest government dollars to keeping their agriculture system pure so the people of that nation can live healthy, happy, long lives? What if we look within our own selves for the solution? What if utilizing the plethora of resources we have, WE find the answers?
In order for the body to heal, we must take things out of …..not overload it with more supplements and chemicals. This is going to take time. We need to have patience and persistence to preserve our sacred bodies.
Let’s take it down to the basics……the ingredients. Here are five of the most commonly used chemicals in our foods.
1. Artificial Sweeteners. Known under the brand name Equal/Nutrasweet.
In 1965, James Schlatter, a chemist for G.D. Searle, was developing an anti-ulcer drug when he accidentally stumbled upon aspartame. Made up of aspartic acid (40%), phenylalanine (50%) and methanol (10%), aspartame is 200 times sweeter than natural sugar.
a. “Holes” in the brains of mice by causing release of carcinogens, oxidants and free radicals,
b. Decreases serotonin levels leading to depression, schizophrenia, and seizures.
c. Increases formaldehyde concentrations which causes retinal detachment, birth defects and mutated DNA replication.
Found in: diet or sugar-free sodas, jello (and other gelatins), desserts, sugar-free gum, drink mixes, baking goods, table top sweeteners, cereal, breath mints, pudding, kool-aid, ice tea, chewable vitamins, toothpaste.
2. High Fructose Corn Syrup
HFCS is a highly-refined artificial sweetener and the #1 source of unwanted calories and obesity in the US. An in depth article written by Dr. Mark Hyman refers to research done by Barry M. Popkin, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on the dangers of sugar-sweetened drinks. An explanation by Dr. Hyman and Dr. Popkin are as follows, “In a review of HFCS in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, he (Dr.Popkin) explains the mechanism by which the free fructose may contribute to obesity. Dr. Popkin states that: ‘The digestion, absorption, and metabolism of fructose differ from those of glucose. Hepatic metabolism of fructose favors de novo lipogenesis (production of fat in the liver). In addition, unlike glucose, fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or enhance leptin production. Because insulin and leptin act as key afferent signals in the regulation of food intake and body weight (to control appetite), this suggests that dietary fructose may contribute to increased energy intake and weight gain. Furthermore, calorically sweetened beverages may enhance caloric over-consumption.’ “
a. Increases LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels
b. Development of diabetes and tissue damage
Found in: processed foods, bread, candy, flavored yogurts, salad dressings, canned vegetables, cereals
3. Monosodium Glutamate.
MSG is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer in soups, salad dressings, chips, frozen entrees. It is known as an excitotoxin, a substance which overexcites cells to the point of damage or death.
a. Depression disorientation, eye damage, fatigue, headaches, and obesity.
b. Affects neurological pathways of the brain
c. Disengages the “I’m full” function which explains the effects of weight gain.
Found in: Chinese food (Chinese Restaurant Syndrome),snacks, chips, cookies, seasonings, most Campbell Soup products, frozen dinners and lunch meats.
4. Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite
Sodium nitrate (or sodium nitrite) is used as a preservative, coloring, and flavoring in bacon, ham, hot dogs, lunch meats, corned beef, smoked fish and other processed meats. This ingredient is highly carcinogenic once it enters the human digestive system. It forms a variety of nitrosamine compounds and affects mainly the liver and pancreas. The USDA tried to ban this additive in the 1970’s but was vetoed by food manufacturers. This chemical turns meats bright red and acts as a color fixer so old, dead meats appear fresh and vibrant.
a. Constricts and hardens arteries leading to heart disease
b. Disrupts insulin regulation leading to diabetes
Found in: hotdogs, bacon, ham, lunch meat, cured meats, corned beef, smoked fish or any other type of processed meat.
5. Common Food Dyes
Present as artificial colorings in processed food. Shown to contribute to behavioral problems in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ.
Blue #1 and Blue #2 (E133)
Banned in Norway, Finland, and France. Causes chromosomal damage.
Found in: candy, cereal, soft drinks, sports drinks and pet foods.
Red dye # 3 (also Red #40 – a more current dye) (E124)
Banned in 1990 after 8 years of debate. On the market until supplies run out. Causes thyroid cancer and chromosomal damage in laboratory animals and interferes with brain-nerve transmission.
Found in: fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy, bakery products.
Yellow #6 (E110) and Yellow Tartrazine (E102)
Banned in Norway and Sweden. Increases kidney and adrenal gland tumors in laboratory animals. Causes chromosomal damage.
Found in: American cheese, macaroni and cheese, candy and carbonated beverages, lemonade.
During my research for this article, I was admittedly shocked and dumbfounded at the DEGREE of damage these few chemicals appear to cause. There are many more I came across that caused similar reactions. Appalling! My intention for this article was not to instill fear, but rather to increase awareness of an issue I think most of us unknowingly deny. These manufacturers have done a great job in luring us into the sultry art of eating by altering everything in our human body that was once our purest essence.
Our job, TOGETHER, is to find our way back to that awesomeness which we innately hold. Together we become educated. Together we fight against toxins that have polluted our blood stream. Together we find the way out of this maze of confusion. Together we simplify what we put into our bodies. And together we heal the essence of that which is us…..the glorious human body that only wants to protect , nurture and heal us so that we may live the best life possible.
The best place to start is by being educated!! Read those labels!
(Source: Dr. Joseph Mercola; Dr. Mark Hyman)
Dr. Raman’s Concierge Medical Practice is focused on holistic care and good health maintenance. For more information on healthy eating habits and achieving and maintaining OPTIMAL health, CONTACT our office today to schedule your appointment. You can also learn more by following Dr. Raman on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.