In the past 114 years, the use of sugar rose from 5 to 155 pounds a year per person!
Many doctors and researchers agree that the regular consumption of commercially processed foods is the primary cause of adult-onset diabetes.
Processing takes a lot of the nutrients out of otherwise nutrient-rich foods. To make up for the loss of nutrients during processing, synthetic vitamins and minerals are added. So we lose out on the natural enzymes and nutrients these foods would normally contain.
The most prevalent form of refined carbohydrate in the average American diet is refined sugar, which includes not only table sugar, but also sucrose, fructose, glucose, dextrose, and corn syrup, all of which are common food additives in processed foods.
Processed foods also contain hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, artificial colors and food dyes, BHT (preservative), shellac, extra salt, sulfites, sodium benzoate, artificial sweeteners (aspartame), pesticides, hormones and antibiotic residues in animal foods. These ingredients are not good for your health.
White bread and white rice should also be avoided. These foods lack the nutrient and fiber of grains that are whole and unprocessed.
The modern convenience foods of today - sugar and white flour products with hydrogenated vegetable oils are key factors in the alarming rate of chronic degenerative diseases, learning disabilities, and dental disease. These denatured, processed foods do not provide sufficient nutrients to allow a child's body to reach its full potential of health, nor the proper functioning of the immune, nervous, skeletal, digestive, and reproductive systems. We need to get back to natural, wholesome foods that are prepared and preserved in a way that promotes health, not disease. The drawbacks of most refined grains and sugars are much worse than you've been led to believe. The problem starts with glucose. Glucose is the primary fuel for all the cells in your body. In whole foods, starches are molecularly bound together and your digestive system has to break down the food to turn it into glucose. This digestive procedure takes place slowly over a period of time. Processed foods however, like white flour and sugar, need relatively no digestion time. They're absorbed rapidly into your system. Your blood and cells get flooded with glucose. It's a physical disaster. Your body knows high blood sugar is extremely dangerous, so an emergency alarm is sounded. Your glands send insulin to the rescue to deal with the catastrophic flood of glucose. Insulin basically turns the glucose into fat to get it out of your blood. This is an emergency maneuver designed to protect you from life threatening levels of high sugar in your blood. But your body's not designed to manage a glucose alarm on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.
Many researchers believe refined or processed, high glucose foods are the major dietary cause of all degenerative disease. The sugar surge depletes, replaces and uses up important vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. It quadruples adrenaline output, inhibits immune functioning, lowers metabolism, raises cholesterol and increases triglycerides. The glucose that's produced from refined foods gets stored as fat. The conversion process not only causes fatty deposits on your body, but also in your cells, on your arteries and on your heart. Fat is even deposited in your liver, kidneys and other organs. The constant bombardment of blood sugar raises your risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, premature aging, and cancer.
Contrary to popular belief, fat is necessary for optimum health (you can live without carbohydrates, but you can't live without fat and protein). One of the keys to healthy eating lies in ensuring that the foods you eat contains adequate amounts of healthy fats (essential fatty acids), and are free of unhealthy fats. One of the unhealthiest fats is trans-fatty acids, which are quite common in margarine and commercially processed hydrogenated vegetable oils. Hydrogenated oils are used as additives in many types of processed foods, including most commercial breakfast cereals. Another source of unhealthy fat are oils heated to a high temperature, as when they are used for deep-frying.
In place of trans-fatty acids, use oils rich in omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega 6 and Omega 3 essential fatty acids are best consumed in a ratio of about 3:1 - three omega 6 for one omega 3.
Most Western diets range between 10 and 20 to 1 in favor of omega 6, which is not good for health. We eat too much omega 6 fat and not enough omega 3 fat.
Good sources of omega-6 include sunflower, safflower, and soybean oils, while flaxseed and fish oils are rich in omega-3.
We are constantly challenged in a society that allows the food industry to bombard our children with advertising of fake foods in appealing, colorful packages. Its difficult to protect our children when lifeless convenience foods, candy, soda, and fruit juice drinks loaded with sugar and corn syrup are common snacks and lunches of their peers. White bread, breakfast cereals, flours - all refined grain products contribute greatly to our nations ill health. Yet studies indicate they make up one third of the average person's total carbohydrate intake each day.
Food irradiation is the process of exposing food to ionizing radiation to disinfect, sanitize, sterilize or preserve food. It is also used for insect disinfestation.
All forms of ionizing radiation, including the cobalt-60 and cesium-137 used in food irradiation, are known carcinogens.
A new class of chemicals, formed when food is irradiated, could be harmful. The new chemicals, a class of cyclobutanones, were found to cause genetic and cellular damage in human and rat cells.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved irradiation for eliminating insects from wheat, potatoes, flour, spices, tea, fruits, and vegetables.
Since 1986, all irradiated products must carry the international symbol called a radura.
You may be unwittingly eating irradiated foods containing cyclobutanones. Though most irradiated food sold in stores must be labeled, there is no such requirement for restaurants, schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other institutional settings.
Eat organic, fresh, unprocessed foods as often as possible.
Some healthy foods:
Organic dairy and meat, wild salmon, tofu, tempeh, all fresh fruits and vegetables, brown rice, rolled oats, barley, millet, nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, macadamia, hazel, brazil, etc), seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, etc), berries, beans (pinto, black, navy, red, fava, kidney, etc), flaxseed oil.
DO NOT EAT:
too much sugar
Do not eat canned foods from rusty or swollen cans.
Discard leftover canned products after 3 to 4 days of refrigeration. Products containing meat should be consumed within 2 days.
Once opened, leftover contents of cans must be removed from the can and placed in a covered, nonmetallic container and refrigerated or frozen.
By Dr. Joseph Mercola
with Rachael Droege
There are no "bad" foods, right? Only food you should eat in moderation? Well, not really. The following foods are so bad for your body that I really can't see any reason to eat them. Not only do they have zero nutritional value, but they also give your body a healthy dose of toxins, which should make the idea of eating them really hard to swallow.Doughnuts
French Fries (and Nearly All Commercially Fried Foods)
Potatoes are bad enough when consumed in their raw state, as their simple sugars are rapidly converted to glucose that raises insulin levels and can devastate your health. But when they are cooked in trans fat at high temperatures, all sorts of interesting and very unpleasant things occur.
Anything that is fried, even vegetables, has the issue of trans fat and the potent cancer-causing substance acrylamide.
Foods that are fried in vegetable oils like canola, soybean, safflower, corn, and other seed and nut oils are particularly problematic. These polyunsaturated fats easily become rancid when exposed to oxygen and produce large amounts of damaging free radicals in the body. They are also very susceptible to heat-induced damage from cooking. What is not commonly known is that these oils can actually cause aging, clotting, inflammation, cancer and weight gain. You can read the article "Secrets of the Edible Oil Industry" for more information.
It is theoretically possible to create a more "healthy" French fry if you cook it in a healthy fat like virgin coconut oil. Due to its high saturated fat content, coconut oil is extremely stable and is not damaged by the high temperatures of cooking. This is why coconut oil should be the only oil you use to cook with.
I am fond of telling patients that one French fry is worse for your health than one cigarette, so you may want to consider this before you order your next 'Biggie' order.
Most commercial chips, and this includes corn chips, potato chips, tortilla chips, you name it, are high in trans fat. Fortunately, some companies have caught on to the recent media blitz about the dangers of trans fat and have started to produce chips without trans fat.
However, the high temperatures used to cook them will potentially cause the formation of carcinogenic substances like acrylamide, and this risk remains even if the trans fat is removed.
Fried Non-Fish Seafood
This category represents the culmination of non-healthy aspects of food. Fried shrimp, clams, oysters, lobsters, and so on have all the issues of trans fat and acrylamide mentioned above, plus an added risk of mercury.
Seafood is loaded with toxic mercury and shellfish like shrimp and lobsters can be contaminated with parasites and resistant viruses that may not even be killed with high heat. These creatures, considered scavenger animals, consume foods that may be harmful for you.
Eating these foods gives you a quadruple dose of toxins--trans fat, acrylamide, mercury and possibly parasites or viruses--with every bite.
If you have a taste for seafood, there's an easy solution. It's best to avoid your local fish fry and try the only fish I now eat--the delicious wild red Alaskan salmon that was proven through independent lab testing to be free of harmful levels of mercury and other contaminants.