Perhaps you've reached the point where you have decided that enough is enough. You want to get fit and healthy once and for all. Sometimes navigating those grocery shelves can be a daunting task. Prevention
turned to the experts to remove some of the guess work for you. Here are eight foods that industry experts refuse to eat:
1. Anything from McDonald's
Nothing about this should shock you. According to Joel Salatin, sustainable farmer and author of This Ain't Normal, Folks,
McDonald's "represents the pinnacle of factory-farming and industrial food." He says, "The economic model is utterly dependent on stockholders looking for dividends without regards to farm profitability or soil development." The farming that supports these types of industries use heavy pesticides that are not only harmful for your health but harmful to the soil. You may pay a little more up front but buying pasture raised chicken can save you in the long run. Not only do you get the chicken, you can then boil down the bones to make a super healthy broth. That's multiple meals from one chicken.
2. Canned Tomatoes
Bisphenol-A, or BPA, is found in the lining of tin cans. BPA has been linked to problems as diverse as reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. "You can get 50 micrograms of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that's a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young," says Frederick vom Saal, PhD, professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri. "I won't go near canned tomatoes." The solution would be to pick tomatoes in glass containers. Or, although it is more time consuming, you can always stew and cook down your own.
Today's corn is full of pesticides. Like, full. Most of today's plants are genetically engineered to produce their own pesticide within the plant or to with stand spraying with heavy pesticides. Of course, these chemicals remain with the food when we eat them. "I avoid corn because most is genetically modified, and on top of that, most of the seeds are treated with systemic pesticides that are killing our bees," says Maryam Henein one of the directors of directors of the documentary Vanishing of the Bees.
"And let's not be fooled—the sublethal effects of these pesticides also slowly impair our health." The best way to avoid this is to skip processed foods as corn is an ingredient in many. When choosing corn, opt for organic or Non GMO varieties.
4. White Chocolate
We know that some dark chocolate can be good for you but the problem with the white kind is that its nutritional profile is completely blank. "The data on the health benefits of cacao is pretty awesome," says Drew Ramsey, MD, assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and coauthor of The Happiness Diet
. "Much of this is due to a set of amazing phytonutrients that can increase blood flow to the brain, protect blood vessels, and boost mood and focus. White chocolate is missing all this goodness."
5. Artificial Sweeteners
There seems to be evidence everywhere suggesting that using artificial sweeteners can be just as bad for you as using sugar. Maria Rodale, CEO of Rodale Inc. and author of Organic Manifesto,
says, "They're unnatural, nonorganic, taste horrible, and lead to all sorts of bad health consequences, false expectations, and short-term strategic thinking." White sugar isn't really any better but you can use natural sweeteners like honey, blackstrap molasses, or maple syrup. They all contain vitamins and minerals.
I love them but being at the center of so many food recalls, it is hardly worth it. It doesn't matter the type - bean or broccoli, alfalfa or pea sprouts have been part of at least 40 foodborne illness outbreaks in the last 20 years. They have been known to carry salmonella, E. coli, and listeria. This happens because the sprouts require warm, moist conditions in order to sprout which is, of course, also perfect growing conditions for bacteria. If you miss the crunch on your sandwiches and salads, try shredded cabbage or carrot.
7. Food Dyes
Small studies have linked food dyes to hyperactivity in children and cancer in some animals. Red 3 has caused cancer in lab rats, and Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 may contain cancer-causing contaminants. Michael F. Jacobson, PhD, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, avoids them and says, "I just don't like eating synthetic chemicals and the often times synthetic foods in which they're used." Read labels. You'd be shocked at how many foods hide food dyes.
8. Chain restaurant Ice Cream Sundaes.
"No matter where you go, the ice cream sundaes made in most chain restaurants have a couple things in common—namely, supersized portions and an ingredient list a mile long," says Dave Zinczenko, author of the Eat This, Not That series of books
. "All you really need for ice cream is milk, sugar, and maybe a little vanilla, but somehow these places are loading it up with corn syrup, cellulose gum, and vegetable shortening." Yuck. Stick to a small batch ice cream from local retailers. If you make your own sundaes at home, "you'll control your portion size, which means you can indulge in moderation without widening your waistline," says Zinczenko.
Was there anything on this list that shocked you? Anything you can't imagine living without? Share with us!
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