The world has truly transformed into a global village where so much more is now readily available to many of us. This includes exciting foods and flavors from around the world; goodies that we did not even know existed before. But at the same time the food choices lining supermarket shelves are so filled with additives, preservatives and other unpronounceable ingredients that it takes a moment to figure out what they really mean.
Many of these preserved versions of food, whether canned or packaged are full of substances that are added to increase their shelf life.
In some cases, these additions are made to improve the appearance of food while in others, they are merely there to cut down the costs of mass production. But by no means is their addition to improve the health benefits of these foods.
To make sure that you are making a smart decision about what you eat, here is a look at some toxic chemicals to avoid in popular food choices:
This list includes beef, pork, lamb and poultry that has been injected with antibiotics. Antibiotics are typically fed to animals to avoid the spread of disease on farms, but remain in the meat after slaughter. The same meat makes it to the shelf where it is sold while being laden with antibiotics. To make an informed choice, look for “no antibiotics added”. Choose antibiotic free organic meats.
Canned Foods and Plastic Bottles
Most will contain Bisphenol A (BPA) which is used to make plastic hard. BPA messes with the body’s hormones and is associated with infertility and obesity. Other health threats that could follow by exposure to BPA include type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. As a further precaution, never microwave your food in plastic containers as the BPA present can enter your food.
GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)
GMOs are added to food crops, making them easier to farm. The process allows the foods to be stronger and better resistant from insects, can bring better stability to farming as well as increase output, but not necessarily the health benefits to users. Common crops that are genetically modified include cotton, corn, soybeans and canola, so foods made from these should be avoided unless they are organically farmed. So whenever possible; buy GMO free brands.
Cold cuts, hot dogs, bacon contain meat preservatives that help improve their color and give them flavor. However, when consumed, they can trigger migraines and are believed to lead to cancer. A definite chemical to avoid, choose nitrate free organic meats.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
MSG enhances the natural basic flavor in foods such as soups, casseroles, salads, meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetable dishes. It is also used frequently in fast food and processed meats. The continued use of MSG has demonstrated some controversial results ranging from headaches, flushing, and heart palpitations to chest pain. On a more serious note, continued use of MSG in your diet is considered especially dangerous as this chemically altered salt is associated with damaging brain cells.
The best course of action is to avoid fast foods and processed foods as much as possible and choose fresh foods instead.