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Foods to Avoid for Health

 Unfortunately 90% of the foods available today at our standard supermarket are or contain harmful ingredients which we should be avoiding completely. If you read the labels you will find ingredients such as sugar (high fructose corn syrup, glucose, fructose, etc.), artificial sweeteners, high salt content, MSG (mono sodium glutamate), preservatives, food colorings, harmful oils, and more. Furthermore, some of these ingredients are labeled with scientific names which make identifying them, more challenging.

Date: 02/10/05
Source: Sofia M. Pico, LMT, RM,

Fortunately there is help. A book titled “A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives” Fifth Edition, by Ruth Winter, M.S. is available at Whole Foods Market or at your local book store. This book is a valuable reference and gives you all the facts about the relative safety and side effects of more than 8,000 ingredients that end up indirectly in your food as a result of processing and curing, such as preservatives, food-tainting pesticides, and animal drugs. For example, drugs used to tranquilize pigs have actually been known to sedate diners.

For now here are some ingredients and foods that should be avoided:

 We all know some of the guises of sugar such as sucrose, fructose, maple syrup, molasses. But what about dextrose, turbinado, amazake, sorbitol, carob powder, and high fructose corn syrup? As a result of all sorts of sugars poured into more products every year by the makers of processed foods. North Americans - for example - eat about 23 teaspoons of added sugar every day. But that only includes refined, processed sugars, honey and maple syrup. What those 23 teaspoons, translated into 92 grams of sugar, do not include are all the other added sugars we're getting daily from:

• corn sweeteners - the main ingredient in pop (soda), and
• fruit juices.

Add up all those sugars and some people are eating more than half their body weight in sugars every year. It’s a serious concern around the world. A report released recently by the World Health Organization (WHO) urges people to limit their daily consumption of free sugars to less than 10 percent of their total energy intake (Diet Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases; TRS916). "Free sugars" in this report include:

• sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices, and
• refined, processed sugars from cane, beet and corn added to foods by the manufacturer, cook or consumer.

In North America, however, this report prompted a harsh reaction from the sugar lobby.

The World Health Organization’s 10 percent sugar recommendation adds up to approximately 12 teaspoons of a sugar a day based on an average 2000-calorie diet. It is so much less than North Americans eat now. Although we are eating way too much sugar, consuming less sugar is not that easy as it would seem. Cutting back to 12 teaspoons a day is going to be tough. A can of baked beans, for instance, lists white beans, water, molasses, sugar, fructose, brown sugar. Lots of sugars! Of course, you would like to have these beans with a hot dog which lists such ingredients as pork, chicken, beef, water, salt, dextrose. It means more sugar! The bun contains another half-teaspoon of sugar. And with that hot dog you would like to have a dash of ketchup (a third of ketchup is sugar)… Another example: a health snack – granola bar has two teaspoons of sugar. One little Fruit Rollup, Mellon Berry Blast has about 3 teaspoons of sugar, mostly in form of cheap corn syrup.

The WHO report recommending we eat less sugar provoked loud criticism from the sugar lobby in the U.S. and Canada. The sugar industry and the American government are really upset about it. Randall Kaplan of the Canadian Sugar Institute says that there’s no scientific proof sugar is what is making us fat or giving us diabetes (!) Although presently it cannot be proved scientifically that sugar along is to blame, there’s plenty of evidence that it is the key contributing factor. Junk food is everywhere. No matter what, in every store that you go to there is a little section of chocolate, candy and chips. Sugar is all over the place and it's hard to resist it. Sugar is harmful to human health! Unfortunately, many people are actually addicted to sugar, and this includes grains, which are rapidly broken down into sugar in your body.

In order to free yourself of the physical addiction, complete avoidance of all sugar and grains is necessary. Complete abstinence resolves the biochemical addiction, however, it will be very important to eat every two hours during this transition to avoid symptoms of hypoglycemia. This is usually necessary for several days to several weeks.

Sugar-Cancer Association
Nutritionally oriented doctors have known about the refined sugar-cancer association for decades. More than 70 years ago, Dr. Warburg won the Nobel Prize in medicine when he discovered that cancer cells require glucose (sugar) for growth; they consume as much as 4 to 5 times more glucose than normal, healthy cells. In fact, cancer cells are unable to multiply rapidly without sugar.

The cells that are dividing (multiplying) the fastest have the highest requirement for energy (to sustain such accelerated growth). Therefore, cutting out the source (sugar) is similar to cutting off the blood supply - though not quite as drastic, it's certainly a step worth taking. It is simply astonishing that this simple knowledge - sugar feeds cancer - hasn't become the basis for Rule One in any cancer fight: Stop eating sugar immediately.

Obviously giving up sugar is not the cure for cancer. But this tactic should be recommended STRONGLY to anyone with cancer or, actually, ANY other illness or disorder. You wonder if one of the alternate sweeteners, such as stevia or xylitol, might also feed the cancer cells in the same way sugar does. Stevia won't, because it is zero-calorie. Xylitol could be more of a quandary. It does contain calories (about 40% less than sugar), and it is labeled a 'sugar-alcohol.' Apparently that status causes a slower release into the body and less absorption. For that reason, it would be less of a problem as it is not as strong as refined carbohydrates.

How much less would be controversial, since the sugar-cancer cell growth issue itself is a tough one. However, keep in mind that the body also breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, so a diet that is heavy with high carbohydrate foods can also fuel cancer cell growth as well as other health problems that are known to be linked to excess blood glucose, including:

• obesity
• diabetes
• heart disease
• an overgrowth of pathogenic intestinal flora
• gout
• panic attacks
• hyperactivity, and
• depression.

The following foods are so bad for your body that there is no any reason to eat them. Not only do they have zero nutritional value, but they also give your body quite a dose of toxins.

Doughnuts - These "foods" are:
• fried in vegetable oils, therefore, high in trans fat (store-bought doughnuts contain 35-40 per cent trans fat!)
• high in sugar (an average doughnut contains about 200-300 calories, mostly from sugar, and few other nutrients)
• full of white flour (in most varieties). Nutritionally speaking, eating a doughnut is one of the worst ways to start off your day.

It will throw off your blood sugar and won’t stay with you so you’ll be hungry again soon. You are better off eating no breakfast at all...

Soda - This kind of drink, both regular and "diet," is:
• high in sugar (one can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar - 150 calories)
• high in caffeine (30 to 55 mg of caffeine per one can of soda)
• loaded with artificial food colors and sulphites
• filled with harmful artificial sweeteners like *aspartame - NutraSweet, Equal (in the "diet" varieties).

One of the simplest and most profound health improvements you can make is to eliminate soda (pop) from your diet.

Nutritionally speaking, drinking soda leads to nutrient deficiencies, osteoporosis, obesity, tooth decay and heart disease; yet, the average American drinks an estimated 56 gallons of soft drinks each year (!) Especially threatening is the consumption of soft drinks among children. Unfortunately, schools often make marketing deals with leading soft drink companies in exchange for their students’ health (most school hallways are lined with soda-filled vending machines!).

French Fries - Nearly all commercially fried foods are:
• high in trans fat (potatoes cooked at high temperatures in vegetable oils)
• high in free radicals harmful to the body
• high in acrylamide (up to 82 mcg per serving), a potent cancer-causing chemical formed as a result of unknown chemical reactions during high-temperature frying or baking.

Nutritionally speaking, consuming foods that are fried in vegetable oils contributes to aging, clotting, inflammation, cancer and weight gain. 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.

Chips - Corn chips, potato, tortilla, and other chips are:
• high in trans fat (present in most commercial chips)
• high carcinogenic acrylamide (up to 25 mcg per serving).

Fried Non-Fish Seafood - Shrimps, clams, oysters, lobsters, and other seafood are:
• high in trans fat
• high in carcinogenic acrylamide
• high in mercury
• contaminated with parasites and resistant viruses (they may not even be killed with high heat).

Eating these scavenger animals gives you with every bite a quadruple dose of toxins.

* Aspartame - the technical name for the brand names, NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure - is the common food additive found in thousands of products such as diet soda, yogurt, and over-the-counter medicines. However, this sugar substitute – in fact, a chemical poison (neurotoxin) - should never been approved for consumption as it poses a public health threat.

Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the US FDA. A few of the 90 (!) different documented symptoms caused by the components of aspartame include: headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain (it actually increases appetite!), rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.

** Sucralose - a relatively new artificial sweetener sold under the name Splenda™. It is a high-intensity sugar substitute which is 50 percent sweeter but less toxic than aspartame. It is non-caloric and about 600 times sweeter than sucrose (white table sugar), already used in a variety of products (in the United States, approved for the use in 15 food and beverage categories).

However, sucralose is NOT proven safe; it does NOT provide any benefit to the public (only for the corporations making and using sucralose); it does NOT help with weight loss (on the contrary: it my stimulate appetite); it has NOT been shown to be safe for the environment, and, finally, there are NO long-term (12-24 months) human studies on sucralose (similar to several years ago for aspartame). Its regular use may contribute to serious chronic immunological or neurological disorders.

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