CHOOSING FOODS WISELY
Healthy Living Blog By Dr. Rachelle DAOM, L,Ac
We live in a complex world where foods are augmented on a regular basis to produce profit and sales. Preservatives are added to our foods despite carcinogenic (cancer causing) effects and chemicals used to make food look more appetizing regardless of health hazards involved. So, choosing foods wisely is necessary to prevent toxin overload and ensure quality foods without consequence. Nothing is perfect but being savvy about what ingredients to avoid can have some major long term benefits on our overall health.
The best choices we have at the supermarket are shopping the perimeters as the rule. This allows less chance of processed foods and more whole produce, whole foods like eggs and lean meat selection. If only things were that easy, right? I prefer local vegetable stands, farmers markets, or nutrition stores as a staple for most fruits and vegetables. However, when at the supermarket, reading labels is necessary and choosing more unrefined foods is important to maintain vitality.
Let’s look at some of the artificial colors like Red 40, Yellow 5 & 6, FD & C Blue # 123. These are all linked to childhood behavioral problems and more research needs to be done to show the long term effects as well. Sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin are known to actually induce weight gain, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS. Other more well known culprits which negatively affect the cardiovascular system are trans fats. These can be found in margarine, peanut butters, microwave popcorn, baked goods, and much more.
The more hidden additives which need to have the spotlight to show their true derogatory nature include carrageenan which is often used as a plant-based thickener or preservative to improve shelf life. Carrageenans can cause intestinal ulcers and inflammation in the body. Parabens are also found in many products which are used as a preservative which has been found linked to breast cancer due to its effects as an endocrine disrupter. BHA/BHT are utilized to prevent fats and oils from becoming rancid but have been linked to cancer as well. Potassium bromate is in some pizza doughs and have been banned almost in all countries but the United States. It is used to help the dough rise but it has been linked to lung issues and even impaired cognitive function. Propyl gallate, another preservative, is found to be linked to cancer but is often still found in frozen meals, microwave popcorn, and chewing gum. We have known for some time that nitrates used in processed meats are carcinogenic to the gastrointestinal tract. Also, phthalates are found in the plastics used in packaged foods which has shown to cause childhood neuro developmental issues such as ADHD. The list goes on with high fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate, brominated vegetable oil (BVO’s), sodium benzoate, propylene glycol, and too many others.
Better alternatives are available and should be purchased to start utilizing our power(our purchase is our voice) to change the way foods are manufactured and placed on the shelf despite the negative impact it has on both our health and our future generations. Avoid processed meats by choosing grass-fed, organic and antibiotic/hormone free meat. Choose fish that is fresh and wild caught from the ocean. These may include wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies, crab, Pacific halibut, tuna, mussels, oysters, and clams. For condiments, choose ones without corn syrup, but with natural bone broths, unrefined soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and vinegar free sauerkraut.
For spices, unrefined salt like Celtic salt and fresh herbs are the best choices. For dairy, choosing whole milk, raw or fresh and organic, grass-fed plain yogurt, kefir, and cheeses. The more organic fruits and vegetables the better and choose nuts and seeds that are raw. Nut butters are best in their own oil. Sweeteners should be raw honey, maple syrup, and black strap molasses due to their nutrients. The healthiest beverages include filtered water, herbal teas, fermented drinks, and fresh vegetable or fruit juices.
Tips to choosing foods wisely begins with reading labels. This manifests into eating more whole grains, more beans and legumes, and unrefined foods. Choosing foods without added sugar and preservatives. Cooking at home more often and having healthy snacks wards off eating heavily clad foods with bad fats and additives. Healthy snacks can include figs with goat cheese, boiled eggs, roasted pumpkin seeds, home made granola, and hummus with your preferred vegetables. Frozen fruit popsicles are amazing on a hot Florida day. My favorite snacks include Brazilian nuts, kale chips baked with your favorite spices, sweet potato with coconut cream, cottage cheese with pineapple, unsweetened applesauce, edamame, and whole grain toast with avocado or a healthy peanut butter on top. Eating healthy and choosing wisely should taste delicious. So, find your own favorites!
When toxins do build up in the body, the therapeutic goal is to protect both the liver and kidney by general detoxification. In Eastern Medicine, we treat toxin overload by tonifing the kidney and heart, expelling toxins through both the urine and stool, clearing heat, and nourishing yin (fluids). This is often done by selection of acu points on the body and by prescribing an herbal formula which is designed to treat various issues secondary to chronic exposure and accumulation of different kinds of chemicals. Organic foods are highly recommended, as well as taking Lactobacillus acidophilus, and drinking plenty of water with herbal teas will help facilitate the removal of toxins. Call today for your treatment and let’s choose wisely and let our voice be heard! 772-626-6419