If just one quarter of developed nations would stop consuming the following seven foods, the incidence of obesity and preventable disease would drop more than 50 percent. These foods are toxic to the body, offer no nutritional value and create systemic inflammation making their consumption precursors to auto-immune and other diseases.
There are many health risks associated with the consumption of wheat.
Mainstream nutrition rarely focuses on all the crippling effects of wheat such as neurological impairment, dementia, heart disease, cataracts, diabetes, arthritis and visceral fat accumulation, not to mention the full range of intolerances and bloating now experienced by millions of people.
At some point in our history, this ancient grain was nutritious in some respects, however modern wheat really isn’t wheat at all. Once agribusiness took over to develop a higher-yielding crop, wheat became hybridized to such an extent that it has been completely transformed from its prehistoric genetic configuration. All nutrient content of modern wheat depreciated more than 30% in its natural unrefined state compared to its ancestral genetic line. The balance and ratio that mother nature created for wheat was also modified and human digestion and physiology could simply could not adapt quick enough to the changes.
If you experience joint pain, bloating, inflammation, weight gain or difficulty in losing weight, drop wheat and you’ll notice a world of difference.
If you stop 10 strangers on the street and ask them if soy is health food, most will probably say yes, of course, everyone knows soy is healthy. However many people are now realizing how toxic soy really is.
Even so, the public’s perception of soy as health food got a boost from the FDA with a rule that permits soy beverages, soy-based cheese substitutes, and soy-based butter substitutes which are all toxins.
Monsanto has control over as much as 90 percent of seed genetics. More than 95% of soy is genetically modified and it also has one of the highest percentages contaminations by pesticides of any of our foods.
Soy causes estrogen levels in men to be 6-8 times higher than the normal limits, often higher even than the levels typically seen in healthy women.
Soybeans are high in phytic acid, present in the bran or hulls of all seeds. It’s a substance that can block the uptake of essential minerals – calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc – in the intestinal tract.
Although not a household word, phytic acid has been extensively studied; there are literally hundreds of articles on the effects of phytic acid in the current scientific literature. Scientists are in general agreement that grain- and legume-based diets high in phytates contribute to widespread mineral deficiencies in third world countries.
Analysis shows that calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc are present in the plant foods eaten in these areas, but the high phytate content of soy- and grain-based diets prevents their absorption.
The soybean has one of the highest phytate levels of any grain or legume that has been studied, and the phytates in soy are highly resistant to normal phytate-reducing techniques such as long, slow cooking. Only a long period of fermentation will significantly reduce the phytate content of soybeans and most soy found in the food industry is not fermented. Please review fermented soy is the only soy food fit for human consumption.
Most favorable studies done on soy, including organic, Non-GMO soy are biased and come from corporate or university sponsored backing from corporations vested in soy products. The powerful soy industry has spent millions of dollars covering up the truth about the detrimental effects of soy.
Avoid absolutely anything made with soy, whether it be tofu, soy milk, soy sauce, soy protein, soy lecithin, soy flour, soy dairy, etc. If you must have soy, stick to organic, fermented sources. However, due to corruption and specific practices now employed by the soy industry, it can reliably be stated that there ARE NO SAFE SOURCES OF SOY and your risk of consuming GM soy (label organic) are high.
The second most genetically modified crop after soy is corn. According to one study, three varieties of Monsanto’s GM corn – Mon 863, insecticide-producing Mon 810, and Roundup herbicide-absorbing NK 603 – are approved for consumption by US, European and several other national food safety authorities.
“The gene flow risk that keeps me awake at night is the possibility of hybridization between crops engineered to manufacture poisons and related crops intended for human consumption,” says plant geneticist Norman Ellstrand. Indeed, this application of GM crops seeks to turn corn into cost-effective pharmaceutical factories and may bear the mark of unacceptable risk. It is currently the subject of intense debate. An open-pollinated crop, corn is known for its promiscuity–making it more prone to gene flow risks than other crops.
Effects of consuming GM corn are concentrated in kidney and liver function, the two major diet detoxification organs, but in detail differed with each GM type. In addition, some effects on heart, adrenal, spleen and blood cells were also frequently noted. Data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity. These substances have never before been an integral part of the human or animal diet and therefore their health consequences for those who consume them, especially over long time periods are currently unknown.
4. Processed Foods
Eating too many processed foods with high sodium levels contributed to 2.3 million deaths from heart attacks, strokes and other heart-related diseases throughout the world in 2010, representing 15 percent of all deaths due to these causes, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions.
Scientists have recently found that a modern diet of processed foods, takeaways and microwave meals could be to blame for a sharp increase in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, including alopecia, asthma and eczema.
Why manufacturers feel the need to can, package, and bottle nature’s goodness with excess sugar is a question we should never stop asking. Stay away from anything boxed or canned that contains added salt, sugar, soy (i.e. soy lecithin), corn, high fructose corn syrup, gelatin, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, polysorbate 80, propylene glycol, carrageenan, xanthan gum, liquid smoke, palm oil, hydrolyzed /autolyzed ingredients, aspartame, sucralose, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), msg, sodium nitrites, sodium nitrates, enriched wheat. For additional ingredients please review 20 Ingredients To Memorize and Avoid In ANY Food You Consume.
5. Refined Grains/Flour
Most refined grains and flours are also courtesy of Monsanto and GMO. Do you realize how much power one company can have over the foundation of the world’s food supply? Without stiff competition, Monsanto could raise its seed prices at will, which in turn could raise the cost of everything from animal feed to wheat bread and cookies. Stop eating them!
The food industry is inconsistently classifying foods as “whole grain” and, in many cases, misleading consumers. Most breads available at grocery retailers are simply NOT good for you because they made from ingredients lacking practically any nutritional value.
Just take a look at the products on the shelves of your local grocery store. There is a healthy multigrain substitute for everything – be it bread, noodles, biscuits or chips. Most brands are exploiting the multigrain craze that has caught the fancy of people of late. However, are they really healthy as these companies claim?
Most flours are derived from a whole cereal grain that has been milled into a fine meal and is then used for making baked goods of all kinds. Modern milling of whole cereal grains puts the kernel through a high-heat milling process that removes the germ and bran (which contain 90 percent of the nutritional content of the kernel), leaving only the endosperm (starch). The starch is then ground into different sizes for different purposes. The result is “refined” flour.
Not only are cereal grains deficient in vitamins but many contain substances that decrease the intestinal absorption of many other important nutrients. Both wheat and sorghum are not only low in biotin but seem to have elements within them that elicit a depression of biotin metabolism. Vitamin D utilization by the body can be inhibited by an excessive consumption of cereal grains.
Cereal grains are good sources of phosphorous, potassium, and magnesium, but are poor sources of sodium and calcium. The high phytate content of whole grain cereals forms insoluble complexes with calcium, so that the net effect is a low Ca/P ratio. Phytate is a salt or ester of phytic acid that is capable of forming insoluble complexes with calcium, zinc, iron, and other nutrients and interfering with their absorption by the body. Thus a high phytate content frequently induces bone mineral pathologies in populations dependent upon cereal grains as a primary food source.
Iron metabolism is affected negatively by a diet high in phytate and fiber. Iron deficiency is the most prevalent nutritional problem in the world today. An iron deficiency has been associated with an irreversible impairment of a child’s learning capabilities. The bioavailability of zinc, copper, and magnesium in cereal grains is generally low. The absorption of manganese, chromium, and selenium does not seem impaired. Zinc deficiency can result in hypogonadal dwarfism in which there is arrested growth. In countries with high cereal grain intake and hence low zinc absorption, hypogonadal dwarfism is nearly 3 percent and skeletal growth may be limited. The bioavailability of zinc from meat is four times higher than that from cereals.
Most people who begin refined grain elimination diets, including cutting out breads, crackers and pastas, find inflammation and pain dramatically improve in less than 30 days.
6. Conventional/Processed Meats
Conventional meat meaning factory farmed and processed meat meaning any meat preserved by smoking or adding chemical preservatives or refined salt.
Most meat eaters may be unaware that more than 70% of all beef and chicken in the United States, Canada and other countries is being treated with poisonous carbon monoxide gas. It can make seriously decayed meat look fresh for weeks. The meat industry continues to allow this toxic gas injection into many of the meat products people consume on a daily basis.
And then there’s the matter of the hormones and vaccines in corn-fed cattle. Hormones from cattle end up polluting the body. And not all scientists are comfortable with the idea of residues in meat: the European Union has refused to import American beef raised with hormones.
Another problem is the antibiotics used in corn-fed animals to prevent or treat disease. Meat from corn-fed cattle is also far more contaminated with E coli bacteria, partly because corn interferes with ruminant digestion, and partly because the animals are crowded together in filthy conditions. E. coli levels are much lower in grass-fed cattle.
The largest percentage of beef offered at your grocery retailer is via corn-fed cattle. Corn-fed beef is tender, with the marbling consumers have come to expect–and thus is high in fat, especially saturated fat. A four-ounce serving of grass-fed beef typically has 7 to 10 grams of total fat, compared with 14 to 16 grams in the same cut of corn-fed beef.
More than 95 percent of all processed meat is not organic. It is linked with an increased risk of colon cancer and other diseases. Some experts suspect that certain substances such as artifical nitrates and nitrites used as preservatives in meats may change into cancer-causing compounds in the body.
High intake of processed meat may increase the risk of developing type-2 diabetes by 40 percent. Nitrosamines in processed meats can be formed by the interaction of amino compounds with nitrites in these foods and they have been linked to beta cell toxicity. In addition, even low doses of the nitrosamines are found to induce type 2 diabetes.
Stay away from any type of meat at the deli counter unless it’s organic and cured (via sea salt) rather than preserved. Avoid all red meat and chicken available at your grocery retailer unless it comes from organic farming practices that emphasize hormone free, unvaccinated, grass-fed and hormone-free sources. Most major grocery retailers do not offer this type of meat. So you may be limited to something like Whole Foods or a local organic farmer or butcher shop.
7. Conventional Dairy
Some studies have linked high intakes of dairy to increased risk of cancer. But others have found no connection, and even a reduced risk. The question is, which ones are unbiased studies and which ones are sponsored by the dairy industry?
US scientists suspect this is because milk and other dairy foods contain the hormone oestrogen, which encourages tumour growth.
Pasteurized milk is perhaps one of the most nutritionally deficient beverages misappropriately labeled as a “perfect food.” Raw milk enthusiasts have known for a very long time that unpasteurized milk is the ONLY milk worthy of consumption. Pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer.
Raw milk drinkers definitely have an edge in the nutrition department as at least they drink a beverage which has the potential to prevent disease. Unlike conventional, pasteurized milk which can cause heart-disease and diabetes, raw milk can actually prevent these conditions. But raw milk drinkers should know their cows intimately before making consumer purchases of raw milk.
The United States is the world’s largest producer of pasteurized cow milk, but oddly enough it is also one of the world’s smallest consumers. The dairy industry thus has a vested interest in eliminating all raw milk suppliers from the market place to enforce and increase per capita consumption of pasteurized milk which is lagging behind most of the world.
Pasteurized milk is perhaps one of the most nutritionally deficient beverages misappropriately labeled as a “perfect food.” Raw milk enthusiasts have known for a very long time that unpasteurized milk is the ONLY milk worthy of consumption.
For example, researchers have discovered that cows on organic dairy farms are healthier and less stressed than conventional cows, largely thanks to a more natural, forage-based diet instead of the grain and ground-up bones that usually pass as cattle feed on factory farms. Raw milk from pasture-fed livestock provides the most benefit, promoting the cultivation of healthy bacteria and some active enzymes that enhance immunity, digestion and nutrient assimilation. So if you drink raw milk, make sure it comes from an organic farm, for your health, safety and the nutrient value. If you can’t source raw milk, very simply don’t drink it. Chances are you don’t need it anyway and you’ll do fine from a nutritional standpoint without ever consuming milk.
Avoid all yogurts, ice creams, cheese and other milk products, regardless of fermentation, if made with conventional sources of milk.
If you’re still eating any of these foods, try completely eliminating even just one of these seven groups from your diet. See how you feel. I can almost guarantee your body won’t thank you enough until you’ve eliminated them all.
Sample Menu Avoiding All of The Above
Use as many organic fruits and veggies as possible.
Try a smoothie for breakfast filled with fresh and frozen fruits, add some chia seeds and green your smoothie with kale, spirulina or spinach. Add a scoop of almond butter. Need more protein? Mix in some hemp protein powder or raw sprouted protein powder. Still hungry? Have some nuts, pumpkin seeds or some dates with coconut butter.
Need a sandwich for lunch? How about egg salad? Try sprouted Ezekiel bread (now available at many grocery retailers). Use organic eggs, hardboiled (cook them to perfection using this method). Mayo recipe on that link as well. Add the mayo with some finely chopped celery and red pepper. Add a pinch of pepper and you have a healthy great tasting sandwich.
Make yourself a beautiful large salad with a high quality olive oil and mix in your favorite greens and veggies. Shavings of some raw unpasteurized Parmesan cheese is always a nice addition along with olives and walnuts. This is a wonderful meal that should keep most satisfied until bed time. If it doesn’t, have another hemp protein smoothie, on the lighter side with minimal fruits, but add celery and cucumber with a pinch of ginger and some honey.
Natasha Longo has a master’s degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.