Toxic Ingredients & Essential Considerations
Updated: Feb 26
* SPOKEN WORD *
The foundation of nutrition didn't enter my life until I was a sophomore in college, attending nursing school, at the University of Cincinnati. What an epic fail from an educational standpoint. My parents did their part; they positioned our residence in a wonderful district so that I could attend blue ribbon schools. The educational system and curriculum failed me and my peers. Profound developmental stages came and went with no consideration to how I could best support my being nutritionally. Teaching youth about dietetics should be as essential as teaching writing, reading, and arithmetic. It should be required yearly and not considered an elective.
My parents don't have an educational background in the sciences. They chose to focus on business and engineering. To attempt in teaching me about dietetics wasn't on their radar or within their wheel house. This task is the responsibility of the public school system. Do they intentionally drop this profound ball? Do they want the youth growing up ill informed and malnourished? To in time be diagnosed with conditions effecting the body and the mind. Does this knowledge deficit result in an inferior population whom are more malleable?
This expression is for my followers whom like my parents chose a path unrelated to the branch of knowledge concerned with nourishment and its effects on health and thus have yet to receive this essential nutritional information. Should my followers have children of their own, I'm hopeful that this advice will result in a more informed and healthy youth.
*ARTIFICIAL COLORS: They cause allergic reactions and increased hyperactivity in individuals whom often end up with a diagnosis of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Examples include: FD&C Blue #1 and #2, FD&C Green #3, FD&C Red #3 and #40, FD&C Yellow #5 and #6, Orange B, and Citrus Red #2. One will have to read food labels/ingredient lists, to avoid such additives.
*ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: Anxiety, depression, headaches, metabolic syndrome, nausea, and skin rashes can occur with consumption. Examples include: Saccharin (Sweet'N Low, Sugar Twin), Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), Acesulfame potassium or ace-K (Sweet One, Swiss Sweet, Sunett), Sucralose (Splenda), Advantame, and Neotame (Newtame). One will have to read labels here too. If a product is labeled "diet," "sugar-free," "diabetic" or "keto" friendly these artificial sweeteners might be present.
*HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP (HFCS): Inflammation is likely to result leading to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. One will have to read ingredient labels to ensure this reality. Need sweetness? Choose honey and maple syrup first and foremost; cane sugar can be a backup to the nectar of honey bees and the maple trees!
*HYDROGENATED OILS: Create the presence of trans fats, which lead to atherosclerosis, elevated bad cholesterol, a reduction in good cholesterol, heart disease, and cancer of the breast and colon. Look for the word "hydrogenated" on ingredient lists within food labels and avoid all products that contain them.
*MSG (MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE): Headaches, burning or tingling sensations in the face and neck, chest pain and heart palpitations, flushing and itchy skin, nausea and dizziness, and weakness are reported side effects. Those preparing Chinese and Japanese based foods often use this ingredient. Reading food labels is clearly key every step along the way and asking for ingredient lists from restaurants is essential.
*SODIUM NITRATES AND NITRITES: Cancer can develop with intake in addition to dizziness, headaches, nausea and vomiting. You will find these preservatives mainly in processed meats but also when the color red is desired to be enhanced, such as, sun-dried tomatoes. You must read food labels always or until you find your favorite products. Do be careful simply relying on your favorites as any point in time ingredient lists can and do change. Double checking is always best!
*SOY based products: Soy contains phytoestrogens, an estrogen-like compound that negatively impacts sexual development. Soy based products also interact with the thyroid gland leading to weight management issues. In general, allergic reactions are probable. Kidney disease and cancer are possible. Read labels here too and be careful dining at Chinese and Japanese restaurants as soy sauce is a favorite ingredient. Coconut Aminos is a great alternative to soy sauce!
*SUGAR ALCOHOLS: Gas, bloating, and diarrhea are common with consumption. Examples include: Mannitol, Sorbitol, Xylitol, Lactitol, Isomalt, Maltitol and Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysates (HSH). One will have to read labels here too. If a product is labeled sugar-free, diabetic or keto friendly these artificial sweeteners might be present.
Be mindful that our ancestors didn't have access to such toxic ingredients. There presence are the result of an industrialized food system. 1910 was the very first time food was made in a factory. Be careful about assuming this type of system has your best interest at heart. More often than not, profits drive decisions relating to ingredients rather than the greater good of our population and planet.
This isn't about being on a "diet;" it's simply about removing toxic ingredients from our shopping carts, our homes, our plates, and thus our bodies. If you're a parent, be very careful about placing a child on a "diet" or discussing "dieting" in their company. Long term body image issues and difficulty establishing and maintaining a healthy weight result when diets and dieting are discussed and introduced.
I've discussed what we should remove, now lets focus on the essential food we should consume to ensure the very best versions of ourselves!
*When reviewing the food groups listed below, understand ORGANIC will always be SUPERIOR and if one has access and resources, consider only purchasing and/or growing organic foods for yourself and loved ones. When you make this educated decision you dramatically reduce exposure to toxic PESTICIDES and GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS (GMOs). Abdominal cramping, diarrhea, dizziness, nausea, anxiety, depression, confusion, memory disorders, neurological conditions (Parkinson's), attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), respiratory problems, skin conditions, miscarriages, birth defects, nerve damage, and cancer have all been linked to short and/or long term exposure to conventional pesticides. GMOs are products that have had their DNA modified in a laboratory setting from what's naturally occurring. Again, our ancestors didn't grow up on genetic engineering. The very first genetically modified product to hit our market was a tomato in 1994. Allergic reactions, antibiotic-resistance, and heavy metal exposure do result from intake of GMOs. These products containing modified DNA structures tend to be less nutritious when compared to their unmodified counterpart.
*Consider NEVER purchasing the following conventional products as they are proven through research to be very very dirty: Apples, Celery, Cherries, Grapes, Kale, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Potatoes, Spinach, Strawberries, and Tomatoes. This grouping is often referred to as the Dirty Dozen.
*VARIETY within each food group is key and maybe easier said than done.
*FRUITS: Fresh and frozen are best. If canned is being provided be sure it contains 100% fruit juice. If the product is presented in an aluminum can ensure it's BPA free. If fruit juice is purchased, it should be 100% juice and nothing less.
*VEGETABLES: Fresh and frozen are best. If canned is being provided be sure it contains low sodium or no added salt. If the product desired is presented in an aluminum can ensure it's BPA free. Avoid boiling as nutrients are lost in the water and avoid deep frying for superior health.
*GRAINS: Choose 100% whole grains. The following are your best and healthiest options: rice, buckwheat (kasha), amaranth, cornmeal (polenta), millet, quinoa, and certified gluten-free oats.
*ANIMAL PROTEIN: Select wild caught seafood over farm raised. If you're serving meat, choose grass-fed, organic for best quality, to avoid contaminates. Avoid processed meats like bacon and cold cuts to avoid SODIUM NITRATES AND NITRITES. Prepare anyway that you enjoy but please avoid deep-frying. If you're a parent trying to raise your child vegan I would recommend consulting a Registered Pediatric Dietitian who specializes in this topic; to ensure essential nutrients are not missed and negatively impact growth and development.
*NON-ANIMAL PROTEIN: Beans, peas and lentils (VEGETABLES); nuts and seeds (FATS); and quinoa (GRAINS). If canned is being provided be sure it contains low sodium or no added salt. If the product desired is presented in an aluminum can ensure it's BPA free.
*FATS: Wild caught seafood (ANIMAL PROTEIN), avocado (FRUIT), SOY FREE mayonnaise and buttery spreads, olives, nuts, seeds, and ground nut and seed butters are great foods that supply healthy sources of fats! Be sure to match your cooking temperature with your oil. Almond, avocado, and canola oils are great options for high heat cooking. Olive oils add wonderful flavor after the cooking process is complete or on top of a cold dish, such as, salads. Avoid HYDROGENATED OILS and thus trans fats.
*DAIRY: Consider vegan options for superior health to avoid the unfortunate side effects associated with the cow industry: heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer's; cancer of the breast, ovarian, and prostate; digestive issues related to lactose intolerance, brittle bones and increased fractures, nasal congestion and pressure, ear infections, acne and skin rashes to name a few complications. Vegan varieties are often fortified to provide better nutrient profiles to that of dairy from a cow. Rice milk is my personal favorite! Follow Your Heart makes a divine cheese and a tasty mayonnaise. Shop Violife for mouthwatering cream cheese and Earth Balance for SOY FREE butter. There are wonderful almond and coconut milk based yogurts on the market! Once you locate your favorite products, going cow free is super simple!
*MULTIVITAMIN MINERAL SUPPLEMENT: I would provide children (4 years and older) with 4 Gummies daily by Garden of Life, mykind Organics. A whole foods based supplement that's certified both vegan and kosher. Garden of Life also has varieties for adults based on age, sex, and pregnancy! Daily supplementation is recommended as a form of health insurance.
*It's encouraged that the entire household follows recommendations so no one feels alienated. All recommendations would serve an entire household very well!
Set your family up for success by deeply considering and following the above recommendations. If you choose to disregard my essential information, don't get too upset when someone in your household misbehaves, as they've been supplied subpar building blocks for their body. If you feed a loved one figurative garbage don't be surprised when they act like what they're made of.
If you're a parent and your child gets diagnosed with a developmental and/or behavioral condition consider if you've truly tried everything in your power to support their beings in growing in the healthiest fashion, prior to considering prescribed medication. When pediatric health and wellness is discussed one should never discount the benefits of physical activity. Be very careful about discouraging movement.
The thought of me knowing this information as a kid brings a smile to my little face!...
May you be forever blessed with a happy and healthy family and may the guidance listed in this expression ensure that reality!
Peace, Love, & Everlasting Protection!
Maggie Fekete, CHC, BCHHP, E-RYT
Certified Health Coach
Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner
Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher
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