I believe it's possible to live a healthy life even if you don't adhere to the perfect diet. There are some general guidelines I like to keep in mind when I'm making food choices and I still like to indulge in a veggie pizza and a beer from time to time.
But when Health and Wellness are a TOP priority,
certain foods are a definite NO!
I am sure that most of you are aware of some super harmful, but commonly eaten foods and ingredients, like the oil used for deep frying or high fructose corn syrup,
but why are these things bad for us?
It's not just about the calories or lack of nutrition, there's really a lot more going on.
Let's dive into the TOP 4 Foods that You Should Never Eat.
1. High Fructose Corn Syrup - This synthetic, cost-effective ingredient helps only the merchant. While the consumer is left with a highly processed form of sugar that cannot be digested by the body and can often lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes. This ingredient can be found in so many of our favorite home brand items like Coca Cola, Minute Maid Lemonade, Pop Tarts, Raisin Bran, Blue Bunny Ice Cream, Sara Lee Bread, Mott's Apple Sauce and Salad Dressings.
It's easy to avoid this harmful ingredient by being sure to read the labels of everything you buy.. Switch your salad dressings to Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil and you can even combine some Italian Herbs to give it a little extra flavoring.
2. Oil used for Deep Frying - Oils are a funny thing. There are many unstable oils out there that are only meant to be heated to a certain temperature. Once they are heated to the high temperatures required for frying, the molecular structure of the oil changes and becomes highly toxic to the human body! Oils to avoid when deep frying: canola or grapeseed oil, safflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, and sesame oil. Unfortunately, that covers almost ALL the fried foods you're going to find at any restaurant. While it may seem impossible to leave fried foods behind, the side affects of eating such toxic food lead to almost ALL forms of disease in rapid aging.
The good news is you don't have to give up all fried foods. High quality and minimally processed Avocado oil and Coconut oil can handle the high heat and taste much better than the mass produced, genetically modified oils that are found almost everywhere.
It's relatively simple to fry your own potatoes, tempe, tofu, meats, and veggies. A wok makes it super quick and easy!
3. Processed (GMO) Soy - This lovely legume native to Asia has some benefits for us in whole or fermented forms and in small amounts, however the American food industry has genetically modified the soy using Roundup and other harmful chemicals (that get into your body when you eat it). Maybe you've seen these ingredients on your labels: "soy protein isolate", soybean oil, soy sauce, or soy milk. If you really start to pay attention to your labels, you'll start to find that soy bi-products are found in A LOT of processed and pre-packaged foods and even hiding in foods you wouldn't expect to see soy. The problem now becomes the overconsumption of soy, which takes us from good to bad.
You see, soy acts like estrogen in the body. Sometimes this can be helpful if hormone levels are imbalanced. But when we're getting too much, it can actually become the cause of hormonal imbalance and comes with a slew of negative side effects and symptoms.
You don't have to eliminate soy completely from your diet (although you'd probably be a lot healthier if you did) as long as you are mindful about how much you are really consuming. When using soy products, try to stick with Organic as often as possible. Try tempe instead of soy (easier to digest with more nutritional value). And try to enjoy soy in the least processed ways possible.
4. Processed Meats - A lot of people start to become very sensitive when the subject of meat in the diet comes up. I'm not here to debate the topic of whether or not meat is bad or good, but there is a lot of research and data that shows processed meats like deli meat, jerky, frozen burgers, nuggets, hot dogs, etc. contribute to some of society's most pervasive health problems, i.e. heart disease and cancer. Main stream medical journals and magazines have openly published research that shows the harmful side effects of eating these foods on a regular basis.
When you are choosing meat for you and your family, my number one recommendation is to buy locally from a farmer raising happy, healthy, hormone free animals. Even better if you can pay a visit to the farm! Obviously that's not an option for most people. In which case, at the very least, buy organic and whole meats - meaning, get it from the deli fresh, buy actual thighs, breasts, loins, ribs, etc. Avoid pre-packaged, processed meat in colorful packaging. It's what's NOT on the label that you need to worry about.