Ann Wigmore, a holistic health practitioner, once said, “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” She certainly isn’t wrong. Raw foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, nuts, and dairy products, are filled with macronutrients and micronutrients that nourish and fuel our bodies. The modern American diet consists of endless processed food options. Processed foods are filled with food additives-some keep food fresher longer, while also adding flavor. Some food additives like salt are natural. Salt helps prevent spoilage -effectively prevents food poisoning.
Although it is better to eat as much healthy food as you can, it will not “hurt” you to consume processed or “junk” food in moderation. Below, I wanted to share with you some food additives to look out for and aim to avoid having frequently in your daily diet.
High Fructose Corn Syrup – This is a highly-refined artificial sweetener and easily adds calories to food. Simple sugars such as this one has been known to increase total cholesterol and triglycerides. Sugar can lead to tissue damage in the body through chemical reactions. High sugar intake can lead to diabetes. This sweetener can be found in breads, flavored yogurt, salad dressing, canned fruit and vegetables, and cereals.
Food Dyes – Artificial food dyes (coloring) have been shown in scientific studies to lead to hyperactivity and behavioral problems in children, as well as allergic reactions and tumors. Blue #1 and #2 may cause chromosomal damage and are banned in Norway, Finland and France. Yellow #6 and Yellow Tartrazine increased the number of kidney and adrenal gland tumors in lab animals. These are banned in Norway and Sweden. Red dye #3 was banned in the United States back in 1990 but can still be found on the market. It too is known to cause chromosomal damage and can interfere with brain-nerve transmission. These dyes can be found in foods like American cheese, ice cream, candy, soft drinks, fruit cocktail and more.
Sodium Nitrate/Nitrite – Sodium nitrate is used as a preservative, flavoring and coloring (turns meats red) in lunch meats, bacon, hot dogs, sausage and other processed meats. It has carcinogenic potential. When this preservative enters your stomach, it mixes with your stomach acid and forms nitrosamines, which are cancer promoting chemical that may be linked to oral, brain, esophageal, bladder, and stomach cancers.
Other food additives to avoid: MSG, partially hydrogenated oil, propyl gallate, potassium bromate, sodium benzoate, and benzoic acid.
If your diet is full of these foods and additives, it may be time for a change! If you’re looking for help with your diet, Dr. Kordonowy of Internal Medicine, Lipid & Wellness of Fort Myers offers comprehensive dietary consults to his patients. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kordonowy, call 239-362-3005, ext. 200 or click here. Dr. Kordonowy offers direct patient care membership and concierge services including the unique Inpatient Advocate Service™.