We talk a lot about food allergies and intolerance, but a lot of those issues are caused by the chemicals that end up in an on our plates. If you want to avoid chemicals, keep the following tips in mind.
Eat fresh foods that are low in the suspected chemicals. Plan your meals well in advance and eat fresh whenever you can. Remember that processing, reheating, transporting and storing foods can change the chemical content and may provoke symptoms. For a more trustworthy diet, always eat fresh.
Processed foods are not the best. The more processing the food has had the higher the risk that it will contain unwanted chemicals, additives, flavors, colors and many different preservatives.
Fresh meats are always preferred over smoked or processed meats. Eat fresh meat as soon as you purchase it; otherwise freeze it as soon as possible. In my opinion, processed meats are amongst the worst of all processed foods you can eat when it comes to your health.
Consume produce promptly. Fresh fruits and vegetables are best consumed within a few days of purchasing them. If you have two bell peppers, and pepper # 1 is one day old and pepper # 2 is three days old, the first pepper will have less amine in it. Eat fresh produce soon and buy every two to three days, or grow your own.
Avoid MSG. MSG (E621) is an amino acid commonly found in Asian foods, monosodium glutamate is an additive commonly added to foods enhance the flavor. This chemical is commonly found in Asian foods, especially Chinese foods, many snacks, chips, cookies, Campbell soups, lunchmeats, frozen dinners, and various seasonings.
Studies have shown that regular consumption of MSG may result in unwanted symptoms like depression, eye damage, disorientation, headaches, and obesity. If you eat out regularly, be sure to check with the chef to make sure that there is no added MSG.
Avoid food dyes. Did you know that up to 90 percent of food dyes are colors that are derived from a petroleum source? Studies show that food dyes are linked to hyperactivity and disturbed behaviors in children. There are searchable databases online, and you will be able to find which synthetic dyes are used in your favorite foods.
Avoid non-stick pans when you cook food. This may seem like a convenient way of cooking, but most non-stick cookware is made using PFOA (perfluoro octanoic acid), a toxic chemical linked to cancer and other chronic health issues. Choose stainless steel, cast iron or enameled pots and pans instead. Replace your non-stick cookware, like Teflon, with another healthier alternative. If you do continue to use non-stick cookware, be careful not to let it heat above 4500F. Throw out those non-stick pans as soon as they show signs of wear, and then go out and buy stainless or cast iron instead.
Avoid artificial sweeteners. Aspartame (E951), more popularly known as NutraSweet or Equal, is found in foods labeled “diet” or “sugar-free”. Aspartame is now believed to be neurotoxin and carcinogenic and accounts for more reports of adverse reactions that all other food additives combined. This sweet poison is known to affect intelligence and short-term memory, and may lead to a wide variety of chronic illness including brain tumor, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, emotional disorders like depression and anxiety attacks, dizziness, headaches, nausea, mental confusion, migraines and seizures, lymphoma, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. You will find Aspartame in breath mints, toothpastes, chewable vitamins, ice tea, yogurt, table top sweeteners, cereals, diet foods, drink mixes, sugar-free gum, desserts, Diet Coke, sugar free soda drinks, diet drinks, Coke Zero, and jello.
Avoid sodium nitrite/sodium nitrate. These chemicals are used as preservatives, flavorings and colorings. The USDA tried to ban sodium nitrite back in the 1970’s, but the food manufactures won the battle as they claimed that they had no other way of preserving meat products that were packaged. This chemical is widely regarded as toxic, it is in fact carcinogenic and once it enters the bloodstream it can affect the liver and pancreas especially. You will find sodium nitrite/nitrate in smoked and preserved meats especially, such as sausages, bacon, ham, luncheon meats, corned beef, hot dogs, and canned smoked fish.
Avoid GMO foods. Genetically modified organisms are animals or plants that have had their DNA modified. In the United States for example, the majority of canola, corn, cotton and soybean crops have been modified genetically. The unfortunate thing is that one or more of these food items can now be found in most processed foods commercially available. The FDA has not completed sufficient safety testing on these GMO items to ensure the public that they are guaranteed 100 percent safe, especially for pregnancy women and children. Some studies have shown that consuming GMO foods increases your risk of allergy susceptibility, immune suppression, antibiotic resistance as well as increasing the risk of cancer. In light of this evidence and lack of sufficient testing, it is in your best interests to consume as little of these items as possible and to eat other foods instead.