Years ago, avoiding toxins meant something different than it did today. Today, most foods need some degree of processing, and not all processed foods are bad for the body. However, chemically processed foods tend to have a number of artificial ingredients. Because of this, they are a major negative contributor to metabolic function and ultimately lead to obesity and many illnesses.
The ingredients list on the back of a processed food packaging is often full of unrecognizable substances. Some are artificial chemicals that the manufacturer has added to make the food taste better or last longer without spoiling.
Processed, packaged food often contain the following types of chemicals:
- Preservatives - enhance the shelf life of a product
- Artificial Coloring - enhance the appearance of a product
- Chemical Flavoring - enhance the taste of a product
Avoid exposure to chemical toxins in your food (pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, etc) and on your skin. But also try to avoid the hidden poisons in foods like sugars, grains, processed foods, trans and hydrogenated fats, and mercury in certain fish.
Sure, artificial food colorings and dyes make products look brighter and more appealing, but at what cost? Many foods on the market contain food dyes, 90% of which are derived from petroleum. Some of the side effects include cancer, increased allergies, hyperactivity, irritability, depression and fatigue.
Look for artificial colorings like red 40, yellow 5, green 3, orange B and blue 1. Do not think because something is clear or white it does not have food dyes in it. Always check the label on the back of the package before purchasing anything processed.
As time goes by, we keep finding more bad things about processed oils and fats. These are most commonly seen in fried and packaged foods--they do not exist in nature! Hydrogenation is the food industry’s way of turning liquid oils into solid fats. It gives packaged foods a longer shelf life than if they were made with natural oils. Hydrogenation produces trans fats, which have been linked to numerous health problems such as cancer, inflammation, heart disease and fatigue. These trans fats have a terrible effect on our blood lipids and cholesterol.
SUGAR FREE, BUT AT WHAT COST?
Even though artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame and saccharin are "zero calories", they have been shown to disturb the body's ability to count calories and stunningly results in encouraging weight gain rather than weight loss. They affect the normal gut microbiota and also cross the blood-brain barrier, stimulate your hunger hormones and disrupt your appetite behaviors, making you feel more hungry and ultimately cause you to eat more.
WHY RISK IT?
A small number of studies might not create facts, but why risk it? Toxins are found mostly in processed junk foods, which are high in calories and low in nutrients. Avoiding toxins is just one of the benefits of choosing high-nutrient, whole foods instead.