1. Growth Hormones in meat: When you eat conventional meat, you’re probably eating hormones, antibiotics, steroids, and chemicals created by the fear and stress suffered by the animal during slaughter and in its inhumane living conditions.
In 2009, two Japanese researchers published a startling study in Annals of Oncology. They pointed out that there has been a surge in hormone dependent cancers that roughly parallels the surge of beef consumption in Japan. Over the last twenty-five years, hormone dependent cancers such as breast, ovarian, endometrial, and prostate cancer rose five fold in that country. More than 25% of the beef imported to Japan comes from the United States, where livestock growers regularly use the growth hormonal steroid estradiol. The researchers found that US beef had much higher levels of estrogen than Japanese beef because of the added hormones. This finding led them to conclude that eating a lot of estrogen rich beef could be the reason for the rising incidence of these life-threatening cancers.
Injected hormones like estrogen mimic the activity of our natural hormones and prevent those hormones from doing their jobs. This situation creates chaos. Growth hormones are produced, eliminated, or metabolized. And guess what? Hormone impersonators can trigger unnatural cell growth that may develop into cancer.
The United States is one of the only industrialized countries that still allows their animals to be injected with growth hormone. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the entire European Union have banned rBST because of their dangerous impact on human and bovine health.
US farmers fatten up their livestock by injecting them with estrogen based hormones, which can migrate from the meat we eat to our bodies- and possibly stimulate the growth of human breast cancer, according to the Breast Cancer Fund, an organization committed to preventing breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to toxins linked to the disease.
Farms in America also dose their livestock with certain growth stimulating drugs, namely, the feed additive ractopamine, marketed as Paylean for pigs, as Optaflexx for cattle, and as Topmax for turkeys- all banned in other countries, by the way. Ractopamine is a beta-agonist. When animals consume feed, they channel the extra energy into fat cells. But when given beta-agonists, they partition the extra energy into muscle instead of fat.
Supposedly, beta-agonists are safe in food animals because the compounds do not last long in animal tissue. They break down quickly and are excreted before the animal is slaughtered. Of course, these drugs then get into our soil through animal poop.
The Russian consumer protection agency, Rospotrebnadzor, backed a study on ractopamine. In 2014, the agency issued findings showing that eating products with traces of ractopamine leads to an unacceptable level of risk of diseases of the cardiovascular system. This tells me -again- that there is just no acceptable level of any chemical to ingest, ever.
Drink a glass of conventional pasteurized milk, and you might as well be drinking a hormone cocktail. Some dairy farmers inject their animals with hormones so that they pump out more milk. A Nutrition and Cancer study reported in 2011 that cow’s milk stimulated the growth of prostate cancer cells in lab dishes, while almond milk suppressed the growth of these cells. Interesting, isn’t it?
It’s important to choose organic dairy. It’s healthier than conventional milk. A recent study from Washington State University analyzed the nutrient content of both types of milk and found that organic milk is higher in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and protein than conventional milk.
2. Antibiotics: Antibiotics are routinely give to livestock to make them fat. Well, they just might do the same thing to you. How is this possible? Antibiotics kill off healthy bacteria in the gut- beneficial bugs called probiotics that influence how we absorb nutrients, burn off calories, and stay lean. Scientists have found that lean people have more of the good, anti-obesity bacteria in their guts, compared to people who are overweight.
According to Dr. Martin J. Blaser, in his groundbreaking book Missing Microbes, antibiotic use is changing our metabolism and body composition. In experiments conducted with rats, Blaser determined that high calorie diets do not explain the rapid increase in the rate of obesity. This increase could also be attributed to the high use of antibiotics- especially at an early age. On average, children get as many as twenty antibiotic treatments while they’re growing up. In a study of children in Britain, researchers showed that kids who were prescribed a lot of antibiotics were fatter at age 7 and age 15 than children who did not receive many of these drugs.
Antibiotics have been given a free ride for decades, with millions and millions being prescribed. This overexposure is a growing concern. National surveys reported the US Department of Health and Human Services have shown antibiotic residues in meat, in milk, and, in some cities, in drinking water. That means even if you avoid unnecessary antibiotics from your doctor, you could be getting them from the grocery store and faucet. An estimated 80 percent of antibiotics used in this country are used for livestock. This overuse is creating super bugs that could threaten the entire human population.
Antibiotics in food are hard to escape. Unless a package is labeled accordingly, you can pretty much guarantee that antibiotics have been used to produce meat and dairy products such as cheese, milk, sour cream, and ice cream. Also alcohol based hand sanitizer kills the good bacteria your body needs to stay healthy, so, you know. A probiotics supplement will help fill your gut with good bacteria.
3. PESTICIDES: Pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides are sprayed on fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds- virtually everything grown in nature- and they’re among the most toxic substances on earth, doing untold damage to our bodies.
For one thing, they imitate estrogen (a fat forming hormone) and disrupt thyroid function – two side effects that encourage weight gain. According to the Environmental Working Group, apples are the most heavily sprayed fruit. Could these pesticides on an apple be making you fat? Quite possibly, especially if you consider the exposure and accumulation of pesticides over time in our body.
Studies have also liked pesticides to cancer. When you’re exposed to pesticides, your body can’t properly defend itself against carcinogens from other sources. So, your cancer risk goes up. If you’re overweight, watch out: Pesticides love to camp out in fat tissue and stay there. There they begin to mimic estrogen; this can lead to estrogen-related health problems such as breast cancer.
One of the worst pesticides is glyphosate, commonly known by the trade name Roundup, produced by the chemical biotech company Monsanto. This company patented seeds and created crops that are resistant to glyphosate through genetic engineering. Because of this, many US farmers started using more of it. We now know from research that glyphosate found in genetically modified foods is a toxin that an accumulate in your body the more you are exposed to it. It has been linked to kidney disease, breast cancer, and some birth defects. It compromises your immunity. And it slows down your metabolism. This bad, bad stuff.
4. REFINED AND ENRICHED FLOUR: I’m talking about flour that has been stripped of nutrients and fiber with none put back. Manufactures “enrich” their dead flour by putting synthetic nutrients back into the product. Thanks a lot. Many flours are even bleached with chlorine or peroxide to make them look white,(racists) because some people associate whiteness with quality, Mmmmmmmmmm,
What’s more, a number of breads are loaded with added sugar to make them taste better. Do we really need this? Sugar is so bad for your waistline, skin, and complexion and increases the chance of diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses.
5. BPA, This is not food. It’s a toxic chemical used in food packaging and in linings of cans that contain canned foods and soft drinks, BPA disrupts hormones that govern metabolism, growth, reproduction, and other crucial bodily processes.
BPA is banned in Canada and the European Union. It is not banned in the United States, with the exception of baby bottles and infant formula packaging. The FDA has banned the use of this chemical in these types of containers.
Chronic BPA exposure is linked not only to obesity, but also to prostate and breast cancer, and thyroid problems. It is also associated with infertility, diabetes, early puberty, and behavioral changes in kids.
A 2011 Harvard study found that people who ate a single serving of canned soup a day for five days had ten times the amount of BPA in their bodies as they did when they ate fresh soup daily. Thousands of chemicals are allowed in food packaging, the effects of which we still don’t know. For this reason, It’s best to stay away from plastic as much as possible and go clean with glass and stainless steel or buy BPA free cans.
6. HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP (HFCS): HFCS is a chemical derivative of corn syrup. It’s found in foods too numerous to count. A few examples: bread, sodas, flavored yogurt, crackers, and cookies. A review published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2008 noted that the rise in obesity in the last thirty-five years has paralleled the rising use of HFCS, which made its debut on the food scene just before 1970. HFCA, which made its debut on the food scene just before 1970. HFCS, makes you fat largely by impacting two hormones, insulin and leptin. When you ingest HFCS, insulin skyrockets, and insulin promotes fat storage. Not only does this sweetener make your insulin level surge, it also wreaks havoc on the hormone leptin, the body’s appetite regulator. HFCS suppresses your response to leptin, and you get so hungry you want to eat everything in sight. The result: Your body ges very adept at hoarding fat.
Another concern about HFCS is cited in a study by the American Chemical Society on carbonated soft drinks. Rutgers University Professor of Food Science Chi-Tang Ho, PhD, conducted chemical tests on eleven different carbonated soft drinks containing HFCS. He found “astonishingly high” levels of reactive carbonyls in those beverages. These undesirable compounds associated with “unbound” fructose and glucose molecules are believed to cause tissue damage. By contrast, reactive carbonyls are not present in table sugar, whose fructose and glucose components are “bound” and chemically stable.
7. ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: If you think drinking diet soda is the way to lose weight, think again. Artificial sweeteners, from aspartame to saccharin and everything in between, are bad news for weight control. They can be found in diet foods, beverages, candy, desserts, and many other processed foods, Look for aspartame, neotame, sacharin, sucralose, erythritol, acesulfame potassium, and acesulfame K on the label. You can also find them under the brand names NutraSweet, Sweet’N Low, Equal, and Splenda..
Artificial sweeteners may do more harm than good-for three reasons. First, some of these sweeteners, such as acesulfame potassium and aspartame, may slow down your metabolism. Second, artificial sweeteners actually train people to crave sweets. Third, the presence of artificial sweeteners in a product doesn’t automatically mean natural high-calorie sweeteners aren’t present too, some companies use both. You can use low-cal options such as pure stevia leaf powder or liquid, but in moderation.
8. PRESERVATIVES: As you stroll down the aisles of the grocery store, start thinking about the shelves of boxed, canned, jarred, and packaged foods as caskets holding dead food. It’s all embalmed with preservatives that will make you feel dead, too.
Among the worst of these preservatives are nitrates, used in meats to prevent bacteria growth and maintain color. Toxic to the brain, nitrates are linked to Alzheimer’s disease and many types of cancer. I see no reason to eat chemically preserved cured and smoked meat.
Then there are preservatives BHA and BHT, both banned all over the glove but still allowed in the United States. BHA and BHT are petroleum derivatives used to preserve fats and oils. They have produced cancers in rats, mice, and hamsters. The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the US National Toxicology Program classify the preservative BHA as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen”- but the FDA still allows it.
Studies found that rats fed the FDA’s maximum limit for the endocrine-disrupting preservative propyl paraben in food had decreased sperm counts.
Another controversial preservative is propylene glycol, used as a thickening agent to absorb water. Large oral doses in animals have caused central nervous system depression and kidney damage.
Then there’s propyl gallate, used to keep oils in processed food fresh. It can cause stomach or skin irritation in sensitive people.
A source of many preservatives is fast food. Watch out for dimethylpolysiloxane in particular, a type of silicone with anti-foaming properties that is used in cosmetics and a variety of other goods like Silly Putty. You’ll find it in Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches, McDonald’s fries, KFC potatoes and biscuits and on and on!!
9. TRANS FATS: Most people recognize the term “trans fat” because these nasty fats have made headlines. Minute amounts of trans fats occur naturally in red meats and full-fat dairy products, but most come from a manmade process called hydrogenation that morphs vegetable oil into solid fat. Trans fats help processed food stay solid at room temperature and lengthen shelf life.
But the processed kind of trans fats can be deadly, even in trace amounts. According to a 2012 study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, a mere forty calories per day increase in trans-fat, maybe from a store-bought cookie or two, can up your risk of heart disease by 23 percent! In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has attributed up to 7,000 deaths and over 20,000 heart attacks to the substance. Trans fats are suspected of doing other damage, too. They may raise blood sugar, hurt your immunity, make your fat cells bigger, and create more of them.
10. ARTIFICIAL AND NATURAL FLAVORS: Added flavoring can come artificially from cheap toxic ingredients like petroleum or can be made from anything in nature-including animal parts! For example your vanilla ice scream, could contain secretions from a beaver’s anal glands.
Called castoreum, this secretion is used as a “natural flavor” not only in vanilla ice cream but also in strawberry oatmeal and raspberry flavored products.
If you chew gum, you may also be chewing lanolin, an oily secretion found in sheep’s wool that is used to soften some gums. What nutritional value do you think these disgusting additives have for your body. None! They exist just to get you to buy something fake or that shouldn’t be food, rather than a real alternative.
What about “natural flavors”? They’re anything but. Natural flavor can legally contain naturally occurring glutamate by products that act like MSG, which is a known excitotoxin. Excitotoxins make food irresistible to eat but can cause stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, obesity, migraines, fatigue, and depression.
The natural and artificial flavoring chemicals in our foods are contributing to what David Kessler, former head of the FDA, calls a “food carnival” in your mouth. They trick your mind into wanting more and more. The big food companies are hijacking our taste buds one by one and lining their corporate pockets at the same time, as we buy more products with these addicting synthesized flavors in them. The word natural on a label is virtually bogus. If your food packaging lists artificial or natural flavors, you should not be consuming it.
11. FOOD DYES: Artificial food dyes are created synthetically and/or derived from petroleum, a known carcinogen, or even insect parts. If you eat pickles, snack bars, ice cream, candy, jam, maraschino cherries, or cake regularly throughout your life, you’ll probably eat up to one pound of red dye over your lifetime.
We tend to eat with our eyes as well as our mouths, and food manufactures capitalize in this. Dyed foods trick you by making processed food more appealing. Artificial food dyes are linked to hyperactivity in children, asthma, allergies, and skin issues. They are banned in certain countries and require a warning label in Europe. Check your labels, caramel coloring is not good and, the other ones will be easy to spot.
12. DOUGH CONDITIONERS: There’s a reason most commercially baked bread keeps so well for so long: dough conditioners. These chemicals are added to bread dough to strengthen its texture, extend shelf life, and reduce processing time.
One of the ingredients in dough conditioners is the amino acid L-cysteine. It’s made from either human hair or duck feathers.
A dough conditioner lets companies pass off chemically processed cheap food as “freshly baked” because it creates perfect, evenly spaced air pockets within the dough, improving the texture after the dough comes out of large industrial processing machines. Several dough conditioners have been linked to cancer, allergies, and asthma. Read the ingredient lists of fast-food products, and you’ll discover that dough conditioners are in practically every bun, piece of bread, muffin, biscuit, roll, and tortilla. Look for dough conditioners or specific names like azodicarbonamide (yoga mat chemical), DATEM, potassium bromate, monoglycerides, and diglycerides.
13. CARRAGEENAN: This additive is an inflammatory agent found in a bunch of products from desserts to toothpaste. Carrageenan is used as a thickener, stabilizer, and/ or emulsifier (a substance that keeps liquids from separating). Unfortunately, it is allowed in some organic foods, such as nondairy milk, even though it has been linked to gastrointestinal problems ranging from irritable bowel syndrome to colon cancer. The organic watchdog group the Cornucopia Institute has called for an outright ban on the use of carrageenan in all food products.
14. MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE (MSG): This “flavor enhancer” is found in fast foods and many processed foods. It heightens the flavor of food by exciting neurons in the brain when eaten. This sounds like a good idea for spicing up bland foods, but MSG has a long rap sheet. Let me tally up its offenses for you: If you’re one of the people who are allergic to this common ingredient, it could lead to skin rashes, itching, nausea, vomiting, headaches, asthma, heart arrhythmias, depression, and even seizures.
MSG is also linked to obesity. A 2008 study from researchers at the University of North Carolina looked at the diets of 752 men and women living in three villages in north and south China. Most of the people ate a natural foods-type diet, but about 80% added MSG to their cooking. After adjusting for factors like smoking and physical activity, they found those who used MSG were almost three times as likely to be overweight as those who used none. Experts think MSG makes food taste so good that we help ourselves too much. Food companies engineer their food to make a flavor irresistible and memorable so you eat more. MSG is listed as monosodium glutamate on labels. It’s found in restaurant foods, chips, dips, frozen dinners, salad dressings and soups. Some companies trick you by saying no added MSG, countless names have been made for MSG.
15. HEAVY METALS AND NEUROTOXINS: You could be filling your body with heavy metals without knowing it. So how do they turn up in our bodies.? The answer is through pesticide sprayed food, farmed fish, and food packaging material.
The problem is that your body can’t easily eliminate heavy metals or break them down. They get stored in places like fat tissue and eventually make their way through your bloodstream and invade your brain, lungs, heart, eyes, stomach, liver, and sexual organs. Heavy metals are particularly toxic to your brain cells where they can cause memory loss, migraines, and premature brain aging. Cilantro, Cruciferous vegetables, and sulfur rich foods are good for heavy metal detox.