Making the Best Food Choices

There is an English proverb that says, “Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.”  How true that is and more today than ever before when we’re bombarded with fast food, artificial ingredients, and foods treated with chemicals and hormones.  Eating well is a constant challenge for all of us!

Choosing and preparing food is a daily task and your body is constantly affected by your choices.  Therefore, it is tremendously beneficial to make sure your choices are the best available and that your preparation maximizes the nutrient values of your food.  Use fewer foods with labels, shoot for foods with less processing, and do the best you can.  But don’t beat yourself up for occasionally straying.  We live in the real world, and everyone loves that piece of birthday cake once in a while.  Remember the 80/20 rule.  Eighty percent of the time do your absolute best to consume high quality foods.  The other 20% you cave to your impulses!  Over time, you’ll find that even your impulses become healthier choices!

In choosing good food – there’s one simple rule:  If it’s not real, don’t eat it!  Items to avoid include those with Acesulfame-K (or Ace-K) which has been approved by the FDA for sweetening, yet is a neurotoxin and carcinogen, and artificial coloring and flavoring, which are usually derived from chemicals in a laboratory and have no nutritional value.  Also avoid aspartame, NutraSweet, or Equal, BHA and BHT, and high fructose corn syrup, which has now been approved to be listed simply as corn syrup.  High fructose corn syrup is also to #1 cause of fatty liver and is linked to Type 2 diabetes.

Canola oil and grapeseed oil should also be avoided.  They were developed as industrial oils and an insect repellant for plants – until they discovered it killed the plants they put it on.  Corn is another questionable item.  Usually, it is a GMO and can be listed as modified cornstarch, dextrose, and maltodextrin.  “Enriched” flour may also be problematic.  It is usually not just wheat – and what is it enriched with?  Here’s another big question – why does it need to enriched?  Hydrogenated oils/fats also need to be avoided.  They turn something good into something bad with effects that can last a long time. 

MSG is something that people have been battling with a long time.  MSG is not a nutrient in any way and it hides behind many names such as natural flavoring, yeast extract, textured protein, and hydrolyzed pea protein.  Current labeling standards do not even require MSG to be listed on ingredient lists, however, it can contribute to many neurological disorders. 

Polysorbate 80 (which is also found in vaccines), potassium benzoate, potassium sorbate, propyl gallate, sodium nitrate, and sucralose (Splenda) should also be avoided, as most are known carcinogens or neurotoxins.

Sodium chloride, or table salt, is not a good food choice either.  It has almost nothing in common with traditional rock or sea salt.  Remember – if it’s got color, it’s got minerals!

Soy is not a health food, yet soy protein, soy isolate, and soy oil are present in about 60% of foods.  Soy is usually genetically modified and ingestion of soy can result in some major reproductive issues.  Soy lecithin is actually a waste product and can contain solvents and pesticides.  It’s found in ice cream, chocolate, and many processed creams.

And last, but certainly not least, we have sugar.  Beet sugar is usually more genetically modified that the other forms.  Americans are bombarded with about 150 pounds of sugar per year.  This is an astounding increase over just 50 years ago, and notice the rate of obesity and type 2 diabetes has also skyrocketed.  Sugar decreases the effectiveness of the immune system and is a strain on our liver as well – and the list of negative effects goes on and on. 

Fresh organic foods are the best choices whenever possible.  Frozen foods can lose some of their natural enzymes, but even some of these can be labeled organic.  Commercially canned food is “food” in name only, as they have negligible nutrients and are usually loaded with sodium chloride. 

Organic foods often cost more money  than non-organic, but in considering your health they can save you thousands (plus suffering) down the road.  Because hormones, pesticides, and other toxins concentrate in fats, always choose organics for your oils, butter, cream, and fatty dairy products.  The same rule applies to meats, which should be  grass-fed and supply important omega fats.  For produce, try to buy locally grown organic from farmers you know.  Cut your processed (packaged) food budget dramatically.

Learn your ingredients and choose wisely whenever possible.  Cook when you have the chance.  In food, quality vs. quantity is always the best choice.

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