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"A Healthier You Part II" - Written By Sarah Outlaw (Co-Owner of 90210 Organics) For Natural Life 101.com

A Healthier You Part II

By Sarah Outlaw

We are continuing our series on healthy living with five more ingredients or food additives to avoid. In addition to high fructose corn syrup, white flour, white sugar and hydrogenated oils, avoiding the following foods, and adding those that we discuss next week will help your body function at its optimal health.

Artificial Sweeteners including Splenda/sucralose, aspartame, saccharine are far worse than sugar and should not be used. The body cannot recognize the chemicals that make up artificial sweeteners. These chemicals try to pass themselves off as sugar but cannot be metabolized by the body. Since the body does not know what the substance is, it stores it in the organs. Some does pass through and is eliminated, but much stays in the body causing many health concerns. These health concerns include but are not limited to: reduced growth rate in adults and newborns, mineral loss, and decreased thyroid function.

MSG, monosodium glutamate, is a common additive in many processed foods. It is a substance used as a flavoring and hides on labels under other names. See resources for a complete list. One of the most common side-effects of MSG is headaches. Unfortunately there are other side-effects that may come with consuming foods containing MSG. Asthma, migraines, heart irregularities, seizures, and neuroendocrine disorders like
obesity are just a few of the many adverse reactions studied and reported.

Artificial flavors and colors are prevalent in children’s diets even more than in adult diets. Pretty colors are attractive to kids and the brighter the better. Electric blue and fluorescent green are not colors that normally occur in nature and therefore have no business being consumed. Sports drinks are famous for their bright colors which are all chemically derived. Candy, Kool-Aid, Jello, microwave popcorn, soda, and even some yogurts contain either artificial colors, flavors or both. Parents may be interested to learn that artificial colors and flavors are also linked to learning disabilities, ADD, and behavior disorders. These petroleum-based additives are completely unnecessary and natural alternatives are tastier and healthier.

Nitrites and nitrates are found in virtually all processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, and breakfast sausage. These are very dangerous, cancer causing ingredients. People who consume foods that contain nitrites have a whopping 67% higher risk of cancer. There is also a risk of brain tumors in infants whose mothers ate foods containing nitrates while pregnant. Many lunch-meat companies are labeling their meats as “Nitrate” or “Nitrite-
Free” so that consumers are aware of what they are eating. These “healthier” versions are available at most health food stores and even some of the larger grocery store chains have begun carrying them.

Pasteurized, homogenized milk
is the last and perhaps most controversial food on our list to avoid. It is the processing and altering of the milk and what is added to it that makes it unhealthy. Milk from cows that are not raised organically contains antibiotics and hormones that interfere with the human body’s immune system and hormonal structure. Pasteurizing milk destroys the beneficial enzymes and healthy bacteria in the milk so it is basically a dead food void of true nutritional value. This is why vitamins are added to milk. Homogenization is a process of vigorously shaking the milk or extruding it through a tiny opening so that it mixes so thoroughly that it can no longer separate.  Milk contains an enzyme called xanthine oxidase or XO that basically mutates when milk is homogenized and is linked to heart disease. There are better, healthier alternatives that will be addressed in depth in next week’s article.

Now that you know many of the foods and ingredients that do the most damage to your health, you can begin to eliminate and replace them with health-promoting foods. All of this information can be very overwhelming at first. All you have to do is stop buying these foods that are harming you and learn about healthier alternatives. It is easier than you may think. Join us next week as we discover the wonderful world of nutritious food.

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