Hidden Toxins in Our FoodMay 22, 2013 by Roxanne | Filed under Eco & Toxin-Free Living, Nutrition.
Photo by American Eater
Toxins in cleaning products seem a little more obvious then toxins in our food but unfortunately there are many in both. Food additives and man made chemicals are found in countless “food” products. The majority of them cause some kind of negative health effect so in my opinion they have no place in our food. Usually they are used to prolong shelf life of products or make them look more visually appealing to increase profits for food giants like Monsanto. Health effects were not a concern when these things were first introduced to the public but as years go on it is obvious that they are not safe for consumption.
There are many additives and chemicals to watch out for in our food. Below you will see a list of four important things to avoid that you may not be thinking about.
Processed meats include bacon, hot dogs, sausage, and deli lunch meats. The conventional versions of these foods contain Sodium Nitrate which has been linked to cancer and could be a cause of heart disease. It is added to these products as a preservative and coloring to make it look more appealing. According to Natural News, The USDA actually tried to ban sodium nitrite from the food supply back in the 1970′s, but it was overruled by the meat industry which knew that the chemical made meat look visually more appealing. It’s best to avoid all products containing sodium nitrate which means eliminating processed meats from your diet or finding products that do not contain this toxin. There are organic versions of these products such as Applegate Farms or a local farm resource.
Although fish is a healthy food, so much of the fish we eat is contaminated with mercury. Overexposure to mercury can cause memory problems, fatigue, and other health issues. The best way to avoid mercury is to choose low-mercury fish like flounder, salmon, and shrimp. For a detailed list of all low, medium, and high mercury fish visit www.nrdc.org
Most cans are lined with bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is an endocrine disruptor which can mimic estrogen and has been shown to cause negative health effects in animal studies. It is not always easy to tell if all canned products have BPA but it is safe to assume they do. Some companies such as Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk use cans that do not contain BPA. To avoid this toxin, only buy canned products from companies that you know do not use BPA.
Hydrogenated oils are use in many processed food products. These oils are used becuase they prolong the shelf life of these “foods” and last longer then oils that have not gone through the processing that hydrogenated oils go through. The problem with these oils is that they are very detrimental to our health. Trans fats, or partially hydrogenated oils, have been banned from use in some cities like New York City. Hydrogenated oils especially cause problems in the heart and blood vessels due to a thickening of the blood. A 1993 Harvard study strongly supported the hypothesis that intake of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils contributed to the risk of having a heart attack. It’s best to avoid all foods that have hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient list. This can be tricky with foods that do not have labels such as bakery goods, so it’s best to avoid them unless you know what is in them.
Are you concerned about these hidden toxins? Share with us how your avoid them.