Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Check the Labels ! You are what you Eat!

Have you ever seen that person in the grocery store who is flipping around every single item to carefully check the food label ?? You know the one who breaks down each category and into macros such as protein, carbs, and fats then searches for the best possible one? Yup,I am that person. And with good reason that I look at what I am putting into my body, after all you are what you eat and you perform better with proper nutrition!
Any food that requires a label has been altered from its natural state. In other words, it's been processed. One quick look at the ingredient list and you'll often find hard-to-pronounce additives, artificial flavors and colors, and names like BHA, BHT, MSG, and HFCS which sounds more like a science project than anything. You might start to wonder what these weird additives are or, more importantly, if they're safe to be ingesting!
Just because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says something is "generally recognized as safe," doesn't mean it promotes optimal wellness. Protect your body and mind with this list of food additives to avoid!
You might find aspartame or acesulfame K in your favorite "sugar-free" treats, but it's not worth the calories saved.Consumers reported symptoms ranging from migraines, weight gain, and depression, to memory loss, vision problems, and slurred speech. Aside from potential cancer-causing attributes, studies have linked aspartame to weight gain, heightened sugar cravings, and insulin resistance. Acesulfame-K contains methylene chloride, a known carcinogen, which has undergone the least scientific scrutiny of all artificial sweeteners. Is making something sweet worth all of that ??
Consuming large amounts of fructose is damaging to both your metabolism and your overall health. Insulin resistance means your body cannot store sugar the way it should. Blood sugar stays high and fat storage is accelerated, sending you down a path to weight gain, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Because fructose doesn't stimulate insulin the same way glucose does, too much fructose promotes insulin resistance in the muscles and the liver.
Why is Fructose bad?? With fructose, 30 percent more of the calories consumed are stored as fat compared to glucose. Fructose also fails to stimulate leptin, the "satiety hormone," to the same extent as glucose does. The end result: you don't feel as full and end up eating more. Common food sources are table sugar, agave nectar (yep, it's highly processed!), maple syrup, flavored yogurt, breads, candy, condiments, salad dressings, canned vegetables, cereals, and infant formula.
Trans fat comes from a process called hydrogenation, which makes the oil less likely to spoil and less "greasy" to the touch.Trans fat raises LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and lowers HDL (good) cholesterol levels. The result: Clogged, hardened arteries that put you at risk for heart disease and stroke. Trans fat also causes overall inflammation, hastening the progression of diabetes and other health problems.
BUT be aware !!! Manufacturers are allowed to say there is no trans fat in their products as long as they contain less than 0.5 g per serving. This means four servings of your favorite "trans fat free" margarine could put you over the daily limit without you even suspecting a thing! The best way to avoid trans fat is to look for "partially hydrogenated oil" in the list of ingredients. Fully hydrogenated oils don't contain trans fat.
Artificial food coloring is linked to many issues and most common is ADHD. If you spot any of the following dangerous additives in an ingredient list, leave that item on the shelf!
Blue No. 2 (E133): Common food sources: Pet food, beverages, candy, baked goods (especially frosting)
Caramel Coloring: Common food sources: colas, baked goods, pre-cooked meats, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, chocolate-flavored products, beer
Green No. 3: Common food sources: Candy, green-colored beverages, Baked goods (especially frosting)
Red No. 3: Common food sources: Fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy, baked goods (especially frosting)
Yellow No. 5: Common food Sources: Gelatin dessert (puddings, JELLO), candy, pet food, baked goods
Yellow No. 6: Common food sources: American cheese, macaroni and cheese, candy, carbonated beverages, lemonade, baked goods
Finally, MSG which is commonly used as a flavor-enhancer to make foods taste more "savory." Though deliciously addicting, you're better off reaching for natural herbs and spices instead.
Why you should avoid it?? On the not so savory side, MSG is also an "excitotoxin," a substance that can over-stimulate neurons to the point of damage or death.People with allergies to MSG might experience burning sensations of the mouth, head, and neck; muscle tightness, fatigue, numbness or tingling; upset stomach; headaches and migraines; flushing, swelling, hives and other skin reactions.
Now that you are aware of the truth behind some of the ingredients in your food, you are better prepared to make better and healthier choices !

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