Food preservatives and additives have been linked to a wide number of health issues including cancer and obesity. It is important to become familiar with these additives to help prevent the onset of these diseases. Careful maintenance of diet is the single best way to achieve this. One of the seemingly innocuous substances Americans ingest in mass quantities every day is preservatives. The two-thirds of Americans who are overweight or obese, should be aware of what these compounds are and how they affect the body.
The dangers of preservatives are many. The continued ingestion of certain chemicals has been linked to cancer, fatigue, memory-impairment, imbalanced motor-function, diabetes, thyroid problems, confusion and far more. Such food additives can stunt or stall weight loss and even cause more pounds to add on.
Solutions to the Growing Problem
A simple approach to this quandary has been recommended by food-expert Michael Pollan. He recommends that we avoid anything our grandparents would not recognize as food. In other words, avoiding the unpronounceable ingredients and processed foods as much as possible. The processed foods that became a main staple in the American diet often list ingredients loaded with synthetic chemicals. A diet that centers around natural foods can help shed pounds and prevent diseases. and disease prevention. “Eat food, mostly plants,” Pollan says.
The current gravitation to whole foods is showing remarkable benefits. Diets high in whole foods are linked to lower cancer and obesity rates. The mental health effects like chronic fatigue, delayed reaction time, cognitive dullness and more have much smaller occurrences on a natural-foods diet.
Pollan and other experts recommend eating foods with one ingredient. For instance, an apple or a piece of fish. This diet does not have to be bland. You can add any number of ingredients into the mix as long as you know what you are eating. When an ingredient has a name like sodium-hexametaphosphate, chances are, there are health risks attached.
Dangers of Preservatives and Additives in Foods
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) studies the dangers of chemicals in our diet. It is possibly the definitive authority on the dangers of preservatives in food.
CSPI cites Saccharin, Aspartame, Acesulfame-K, Caffeine, Olestra and food dyes as the most harmful additives. They can weaken the metabolism, lead to weight gain, foster a breeding ground for disease and they have little to no nutritional value. Visit Cspinet.org for the most comprehensive list of food additives and their safety ranking. According to CSPI, there are many additives and preservatives which are benign and do not need to be avoided. Learn the difference.
Caffeine has been linked to anxiety, addiction and ulcers, although coffee has beneficial effects as a strong antioxidant. This means it can neutralize free-radicals in the body and help stave off cancer growth.
However, many of the perceived benefits of drinking coffee are deceptive. People rely on caffeine for an alert, energized feeling. Yet studies clearly show that caffeine may actually cause more fatigue in the long-term. Especially when dependance kicks in and people need their caffeine just to function. The American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA) claim that you can get the same boost that caffeine offers through adjustments in sleep, diet and exercise.
It is used to preserve many meats on the market. In the 1970s, the USDA made a strong push to remove this product from the shelves. The corporate money machine puts its best feet forward and lobbied against this movement. The product is widely available today.
Like other preservatives, sodium nitrate can slow or stall weight loss. Worse still, it metabolizes into nitrosamines after we eat it. These are known carcinogens linked to colon cancer, pancreatic cancer and other diseases.
If possible, seek out locally raised, fresh meat with no additives or preservatives. This can aid in both weight loss and a disease-free body.
CSPI also mentions that two of America’s favorite staple items contribute to obesity and other disease risk. They are seemingly harmless items found on most dinner tables: sugar and salt.
In 1957, Dr. William Martin claimed that refined sugar was –medically speaking――a poison. After careful study, he found that refined sugar met the criteria for poison. His working definition for poison was a substance that can lead to disease, has has no practical use and a substance that inhibits catalyst activity and causes a reaction.
In his studies, refined sugar met the criteria. This substance should be severely limited by those seeking to lose weight. For those with a healthy BMI, excessive refined sugar should be avoided because its total lack of life force, vitamins and minerals make it useless to the human body.
Salt, on the other hand, has also been qualified as toxic. Salt should not be confused with sodium. They are different compounds. “Table salt” usually has a long list of additives such as sodium solo-co-aluminate, sodium bicarbonate, and potassium iodide. Unlike sodium, which is healthy for the body, salt causes a dangerous spike in blood pressure. This toxic response is initialized by the body to keep the salt moving rapidly so it does not linger around the heart chamber. Salt has also been linked to weight gain and mood swings.
Other Dangerous Additives
CSPI is perhaps the definitive authority on the dangers of preservatives in food. They cite Saccharin, Aspartame, Acesulfame-K, Caffeine, Olestra and food dyes as the most harmful additives. Not only can they weaken the metabolism, but they have no nutritional value.
By following the advice of organizations like this and using common sense, the public may see a dramatic fall in disease-rates and an overall drop in average weight. With the current obesity epidemic, it is more important than ever to mind these issues.
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