8. White Flour
When flour is refined, all nutritional value is removed and then it is bleached with chlorine gas to make it more appealing to consumers. The glycemic index for white flour is very high – meaning it spikes your insulin levels without providing nutritional fuel. Carbohydrates are converted to sugars by your body, so excessive products that contain white flour can lead to increased insulin resistance.
9. Farmed Fish
Commercial fish farming involves raising an incredible number of fish – such as salmon – in a crowded environment. 60% of the salmon consumed come from a farming operation where they are treated with antibiotics, pesticides, and other carcinogenic chemicals. They also do not contain as much omega-3 as wild salmon.
10. Hydrogenated Oils
Vegetable oils are chemically extracted from their source, then they are chemically treated, and then more chemicals are added to change the smell and taste. They are packed with unhealthy omega-6 fats and have been proven to alter the structure of our cell membranes.
Here’s a summary of what literature has said about the problems of hydrogenated fats and trans fats:
- Hydrogenated fats act biochemically in the body like saturated fats.
- Trans fats can elevate blood cholesterol levels, similar to the cholesterol-raising effects of saturated fats.
- Trans fats raise the levels of LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol.
- Trans fats reduce levels of HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol. Raising the bad cholesterol and lowering the good cholesterol in the blood spells double trouble.
- Trans fats have been shown to decrease the body’s ability to produce natural anti- inflammatory prostaglandins.
- Eating a diet high in nutritionally worthless hydrogenated fats may lessen a person’s daily intake of other fats, especially essential fatty acids that are important for growth and function of vital organs, such as the brain. This is a concern especially in children and frequent fast food consumers whose daily diet is high in processed and deep fat-fried foods and snacks.
- Trans fatty acids may be linked to other health problems as well, including decreased testosterone, abnormal sperm production, and prostate disease in men; obesity, immune system depression, and diabetes.
Avoiding hydrogenated oils: Any food that is listed as “diet,” “light,” or “fat-free” should be avoided. In order to remove fat or natural calories, they are replaced with chemicals that are dangerous to your body. Instead of eating food that manufacturers profess is “good for you” – add organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats, and organic dairy products.
To help avoid hydrogenated oils, most of your foods should be raw and as close to their natural state as possible. This means more fruits and vegetables including organic local meats as fresh as possible. The more real foods from nature that you eat, the less packaged and processed foods you’ll consume. It’s the packaged and processed foods that are most likely to be made with hydrogenated oils to help increase their shelf life.