It fuels our bodies and minds, stimulates our senses, and keeps hunger at bay.
Food has become so much more than a source of nutrition.
Food can be a source of pleasure, but can also be a source of pain.
When used correctly, food can be the most powerful medicine. Unfortunately, some foods can also be poisons.
Wait a minute…poison in our food?
Don’t we have government agencies to ensure that our food is safe?
Yes and no. Before we get to that issue, let’s first take a look at how food has evolved over time, the connection between food and health, and whether the staples of our current diet are even really food at all.
Diet – The first pillar of health
Dialing in your diet can transform your health. Clear skin, healthy weight, high energy, mental clarity, physical fitness, and a balanced mind can be rewards of finding the right diet for you.
The “right diet” will be different from person to person. The truth is there is no perfect diet for everyone. We all have our own bio-individuality, based on our genetics and lifestyle.
Have you ever wondered how people in different parts of the world, with different cultures and environments, thrive on very different diets?
Some consume high fat and high protein diets, while others eat mainly carbohydrates; some subsist mostly on animal products, and others largely vegetarian. Yet, as varied as these diets are, most native populations have very low rates of chronic disease in comparison to Americans and other Western cultures. Peoples in the far north thrive on diets rich in animal fat and muscle and organ meats; in contrast, the tropical natives thrive on abundant fresh plants, fish, and fruit. Opposite diets, yet, both cultures are quite healthy.
So what’s the common denominator?
Both native diets consist of natural, whole foods (whether plant- or animal-based) such as local vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and meats. All of it real food, from the earth. Many of these foods are eaten raw or lightly cooked. Food in these cultures is high in nutrition, low in calories, and in its natural state.
Westerners are getting quite the opposite in their diets. As industrialization and technology progressed, we moved further and further away from natural, real foods. Most Americans are eating overcooked, over-processed, and chemically manipulated “fake” foods.
The Standard American Diet is high in calories and chemicals, but low in nutrition.
Not only are we overfed and under-nourished, we are polluting our bodies with toxins from the intentional and unintentional contaminants found in our food supply. These toxins can mess with your biological systems and leave you vulnerable to chronic disease.
You aren’t Eating REAL FOOD Anymore (you’re eating “food like” concoctions)
The foods eaten by most Westerners today bear little resemblance to the foods our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. The food that we eat today is completely different from the food eaten centuries ago. Our ancestors ate wild, organic fruits and vegetables – fresh and in season. The items were free of pesticides and GMOs. Their diets changed as the seasons passed, providing variety and cycling carbs and sugars.
Their meats were also organic and grass fed. Meat was wild, fresh, and sometimes consumed raw. They ate the whole animal, including the highly nourishing organ meats, blood, and bone marrow. Because the animals were wild, they were also not fed grains and contained good amounts of saturated fats and low amounts of polyunsaturated fats…the opposite of modern meats.
What Is In Our “Food”?
More than 3,000 food additives — preservatives, flavorings, colors, and other ingredients — are added to U.S. foods.
When you consider that about 90 percent of the American grocery budget is spent on processed foods loaded with these additives, it’s no surprise that the US population is growing fatter and sicker each year. The toxic load is wreaking havoc on our health.
Have we completely lost touch with where our food comes from and what goes into creating it? Are we more concerned with convenience than with our health and well-being?
Processed food has become a multi-billion dollar industry that dangles the carrot of “convenience.” However, the price you pay for convenience is your very health and vitality. The lure of the brightly colored boxes and bags of easy-to-prepare, vitamin enriched, packaged foods is often hard to resist, especially after a long day of work.
What is really in the package?
Real food spoils. Real food in its natural state, put it into a box or a bag, and placed on a store shelf for weeks or months would certainly go bad. In order to make these foods shelf stable, they must be processed.
When foods are processed, valuable nutrients are lost, and fiber is removed and natural textures and flavors are lost. What gets left behind is a very bland “food product” that would be unappealing to most palates.
So, manufacturers must add back in the nutrients, flavors, colors, and textures to these processed fake foods using what we call food additives. Most commonly, additives are used to increase shelf life, prevent fats and oils from going rancid, keep fruits from oxidizing and turning brown, and enrich the food with synthetic vitamins and minerals that replace the naturally occurring ones that were lost during processing. There are also a large number of food additives that are used to improve the taste, texture, and appearance of the food.
Addicted to Additives?
Could those chemicals added to your food to improve the taste and texture also be secretly getting you hooked? Some additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG), artificial sweeteners like Aspartame and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) can be extremely addictive and at the same time damaging to your health. MSG and Aspartame are excito-toxins, amino acids that light up our taste buds, but also cause neurons in our brains to die. These additives can sometimes be disguised with clever code names and surprisingly lurk in the majority of processed foods.
- MSG is the most widely used flavor enhancer in the world and is present in about 80 percent of all flavored processed foods. It excites our taste buds and can make even the blandest food taste amazing. Most commonly associated with Chinese food, MSG can also be found in nearly all fast foods, canned foods, frozen meals, and packaged snacks. This sneaky additive has over 40 aliases, the most common ones: Monosodium Glutamate, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Hydrolyzed Protein, Hydrolyzed Plant Protein, Plant Protein Extract, Sodium Caseinate, Calcium Caseinate, Yeast Extract, Textured Protein, Autolyzed Yeast, and Malt Extract. MSG can also fly under the radar in ingredients like “spices,” “natural flavorings,” “broth,” and “seasonings.”
While some people can use MSG with no adverse effects, many others have severe reactions to it, some of them life-threatening. MSG has been linked to asthma, headaches, and heart irregularities. Behavioral and physical problems of children, such as incontinence and seizures, as well as attention deficit disorder (ADD), have been diagnosed and successfully treated as MSG disorders.
- Artificial Sweeteners are some of the worst things you can put in your body. Those pink, blue, and yellow packets contain nothing but addictive poisons. Aspartame is the most commonly used artificial sweetener today, and it is found in diet sodas, sugar free gums, and most foods marketed as “diet” or low calorie. Diet soda is a very addictive beverage due to the combination of two powerful excito-toxins, aspartame and caffeine, which can kill brain cells. However, before this happens, you get the “diet soda buzz,” which makes you want to drink more. Since there are zero calories no matter how much you consume, there is little holding you back.
Actually, there is a lot that should be holding you back. Studies now show that, in spite of their zero-calorie status, many artificial sweeteners actually cause weight GAIN because they can stimulate your body to crave carbohydrates and can set off the same hormonal response as eating real sugar. But weight gain may be the least of your worries. Aspartame has been linked to all sorts of potentially serious medical problems, including: frontal lobe inflammation, visual disturbances, migraines, cognitive problems,
chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, neurological conditions, and attention deficit disorder.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is the average American’s largest source of calories. American children are consuming about ten times as much sugar as they were a century ago, especially in the form of high fructose corn syrup. The prevalence of HFCS in the Western diet is a significant factor driving today’s obesity epidemic.
HFCS can be found in an alarming number of everyday products—soft drinks, bread, salad dressing, pasta sauce, infant formula, and nearly all processed foods. In this highly concentrated, highly refined form, fructose can have some very serious health ramifications including weight gain, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, inflammation, gout, non-alcoholic fatty liver, and digestive issues. HFCS can also have some very addictive properties making it hard to eliminate these foods from the diet.
Many harmful food additives that have been deemed unsafe for human consumption in other countries are perfectly legal and used with little or no restrictions in the United States.
The list of additives banned across the globe include: various food dyes, brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, Azodicarbonamide, BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole), BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) , rBGH (Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone), rBST (Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin), and arsenic.
Several countries including Russia have placed bans on U.S. beef, pork, and turkey imports, due to the feed additive ractopamine used in the production of these meats.
Seeing that the overall health of Americans is so much poorer than other industrialized countries, you can’t help but wonder whether toxic ingredients such as these might play a role in our unhealthy conditions.
The food industry has already formulated safer, better products for these other countries that refuse to allow the toxic additive into their food supply. Foods like McDonald’s French fries, Pizza Hut’s bread sticks, and many popular breakfast cereals are created with a bare minimum of additives (if any at all) for countries like the UK and Costa Rica. In the US, however, our foods remain loaded with chemicals that are hurting our health.
Not banned in the country, but banned in your body
Since you cannot count on the government to safeguard your food, if you want better health for you and your family, you will need to police your own food. The best way to do this is to simply avoid packaged and processed foods. Shop at the farmers market, buy organic, wild, and grass fed meats and vegetables. Cook and prepare your own meals, including your children’s lunches. If you must buy packaged foods, opt for organic varieties and items with only a few ingredients. It may be difficult to live completely free of processed or packaged foods, so in the very least, avoid these top offenders at all costs:
Preservatives: sodium benzoate, sodium nitrite, BHA, BHT, TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone)
Sweeteners and artificial sweeteners: fructose, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame potassium (acesulfame-K)
Artificial colors: FD&C Blue Nos. 1 and 2, FD&C Green No. 3, FD&C Red Nos. 3 and 40, FD&C Yellow Nos. 5 and 6, Orange B, Citrus Red No. 2
Flavor enhancers: monosodium glutamate (MSG), hydrolyzed soy protein, autolyzed yeast extract.
Achieving Optimal Health
Cleaning up your diet, eating real food, and finding the appropriate ratio of protein, fat and carbs for your metabolic type is one critical factor for those looking to achieve optimal health. In addition, other lifestyle factors must be addressed, including sleep, exercise, stress reduction, and supplementation. FDN’s D.R.E.S.S. for Health Success® protocol addresses all 5 of these critical pillars of health while identifying any imbalances in digestion, detoxification, immunity, and hormones.
FDN practitioners use a scientifically proven, holistically grounded system to effectively conquer your addictions and reverse adverse effects of food additive overload by detoxifying and supporting your system to return to optimal function.
You don’t have to tackle it all on your own. and start making positive changes in your health today. Remember that if you treat your body well, it will return the favor.
Are you ready to take your clients’ health to the next level of awesome? Click here for more information on how you can learn to help more people with a wider range of conditions and quickly become one of the most respected and highly coveted functional health practitioners in the field.