Avoid These At All Cost! Your Body Will Thank You!
Are you eating ingredients that could be putting you at risk? How do you know what to eat? It is so confusing with lots of contradicting articles and views! What do the labels on your food actually mean?
When you walk into a supermarket, petrol station or coffee shop you are presented with shelves of boxed and packaged food. Most could not be identified as ‘food’ but processed ‘foodstuff’. Does it nourish your body? Does it have any nutritional value? Why are we so addicted to it?
Crisps, cakes, cereal, biscuits, chocolates, sweets, processed cheese and meats, the list goes on. To be fair, it consumes most of our shopping experience, aisle after aisle is laden with ultra-processed food. It’s convenient, cheap and available.
I understand that saying to cut out all processed foods is not viable for most but being aware of what is in your food and what you are putting into your body is the key. There are ingredients that you absolutely want to avoid, read the labels on the food you choose and make an informed decision when you next go to purchase that item. If it contains one of the following I highly recommend you put it right back on the shelf!
Full of saturated fat and cheap! That makes it the perfect ingredient for those processed food giants to use in their products. Used so the products can wear the label of 0 grams trans-fat, palm oil is a saturated fat and should be consumed in moderation. It is an oil which has caused huge controversy, not only due to its potential health risks but also due to the ethics of how it is sourced. Without going in to it too deeply, the impact of palm oil has been questioned due to the major cause of deforestation, habitat loss and human labour.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
MSG is a flavour enhancer found in many processed foods like crisps and meat. Research on this ingredient is controversial and it has been linked with headaches, upset stomachs, muscle tightness and fatigue in double blind studies. Numerous studies have also been carried out on the long-term effects the consumption of MSG may have and there are worrying findings such as retinal degeneration and metabolic disorders. Manufacturers are required to state when their product contains MSG, so read labels! Better still, eat something without a label, reach for an apple or avocado instead!
High Fructose Corn Syrup
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a favourite amongst processed foods, an alternative to sugar this sweetening ingredient is added to food and drinks to make them taste better and what’s more it is readily available, subsidised and so cheap! It has quickly been identified as a harmful sweetener and manufacturers are starting to remove it from their ‘foods’, however it does still appear under various titles in the ingredients list! Do not confuse HFCS with fructose found in fruit, I will go into this further if anybody wants to know more, but the complex nutritional structure of fruit which includes fibre means it does not exhibit the same effect as HFCS. You would have to eat huge amounts of fruit for it to be a problem, but even then the metabolic effects are different and you ingest vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients which slow down the absorption of fructose.
The bottom line is to check ingredients for HFCS, corn syrup or fructose which are a few of the ways manufacturers will list this harmful sweetener. Or, you guessed it, stay away and eat real food!
Artificial, just that word to me sends alarm bells ringing! Heard of aspartame? Sucralose? Xylitol? or Sorbitol? All of these are types of artificial sweeteners and you can find them in anything from your diet coke to the Splenda you just added to your tea or coffee!
Marketed as a great way to control calories, these sweeteners pack a punch. Extremely sweet for such a small helping they have been linked with the overstimulation of sugar receptors which in turn make sweet food such as fruit less intense and vegetables unpalatable the Harvard Medical School has reported. There have been many studies into artificial sweeteners and the long term effects are still unknown but research is linked to weight gain, and metabolic issues!
Man, you must be thinking what now? Are you running to your cupboards to check the ingredients? Maybe you have put down that can of coke or packet of crisps! This blog post isn't here to scare you, I have written it to give you the information and the knowledge to make informed choices. Only you can control what you put into your body and whilst natural and unprocessed is always the best option, understanding what is in the food you are eating is key! So, next time you put something into your basket, take a second to read the ingredients and decide if its worth it!