The Big 8

I read and research a lot of information on the subject of health among others. A great deal of what I read is common knowledge, something that just about everybody knows, but every once in a while I stumble across some information that is either an ‘ah ha’ moment or a ‘gee, I didn’t know that’ and this is one of those ‘gee I didn’t know that’ realizations.

Some time ago I was reading a number of articles on health. It was published in Men’s Health magazine, dated August 23, 2012, and written by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding. I read this article and knew I saved it for a good reason and that’s because it’s something you need to know. The article is titled “8 Ingredients You Never Want to See on Your Nutrition Label.” This article pointed out that when Congress passed the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act it wasn’t very direct or clear. It goes on to say even though the United States Food and Drug Administration approved more than 3,000 food additive, most of which we’ve never heard of, and we don’t really need to know. You just need to be able to determine what is bad when it comes to reading nutrition labels and ingredients.

According to David and Matt, when reading the nutrition labels look for the following, but be sure to look beyond the label’s nutrition part and read the ingredients, and if you see any of the following, then decide if you really want that product.

1. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) is a preservative used to prevent rancidity in foods that contain oils. Under laboratory conditions it has been shown to cause cancer in rodents. The Japanese Journal of Cancer Research has concluded that BHA is anticipated to be a carcinogen, and I agree with the authors of the article, that’s reason enough to eliminate it from my diet.

2. Parabens are synthetic preservatives used to inhibit mold and yeast in food. Parabens may also disrupt your body’s hormonal balance. A study published in Food Chemical Toxicology found that parabens were found in breast cancer tissues.

3. The United States Food and Drug Administration allows products to claim zero grams of trans fat as long it’s less than half a gram per serving. Most nutritionists will tell you not to consume more than two grams of trans fat per day. That’s where hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil comes in. If you see that on the label, anywhere on the label, then you are consuming artery clogging trans fat.

4. Nitrates and sodium nitrates are used to inhibit the bacteria that causes botulism. These nitrates are used in processed meats giving them their pinkish hue. The bad thing is once ingested, the nitrate can fuse with amino acids (and meat is a prime source) to form nitrosamines, which is a powerful carcinogenic compound.

5. Caramel coloring didn’t use to be a bad ingredient when it was made with water and sugar on the stove top. The food industry, however, follows a different recipe. They treat sugar with ammonia and that produces some very nasty carcinogens. In fact the Center for Science in the Public Interest reported that the high levels of caramel coloring found in soda pop accounted for approximately 15,000 cancers each year in the United States.

6. Beware of any products claiming ‘natural ingredients’ because castoreum is classified as a natural ingredient used to flavor food. Okay, maybe it isn’t all that harmful, but it is kind of disgusting. Castoreum is made from, are you ready for this? Castor sacs or the anal scent glands in beavers. What? Are you kidding me? And who harvests this stuff?

7. Food dyes are another problem, especially for kids, because they are used in all kinds of fruit flavored candies and sugary cereals. Some food dyes are worse than others. A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics has linked Yellow 5 with hyperactivity in children, Canadian researchers found that Yellow 6 and Red 40 to be contaminated with known carcinogens, and Red 3 has been known to cause tumors.

8. Hydrolyzed vegetable protein is a flavor enhancer produced from plant protein that has been chemically broken down into amino acids. One of these acids is called glutamic acid and it can release free glutamate. When this glutamate joins with the free sodium in your body, it then forms MSG (monosodium glutamate,) and this is an additive that causes adverse reactions such as headaches, nausea, weakness to name a few.

Boy, that’s a nasty little group of bad guys, isn’t it? I would be willing to bet that if you were at the grocery store and you read the ingredients of product you were considering and saw any of those nasties listed above, you’d probably say, “yeah…I don’t think so,” no matter how much it may appeal to you.

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Do you know what the number one addiction around the world is? I thought about this, but really couldn’t come up with a solid answer. At first I thought drugs, but globally? I don’t know. Then I thought alcohol, it is legal, but again worldwide? I just wasn’t sure. I also thought the same thing about prescription pain killers, so I decided to research it. I was amazed to find that it was something that never entered my mind. In fact, it surpasses drugs and alcohol combined. Sugar, most processed sugar is pure empty calories. Now check this out; in the 1700’s sugar was quite rare and only people  with big bucks could afford it. The average consumption was roughly four pounds a year. In the 1900’s there was a huge increase to ninety pounds a year. Hold on, it gets worse, as of 2008 that amount has doubled, ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY POUNDS a year. As much as we all love sweet things it is important that we get sugar out of our diet as much as possible and I’ll be the first one to admit that it’s tough to do and we need all the help we can get. This program will show you how to lose weight forever, stop stress eating, and get off sugar for good.

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