What follows is the infamous list that all of my clients get when we start working together. It is a list of some of the top food items or so called food items, that I feel should be taken completely out of our lives. Rumors are spread about this list. I hear anything and everything from “oh no not that” to “uh oh I heard about this” to “but I love…” to “oh this is easy”. Some of the things on this list are a no brainer and a lot of them are things we have all heard about avoiding but maybe haven’t quite done yet or maybe we don’t even know we are taking in such large amounts of them. Read labels, check out what’s in your kitchen and compare and start working to ditch them from your lives for a healthier, more energized, happier you!
Here ya go….
The Roots Wise Dirty Dozen
Foods and Ingredients to totally avoid!!
High Fructose Corn Syrup: (also known as corn syrup and corn sweetener): HFCS is much more than bad for you, it’s downright horrible for your health. It is a major contributor to ill health and weight gain because man made fructose often does not turn off your hunger signals and leaves you craving more sugary foods/drink. It is also just a fancy name for processed sugar and is often a good indicator of a processed food. Not to mention it shuts off leptin, your fat burning hormone! Be sure to read nutrition labels as it is in far too many products.
Hydrogenated Oils: also in many of the foods on grocery store shelves….again read labels. This also includes “partially” hydrogenated oils and shortening. These oils are known to be bad for your heart as well as your waist line (they are also a good indicator of a processed food). They lower the good HDL cholesterol, increase the bad LDL cholesterol and increase triglycerides. Often found in processed baked goods, salad dressings, various snack foods and processed peanut butters.
White Flour: A major contributor to the obesity epidemic in America. Found as “enriched flour” in nearly all bread, buns, muffins, doughnuts, bagels etc on the supermarket shelves. It has been stripped of it’s nutrients in the milling process and thus needs to be enriched, why strip it in the first place…oh yeah someone told the big food industry that we like things white and pure..right! The simple sugars and refined carbs that make up processed white flour means poor metabolism and weight gain. If you choose breads etc, choose whole grain.
White Rice – White Bread – White Pasta: In sticking with the theme above… these are sugar, sugar, sugar to your body! It takes more white rice than brown to make you feel just as satisfied. That’s because white rice contains no fiber — a food component that helps you feel full. White pasta also tends to be fiber-free and less filling than whole wheat. If you choose these things, then choose rice, pastas and breads that are brown, whole grain or whole wheat.
Soda: Diet, Lite, Caffeine Free, Sugar Free…avoid all of it! “ A 12oz ,sugar or high-fructose corn syrup sweetened beverage contains nearly 9 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories…empty calories that provide little or no nutritional value. (the sugar free kinds, just contain more chemical sweeteners which create chaos in your bloodstream by spiking insulin levels just as much as refined sugars do). It might be hard to change your routine of bringing a soda to work or buying one a day…but it is well worth it!! Not to mention it will curb your mood swings, short tempers and chronic headaches.
Sugar Water: This includes fruit juices with added sugar or from concentrate and the multitude of fancy vitamin/flavored waters out there. If you want fruit juice, squeeze your own oranges or grapefruit. If you want tastier water, squeeze in fresh lemon or lime. They set the stage for a quick pick me up and a hard crash and burn and leave you tired and full of cravings. (See above for a word about the sugar free kinds). I’m also going to throw “fancy coffee drinks into this category…like caramel lattes, mocha this and mocha that, etc….you know what I’m talking about. These are yummy yet often FILLED with sugar and fat and calories! No way around it! Try to stick with straight up coffee or tea for your caffeine fix.
Artificial Sweeteners: Often folks looking to diet choose foods and drinks that are “low-cal, no sugar, or no cal”…I understand the rationale of lower calorie intake but the artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, found in many processed foods and in blue, pink and yellow packets, are addicting and interfere with the body’s natural ability to count calories and tricks your body into thinking that other sweet foods don’t have as many calories either….thus over-indulgence in sweet foods and beverages. Read labels! There are so many other reasons for this being a no…too many to get into!
Artificial Flavors and Colors: (yet another good indicator of processed-calorie and/or sugar laden foods). I am a huge proponent of natural foods and anything containing artificial flavors or colors will be naturally unhealthy and toxic to the body. Be wary of the wording “natural flavorings” as well as they actually can mean a whole slew of junk. They have been linked to behavioral problems in children and increase the body’s toxic load which takes away from it’s ability to properly process the good stuff you put into it!
Fast Food: This should actually be at the top of the list. These foods also contain many of the other ingredients on this “pretty please avoid list”! I know we all know why and here are a few categories they fit into that goes against one of my favorite authors list of “Food Rules”: “Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry, avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients, eat only foods that will rot, avoid foods you see advertised on TV, eat only foods that have been cooked by humans, it’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car, and it’s not food if it’s called by the same name in every language…think Big Mac!” There are also so many environmental and socially responsible/moral reasons why these choices are just wrong.
Processed Meats: “Eat animals that themselves have eaten well”. Because it’s not necessarily our food that’s making us sick but what we feed our food, whether it’s meat or milk or eggs. Commercially raised livestock are raised on GMO corn, pumped full of antibiotics and fattened as as fast as possible to get them to market quickly. It is SO worth the extra cost even if you have to eat a bit less meat to compensate for that cost. Oh and did you know that often meats are injected with dyes to make them look nice and red for us consumers?? Again, some one fed the food industry the wrong info about what we want.
Lite or Low fat or Non-fat: We’ve gotten fat on low fat foods. We haven’t made foods nonfattening by removing the fat…we have often added sugars or artificial sweeteners (which can also make you fat) to make up for the loss of flavor that the fats generally provide. We often tend to eat more overall because we feel we can since we ate something low in fat or with no fat! We NEED the right kinds of fats in our bodies. Every cell is encased in a lipo membrane that protects it and helps it to function properly. If we don’t eat fats or the wrong types of fats…we starve that cell and all the others of vital nourishment.
Beer: With all the great micro breweries in VT, this is hard, I know! Not to mention, sometimes beer just tastes good and refreshing! I won’t go too far but it should at least be mentioned…..Alcohol is made by the action of yeast on sugar…so it has a similar effect on sugar. In the short term alcohol actually inhibits the release of reserve glucose from the liver and encourages low blood sugar levels causing an increase in appetite. Choose wine if you are wanting a tasty alcoholic beverage or you are out with friends etc. Even a good ole’ vodka tonic is a little better than beer! By no means am I saying “don’t ever have another drink again”, but rather be conscious of what you choose and how much and recognize that drinking can be a downer when taken in out of balance.
That’s all for now!!! More to come! Feel free to hit the follow button and then make sure to confirm in the email you will receive!