"Toxic chemical additives are contributing to epidemic rates of obesity, heart disease, chronic headaches, cancer, diabetes, anxiety, depression, ADHD, hyperactivity in kids and much more"
Start where you are. That's what I advise dear ones who come to me because they want to eat cleaner or exercise more. You can't control drone attacks or your dog's fleas, but you can make healthier choices, starting where you are, learning what you need to know.
So let's talk food choices, because if you did nothing else in your life but choose to eat tasty foods that are wholesome, less processed and less or not toxic, you'd be so far down the path of healthier living, it would feel like you've arrived.
Today, having just digested a fascinating new book called Unjunk Your Junk Food (SimonandShuster.com), I want to focus on processed, manufactured snacks-the chips and dips, cookies and cakes, candy bars and sodas that make life worth living.
Starting where you are, let's admit you're not the only who keeps an emergency stash of M&M's in the glove compartment. From Lay's potato chips-one of my guilty pleasures, bought only while pumping gas-to Diet Pepsi, we all love our junk food. It makes up a third of the all-American daily diet! And too often we love it so much we're willing to ignore what it's doing to us.
The science is in. "Toxic chemical additives are contributing to epidemic rates of obesity, heart disease, chronic headaches, cancer, diabetes, anxiety, depression, ADHD, hyperactivity in kids and much more," report Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer, co-authors of Unjunk Your Junk Food and co-founders of a well-rounded wellness website, NaturallySavvy.com. Bookmark it, please.
Are these crusaders calling for a ban on our beloved Oreos? A boycott of Hostess Cupcakes? No. The authors love their junk food, too. Big bowls of buttered popcorn, for one; gooey chocolate chip cookies, for the other. They're just very picky about the brands they choose. And they want you to be, too.
"The problem isn't junk food", explain Donsky and Boyer. '"It's the quality of the junk food-the ingredients!-that are the real life-and-death issue. It's the partially hydrogenated oils, also known as transfats, estimated to cause an astonishing 30,000 deaths each year. It's the high fructose corn syrup, the artificial food coloring and flavors, the MSG and artificial sweeteners that are perfectly legal, perfectly hidden in plain sight and perfectly approved by an FDA that has been overly kind to the makers of manufactured toxins."
"Eating healthier is not about calorie counting or even giving up the sweets you love most," they say. "It's about avoiding the most toxic chemical additives used by manufacturers today, otherwise known as the Scary 7 Ingredients."
Their book includes a well-researched list of the worst offenders, and once you learn them (it takes all of five minutes), the rest is a piece of cake: read the label, note the bad actors, choose a similar junk food made of a purer mix.
Scanning all ingredients before buying is a must! If you see BHA and BHT, for example, two FDA approved preservatives known to impair kidney and liver function, chose a brand without it. Ditto for TBHQ, short for tertiary butylhydroquinone, one of the reasons Pop-Tarts are a bad choice. Yes, TBHQ increases a product's shelf life and decreases rancidity of fats, but it's also associated with nausea, vomiting, tinnitus and, with prolonged exposure, cancer.
Why risk it, when Nature's Path Organic Toaster Pastries are only a few shelves away, with none of the dangerous transfats or high fructose corn syrup?
That's why Unjunk Your Junk Food is so valuable. It doesn't stop at telling you what to avoid. It guides you to taste-tested healthy alternatives. The bulk of the book is made up of side-by-side comparisons of Bad Choices vs. Naturally Savvy Approved Choices.
So what will it be: Dorito Nacho Cheese chips loaded with MSG, partially hydrogenated oil (transfat), artificial flavor, and colors yellow 5 and 6, and red 40, or the Garden of Eatin' Organic Nacho Chips that are MSG free and transfat free, and have no artificial flavors or color?
Yes, the authors name names. Snickers, Cool Whip, Coca-Cola Classic-they're all in the book, and they're all deemed bad choices for reasons they explain so well.
Very brave of Donsky and Boyer. They sound like a law firm. I hope they won't need one.
The Scary 7 Ingredients to AVOID:
. High-fructose corn syrup
. Trans fats (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil)
. MSG (Monosodium glutamate)
. Artificial sweeteners (this includes Aspartame, Splenda, Ace-K)
. Artificial colors (any type of artificial dyes such as Yellow #5, Red #1, etc.)
. Artificial flavors
HOW TO UNJUNK:
? Buy the healthy junkfood alternative, (organic nacho chips instead of Doritos) probably found in the organic, gluten free or natural section of your food store.
ENERGY EXPRESS-O! EAT THIS BOOK:
"When you know better, you do better." -Dr. Maya Angelou