Foods the Health-Conscious Will Want to Avoid
No one would knowingly fill their plate with foods that are loaded with toxins and chemicals, but that is exactly what some people are doing. Unfortunately, even foods deemed to be healthy can be laden with additives or corrupted by unhealthy processing that can cause all sorts of health problems from infertility to cancer.
Here are some of the worst offending foods to avoid and the truth about what you are really feeding your body.
Tomatoes are a wonderful source of lycopene, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins and you probably give yourself a pat on the back as you enjoy a tasty marinara sauce or ratatouille. However, if canned tomatoes were used in the recipe then you are actually ingesting a generous serving of bisphenol-A (BPA). This synthetic estrogen has been linked to many ailments from heart disease to reproductive problems.
Unfortunately, the acidity in tomatoes causes BPA from the resin linings of the can to contaminate the food by as much as 50mcg per liter. This problem is very easily avoided by choosing bottled pasta sauce in place of canned tomatoes. Bottled tomatoes are also safer and more natural-tasting than canned tomatoes and Tetra-Pak cartons of tomatoes have all the goodness of tomatoes without the BPA.
No home movie night is complete without a big carton of popcorn but studies show that microwaving popcorn causes a host of chemicals to vaporize from the bag and permeate into the popcorn. Bags used for microwave popcorn are lined with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) which showed alarming results in animals and could be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from the UCLA.
Producers have agreed to phase out PFOA bags by 2015 but in the meantime the healthy solution is very easy. Instead of buying microwavable popcorn, pop natural corn kernels in a skillet, the old-fashioned way. For a healthy topping, season with herbs such as dill weed or add vegetable flakes or soup mix. You will not only protect your family's health, you will also save a fortune.
You may meticulously wash all fruit and vegetables to remove any traces of herbicides, pesticides and fungicides, but did you know that root vegetables and potatoes absorb all those nasty chemicals from the soil? They are then treated with fungicides to prevent them rotting and later the leaves are sprayed with herbicides to make harvesting easier. Finally, potatoes are treated with more chemicals to keep them from sprouting.
Unfortunately, washing potatoes will not remove chemicals that have been absorbed into the potato as they grow. Buying organic is the only sensible way to avoid the invisible poisons that root vegetables are treated with.
Salmon can be found on every list of recommended healthy foods, but getting omega-3 from farmed salmon may not be worth the risk. Farmed salmon are fed soy, poultry litter and even hydrolyzed chicken feathers. When analyzed, farmed fish are high in contaminants and lower in vitamin D than wild salmon, and no wonder. Farmed salmon has been found to contain carcinogens, flame retardants, polychlorinated biphenols (PCBs) along with dioxin and DDT. There is also concern about the high levels of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat fish during their unnatural rearing process.
Do your health a favor and pay a little extra for wild-caught Alaska salmon or eat canned salmon which is usually wild. Atlantic salmon should be avoided as it is farmed; there are no commercial fisheries left to catch Atlantic salmon.