Did you know that there is an ever-growing list of ingredients that are used in our foods here in the United States that are banned in most other countries? Chances are if it comes in a package, there is something in it that is dangerous to your health and consequently not allowed in the food in other countries. Even our pork and beef is banned in other countries due to a growth hormone that we use that is thought to affect the cardiovascular system and cause hyperactivity, behavioral changes, and elevated heart rates and heart-pounding sensations.
Most of our bread, rolls, and buns contain the food additive potassium bromate, which is known to cause cancer just for the sake of whiter, higher rising bread. While California is at least fighting to have warning labels applied to the packages, other countries have simply banned the use of such harmful and unnecessary additives.
Baby foods and formulas are not exempt to these toxic ingredients, which is why it is so important to educate yourself on what to avoid, and read labels before you buy anything. Our skincare products also contain ingredients that have been banned elsewhere, as well as the chemical pesticides and herbicides we use on our veggies and fruits.
The sad truth is that there are not a lot of “safe” options at your local grocery store. I read somewhere once, that if your grocery store has a “health food” department, what does that make the rest of the store? It really got me thinking.
By the way, just because a product is sold in a health store, doesn’t automatically make it healthy, either. Healthier than its competitors, probably, but not necessarily healthy.
Grocery shopping is kind of like going into a battle, if you’re not prepared with your sword of knowledge and your sheild of self-discipline, you are definitely going to get cut down by the poisons that our country says are okay to feed our children.
In another article, I will outline more of these ingredients to avoid, but today I want to focus on one that is hiding in a lot of our everyday foods: chemical sweeteners.
While Splenda, Sweet-n-low, Equal, and the like have yet to be banned in other countries, they still pose huge, life-threatening risks with continued consumption.
Lately, the biggest culprit on my mind has been Aspartame found in Nutrasweet and Equal, or all by itself in countless products that we unknowingly ingest regularly.
Let’s just take a look at a few places this poison can be found hiding, shall we?
children’s Advil, Tylenol, and chewable vitamins
all Pedealite products
all diet sodas
all “sugar-free” products
gum and breath mints
Wow. If that doesn’t make you want to start reading labels, maybe the side effects of aspartame will. They are as follows:
IBS and other digestive disorders
Birth defects in infants, including mental retardation
A lot of people turn to sugar-free products when trying to lose weight, and although their mind is in the right place, their execution is misled by an industry that profits off of your sugar addiction and, when dieting, your sugar-free addiction.
Did you notice the first symptom I mentioned? Weight gain. This is because of the digestive problems that occur when artificial sweeteners are ingested. When your digestion is not in proper working order, you not only experience a wide host of health problems, you also find yourself bloated, puffy, and putting on the pounds.
Aspartame and it’s sister-products are chemicals that your body cannot recognize as food, so it begins to store these chemicals in your body as it tries to find ways to eliminate it, causing an inflammatory immune response. With continued consumption, your body will store more and more of these chemicals until you find yourself with a very serious health condition.
I am all for finding delicious foods that make me feel like I am eating something dreadfully sinful, while still keeping to my healthy lifestyle. Artificial sweeteners are not the answer when looking for such treats. I won’t be one of those crazy health nuts and tell you to eat a handful of berries when you want a sweet treat, because let’s be honest, for most of us that isn’t going to cut it. I will tell you, however, that after I quit sugar I found that fruit and other things tasted sweeter to me. Once your brain is no longer wired to seek out and crave any and all sweet treats, you will find that a little goes a lot further than it used to.
There are plenty of options when quitting sugar without the need to turn to something that will harm you. Pure maple syrup, raw honey, stevia, coconut sugar, dates, and monk fruit are some of my favorites. Not only are these options safer, but they each also provide their own array of health benefits.
Thankfully, there have been a number of new products I have seen hit the shelves in recent weeks that make me hopeful for the future of our nutrition. People are beginning to understand the link between what we eat and how we feel, as well as learning the dangers of artificial ingredients in our foods.
The way you shop can either fuel the demand for natural, chemical-free whole foods, or the demand for dangerous, processed poisons.