Nourishment is key to good health. Unfortunately, many of us only think we are eating healthily. Consider milk, for instance. Humans are the only beings who drink milk after being weaned from our mother and even drink milk from another species. The pasteurization process destroys the vitamins and nutrients in the original product, so we then add artificial vitamins. We call this “fortified”.
There are a number of concerns with processed foods. In order to provide the consumer with a long shelf life, chemicals are added to the foods. Chemical additives are also added for color, consistency, taste and more. The problem is, the effects of most of these additives are yet unknown. Some of the synthetic chemicals used in processed foods are known to have carcinogenic properties. Processed meats such as hot dogs and bologna are particularly dangerous.
Today we know that monosodium glutamate, MSG, causes high insulin secretion and we try to avoid foods with it. Unfortunately, most fast food vendors use it in their products. It’s also used in canned soups, crackers, salad dressings, frozen dinners, meats and even baby food and infant formula. The combination of MSG and aspartame contributes to the onset of diabetes.
High fructose corn syrup is found in just about everything these days. This is addictive and linked to obesity and diabetes. Sugar from fruits is burned and turns into energy while high fructose corn syrup turns into fat.
Trans fats, also found in many processed foods, are oils infused with hydrogen. They raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol. When we eat something with trans-fat, the trans-fat gets into our cells and cause a disruption with cell communication. Then the hormones are disturbed and the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and infertility increases. Found in commercially fried foods and packaged foods, the ingredient label will say “hydrogenated”. Since the Food and Drug Administration allows food up to a half-gram of trans-fat per serving some foods say trans-fat free but aren’t really.
If that’s not enough, heating foods above 115 – 120 degrees Fahrenheit is known to destroy the vitamins and nutrients in our food. Now we find ourselves eating a lot of chemicals and no nutrients – at least not natural ones.
So, what do we eat? Living foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, seaweeds provide our body with every nutrient known necessary and probably even ones we don’t yet know we need. Living foods mean foods that have not been altered in any way and are as fresh as possible. Purchasing from a grocery store is actually the last choice because much of those foods have been shipped hundreds of miles and their nutrition has begun to wane. Best is growing your own; second is shopping at farmer’s markets or direct from the farm.