Many toxins are hidden in our food, especially holiday treats. They are disguised by delicious taste and lack of advertising that certain preservatives, foods, dyes, and chemicals are actually harmful! We would like to believe that companies wouldn’t use additives or foods that are toxic, but unfortunately that is not the case. Here are a few ways to be aware of hidden toxins lurking in your food and ways to detox them from your body.
Pesticides: Pesticides are sprayed on conventional produce to prevent insect infestation from destroying the crop. There is often residue from these chemicals left on and inside produce after it hits the grocery store shelves. These chemicals have been linked to various health issues from cancer to birth defects. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen to see which produce is safe to buy conventional and which should be bought organically.
Sodium Nitrate/Nitrites: These compounds are found in deli meats and other processed and cured deli foods. They could cause methemoglobinemia, a preventable disease. “Uncured” and “no nitrites/nitrates” foods could contain celery juice, which is also high in nitrates. Read your labels!
Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH/rBST): This is a growth hormone given to dairy cows to increase milk production. rGBH produces increased levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) which is a significant factor in breast, prostate and colon cancers. Choose rGBH free products or organic dairy.
Bisphenol-A (BPA): This is a chemical found in plastic and food/beverage can linings. It is a hormone mimicker that is suspected to be linked to breast and prostate cancers as well as reproductive and behavioral problems and diabetes. Search for BPA free linings, plastics (tupperware and water bottles!), or avoid cans and plastic containers all together.
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons: That may sound like Greek but it is actually a substance that is created when fat is burned. This becomes a carcinogen (cancer causing substance). Avoid smoking any oils you use to cook with or eating burned foods.
Acrylamide: Another Greek word! This substance is created when starchy foods like potatoes and grains are cooked or fried at high temperatures. This substance is also a carcinogen (cancer causing substance) so try to avoid fried foods, snack chips, toasted cereals, etc.
Artificial Food Coloring/Dyes: These chemicals have been linked to neurological disorders. They are found in many children’s snacks (fruit rolls/snacks, cereals, baked goods, etc.) as well as frostings, cakes, etc. Use natural dyes and avoid ingesting artificial ingredients!
Holiday Health Challenge #2: Choose one of these toxins to remove from your household and diet! If it is part of a dish during the holiday, make it without or avoid the dish. Your body will thank you! Comment below what you are planning on eliminating!