Isn’t there enough evidence already that when scientists fool around with
chemicals and our bodies, things can go really, really wrong, which is what this article “3 Harmful Foods To Avoid”, is about? Dishonest professional baseball players taking illegal steroids to break home run records, or weight lifter to be able to jerk a 1,000 pounds. Or, the irresponsibly over-prescribed and over-use of antibiotics by doctors and Vets, or from residual bacteria in foods, causing antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Sure, antibiotics have their place and are pretty great additions to modern life, if prescribed responsibly for infections, and their use restricted and regulated in food animals humans eat. A National Institutes Of Health (NIH) study confirmed the rapidly emerging resistant bacteria threaten the extraordinary health benefits that have been achieved with antibiotics.
The NIH said coordinated efforts to implement new policies, renew research efforts, and pursue steps to manage the crisis are greatly needed. And what about harmful food additives and preservatives added to all processed or precooked foods, as many as 14,000 laboratory-made food additives!
Another NIH study addressed Westerners eating processed foods and the unhealthy consumption of carbohydrate, saturated fat, and added sugar contents, which increased significantly with the dietary contribution of ultra-processed foods. The study concluded:
This study suggests that decreasing the dietary share of ultra-processed foods is a rational and effective way to substantially improve dietary quality in the US.
Alarmingly, a recent study estimates that highly processed foods make up nearly 60 percent of the American diet. And,
how about chemical fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides! The NIH weighed in on the pesticide issue, as well, saying the development of new pesticides with safer application and improved safety profiles and the implementation of alternative cropping methods that are less dependent on pesticides could minimize exposure to pesticides and the undesirable effects of exposure on human health.
When it comes to our food supply, we’d prefer scientists leave well enough alone and put a little more trust in Mother Nature, and earlier human practices. Nature has been doing it correctly for tens of thousands of years!
And up until the last 50 or so years, humans also did it correctly for centuries, by using drying, natural salts, vinegar, herbs, smoking, boiling and refrigeration (ice) to naturally hold and preserve food items. Natural preserved foods have always been better than additive-chemically-added ones, and some chemicals are far worse than others.
Some cause hyperactivity, and high blood pressure, whereas, other have been linked to cancer and heart disease. Have you looked at any food label lately? You have to be a scientists to be able to understand all these chemical compounds, much less pronounce the words. 3 Harmful Foods To Avoid is what our discussion is about, which are foods with additives, foods contaminated with antibiotics-resistant bacteria, and foods with fertilizer and pesticides residuals.
Some food additive are not necessarily bad. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration has approved thousands of food additives. Consuming a small amount of processed foods is safe, but when approximately 60% of the food Americans eat is processed or fast foods, that’s where the danger comes in. In fact, the U.S. Government 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines show the percentages of Americans deficient in or eat in excess, the following foods:
Vegetables-83 percent below recommendation (deficient in)
Fruits-68 percent below recommendation (deficient in)
Total Grains-42 percent below recommendation (deficient in)
Dairy-83 percent below recommendation (deficient in)
Added Sugar-70 percent “above” recommendation (excess unhealthy sugar)
Saturated Fats-70 percent “above” recommendation (excess unhealthy fats)
Sodium-88 percent “above” recommendation (excess unhealthy salt)
So, you’ll understand, processed foods include fast foods, processed meats and refined grains, and prepackaged cooked either fresh or frozen, and literally thousands of others. These types foods are suppressors which means they are harmful foods that prevent your body’s self-healing.
Harmful Chemical Residuals In and On foods
Insecticides and Pesticides. Fruits and vegetables that
contain pesticide residues can be a health risk for people of all ages, according to the World Health Association (WHO)in this review “Pesticides Residues In Food”. A NIH study agreed with the pesticides research by scientists at the Harvard University School of Public Health published in “Pediatrics” in June 2010.
The study discovered exposure to organophosphates may contribute to the prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children, and added there’s an urgent need for a new concept in agriculture. The NIH confirmed it’s concern about pesticides in a Health and Education article, because evidence suggests that children are particularly susceptible to adverse effects from exposure to pesticides, including neurodevelopmental effects.
Another NIH study looked at the connection of higher levels of pesticide residuals in processed foods. Some processed foods contain higher levels of residues than allowed by the raw commodity tolerance because residues concentrate during processing. An example is the fungicide benomyl, which concentrates in processed tomato products.
Children who switch to organic produce no longer have significant harmful levels of organophosphates in their urine, according to research by scientists at Emory University published in “Environmental Health Perspectives” in April 2008.
Exposure to a combination of the pesticide maneb and the herbicide paraquat increases risks of Parkinson’s disease, especially in young people, according to research by scientists at the University of California in Berkeley published in the “American Journal of Epidemiology” in April 2009.
Harmful Additives In Foods
Monosodium Glutamate. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a food additive and preservative associated with
some serious health risks, according to this NIH study, linking it to brain lesions and other disturbances. An NIH study associated MSG intake with overweight in Chinese men, besides negative allergy reactions like headaches, sweating, and numbness in some individuals. Another NIH study researched MSG sensitivities, called the “Chinese Restaurant Syndrone”. A study in Thailand of 349 participants on consumption of MSG and direct relationship to obesity and metabolic syndrome.
A NIH study linked one preservative mono sodium gutamate (MSG), found in salad dressings, condiments, seasonings, bouillons and snack chips, caused various symptoms and reactions, such as tightening in the chest, headaches and a burning sensation in the neck and forearms, and causing a rise in blood pressure. MSGs-containing foods should be consumed with caution and in moderation.
Nitrites. Manufacturers use preservatives such as nitrites and sulfides in processed foods to inhibit growth of microorganisms and increase shelf life. Yet these preservatives increase your health risk. Sodium nitrite or nitrate are added to cured meats and fish, such as bacon, ham, frankfurters, luncheon meats, smoked fish, corned beef, to preserve their color and flavor. But as is the case with other additives, they may have side effects. A 2012 study in the International Journal of Cancer shows that these nitrates cause thyroid cancer.
Your body converts nitrites to carcinogenic substances called nitrosamines, and occurs particularly when foods are heated like frying.
Research by Susanna Larsson at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm published in the “International Journal of Cancer” in August 2006 found that increased nitrosamine consumption from processed meat increases the risk of stomach cancer. The NIH reviewed all the published cohort and case-control studies from 1985-2005 on nitrosamines and it’s connection to cancer and concluded that evidence supports a positive association between nitrite and nitrosamine intake and GC (gastric cancer). One NIH study confirmed the connection between red and processed meat and colorectal cancer incidence, and the consumption of processed meat should be limited.
Another NIH study reviewed a United Kingdom Biobank study of over 250,000 women ages 40 to 69 with incidence of breast cancer ascertained, over a period of 7 years, and found that consumption of processed meats, but not red meat, may increase the risk of breast cancer. The NIH completed another study which discussed the significance of red and processed meats and causing bladder cancer and found no evidence of red meat, but did find a connection with processed meats.
This meta-analysis suggests that processed meat may be positively associated with bladder cancer risk
Other studies, like this NIH study, suggest that nitrosamine exposure may also be linked to a higher incidence of type 1 diabetes, although findings are inconsistent.
Sulfites. Sulfides used to preserve dried fruits, fruit juices, wine and
beer may increase the risk of asthma attacks, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The NIH weighed in on sulfites and reported they induce a range of adverse clinical effects in sensitive individuals, ranging from dermatitis, flushing, hypotension, abdominal pain and diarrhoea to life-threatening asthmatic reactions. A PLOS ONE study found sulfites not inhibited the growth of harmful bacteria in the human gut, but also inhibited the growth of 4 beneficial (micro-flora) bacteria.
Sodium Benzoate. According to an NIH review, Sodium benzoate-rich, or aspartame, beverage consumption is associated with increased reporting of ADHD symptoms in college students, however, since it’s a pilot investigation, it warrants further investigation. Another NIH study reported that combining sodium benzoate with artificial food coloring increased hyperactivity in 3-year-old children.
Another NIH study showed when combined with vitamin C, sodium benzoate can also be converted into a benzene, a compound that may be associated with cancer development. Carbonated beverages, especially diet and sugar-free drinks, are even more likely to convert to a benzene compound. In fact, one NIH study concluded that benzene found in cola and cold slaw had 20 times the contaminate level of benzene the EPA set for drinking water.
BHA or BHT Butylated hydroxyanisole may be linked to ADHD-related symptoms in college students, and the World Health Organization’s International Agency for
Research on Cancer (IARC) considers BHA a possible human carcinogen. The NIH Toxic Data review had this to say about BHA and carcinogenic activity:
No data are available in humans. Sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in animals.
Guar Gum. Guar Gum is high in fiber and is used in foods to thicken and bind foods, and is associated with many health benefits, according to the NIH, such as helping lower blood sugar levels and cholesterol. However, high amounts of guar gum may have adverse effects on health, because it can swell 10 to 20 times its size, potentially causing issues like obstruction of the esophagus or small intestine.
It may also cause mild symptoms like gas, bloating or cramps in some people. According to the study, gastrointestinal effects, notably flatulence, occur relatively frequently and may be considered unacceptable by some patients. Actually, the FDA has set strict guidelines on how much guar gum can be added to foods to minimize the risk of negative side effects.
Potassium Bromate.. Potassium Bromate, found in white flour, breads, and rolls, used to increase volume, is known to cause cancer in animals and toxic to humans when taken orally.
the agent is carcinogenic in rats and nephrotoxic in both man and experimental animals when given orally.
Even small amounts in bread can create a risk for humans. California requires a cancer warning on the product label if potassium bromate is an ingredient.
Carrageenan. Carrageenan is derived from red seaweed and is used as a thickener, emulsifer, and preservative in almond milk, cottage cheese, ice cream and coffee creamers, and has been shown to trigger inflammation and negatively affect gut health, and cause instestinal ulcers and growths. The NIH reviewed the harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan in animal experiments, and concluded:
Because of the acknowledged carcinogenic properties of degraded carrageenan in animal models and the cancer-promoting effects of undegraded carrageenan in experimental models, the widespread use of carrageenan in the Western diet should be reconsidered.
Another study by the University Of Iowa College Of Medicine confirmed the harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan.
Artificial Coloring. Artificial colors increase consumer appeal but may also increase your risk of disease. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group, reports that caramel coloring used in many popular cola soft drinks contains two chemicals called 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimadazole that cause cancers of the lungs, liver and thyroid and leukemia.
However, according to an NIH study, found no evidence of caramel food coloring having a detrimental effect on human health and called for more tests.
Food coloring such as Yellow No. 5, 6 and 10 and Red 40 can increase the risk of or exacerbate hyperactive behavior in children, according to another NIH study “Artificial Colors and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Symptoms“. Red 3 coloring found in cake icing, fruit roll-ups, chewing gum, causes thyroid cancer in rats. Another “Toxicity of Food Dyes” NIH study found that Red 3 causes cancer in animals and there is also evidence 3 other dyes, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, showed to contain benzidine and other carcenogins, and cancer-causing. Quoting the NIH:
The fact that dyes do not improve the safety or nutritional quality of foods, indicates that all of the currently used dyes should be removed from the food supply and replaced, if at all, by safer colorings.
However, to be fair, another NIH study found that food dye Red 40 showed no evidence of geno-toxicity in animals. Another NIH review reported that artificial food coloring additives and histamine may promote hyperactivity in children (ADHD), although some children may be more sensitive than others.
Other studies have shown that some food dyes are safe for consumption in foods. One NIH study found that food dye additives amaranth, sunset yellow and tartrazine did not induce geno-toxic effect in mice, even in higher dosages.
Astaxanthin. The diet of farmed salmon doesn’t include crustaceans, which contains a natural
astaxanthin found in wild-caught salmon, that causes pink flesh in wild salmon. As a result, producers add astaxanthin to farm-salmon diets for that fresh-from-the-water appearance. Astaxanthin is manufactured from coal tar, and although there is no evidence it causes any harmful health issue, why take the risk of buying farm-raised salmon with synthetic astaxanthin in the flesh, when you can easily buy authentic wild-caught salmon, which is much healthier, and most likely, safer, and surely better tasting.
Synthetic Fats, or Trans-Fats Industrially produced fats common in processed foods like stick margarine, vegetable shortening, crackers, fried restaurant foods, baked goods, icing, microwave popcorn, are bad for your health. contributes to heart disease, as this NIH study reveals. The FDA removed the GRAS (generally regarded as safe) status of trans-fats. Manufacturers previously used trans fats, which increase the risk of coronary artery disease, in processed breads, cookies, margarine and microwave popcorn.
Olestra, a synthetic fat substitutes found in light potato chips, causes diarrhea and loose stools, abdominal cramps, flatulence, and other adverse effects. The NIH study on Olestra confirmed the negative affects of gut discomfort and digestion issues with its use, but also said there were no dangers of life-threating issues. The FDA requires foods containing olestra carry a warning label. Residuals of antibotics-resistant bacteria in food is the last of the 3 Harmful Foods To Avoid.
Artificial Sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners such as as aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, are used in many diet foods and beverages to enhance sweetness while reducing calorie content.
The American Cancer Society’s position on aspartame is there is no documented evidence it causes any harmful effects in humans and there are warnings on labels of products containing aspartame, as to how many diet drinks should be consumed in a 24 hour period. However, note that certain types of artificial sweeteners like aspartame may cause headaches in some people, and studies show that certain individuals may be more sensitive to its effects. 2 NIH study linked aspartame to migraine headaches, and regular headaches in sensitive people particularly susceptible to headaches .
High-Fructose Additive. High-fructose corn syrup, a sweetener used in soft drinks, salad dressings and desserts, supplies no nutrition and empty calories, can increase your risk of obesity and diabetes, according to 2004 research by scientists at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition“. The NIH endorsed the American Journal study.
One NIH study of 32 people consumed a drink sweetened with either glucose or fructose for 10 weeks. the study results showed the fructose-sweetened beverage caused significant increases in belly fat and blood sugar levels, plus decreased insulin sensitivity compared to the glucose-sweetened beverage. The consumption of large quantities of inflammation-causinghigh-fructose corn syrup has been fingered as a causative factor in heart disease. It also causes inflammation in cell by activating insulin, raises blood
levels of cholesterol and triglyceride fats, while making blood cells more prone to clotting and accelerating the aging process. Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta reports eating high-fructose corn syrup can increase your risk of diabetes. Animal and human studies hint that lifelong consumption of aspartame, an artificial sweetener, found in diet foods and drinks, may increase the risk of cancer; and might cause altered brain function.
Harmful Antibiotic-Resistent Bacteria Residuals In Food
In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) published an article “Stop using antibiotics in healthy animals to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance“, urging farmers and the food industry to stop using antibiotics, or antimicrobials, routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals. Quoting the WHO,
Recommendations aim to help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics that are important for human medicine by reducing their unnecessary use in animals. In some countries, approximately 80% of total consumption of medically important antibiotics is in the animal sector, largely for growth promotion in healthy animals.
These recommendations call for an
overall reduction of the use of all classes of medically important antibiotics in food-producing animals, including complete restriction of these antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention without diagnosis. Healthy animals should only receive antibiotics to prevent disease if it has been diagnosed in other animals in the same flock, herd, or fish population, and no other time.
Scientific evidence demonstrates that overuse of antibiotics in animals can contribute to the emergence of antibiotic resistance,
(antibiotic-resistant bacteria)says Dr Kazuaki Miyagishima, Director of the Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses at WHO. Alternative options offered by WHO, to using antibiotics for disease prevention in animals called for improving hygiene, better use of vaccination, and changes in animal housing and husbandry practices.
As far back as 2011, the FDA issued a report about the over-use of antibiotics in food animals causing a phenomenon known as antibiotic resistance. This resistance develops when potentially harmful bacteria change in a way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of antibiotics. Examples of the types of bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics include the species that cause staph, skin infections, Tuberculosis, meningitis, sexually transmitted diseases and respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia.
Antibiotics use should be restricted to combating bacterial infections only, and not used for the treatment of viruses, because they have no effect against viruses or influenza. The primary concern relates to the potential that the use of antimicrobial drugs in animals could contribute to increases in antibiotic resistance among bacteria that cause food borne illnesses in people.
The NIH weigh in on the seriousness of restricting the wholesale use of antibiotics in food animals, and said this:
Countries should therefore follow WHO, OIE, and FAO recommendations to implement national action plans encompassing human, (food) animal, and environmental sectors to improve policies, interventions and activities that address the prevention and containment of ABR (antibiotic resistant) from farm-to-fork.
In an extensive study by Oxford Academic Journal Of Antimicroorial Chemotherapy, concluded the following:
We support truly rational and prudent use of antibiotics in all contexts—aided by the many guidelines that now exist.
If a food borne disease requires treatment with an antibiotic and the bacteria are resistant to it.
The severity of the disease could increase with consequences such as lengthening of the disease, increased rates of hospitalization or, in extreme cases, increased risk of death. In “A Call To Action“, the NIH had this to say about over-use of antibiotics in food animals, particularly in feedlots or close quarters.
The current indiscriminate use of antibiotics for animal agriculture is irresponsible and misguided…….(the public)can start this process by refusing to buy meat raised with nontherapeutic antibiotic use
When food animals are given antibiotics or antimicrobials, resistant
bacteria could emerge and multiply in the intestinal tract of the animal the same way that can happen in people when antibiotics are used to treat infections. Any time antibiotics are used it can lead to resistance. According to The CDC, however, when animals are given antibiotics for growth promotion or increased feed efficiency, bacteria are exposed to low doses of these drugs over a long period of time. This type of exposure to antibiotics may lead to the survival and growth of resistant bacteria. Quoting the CDC,
The FDA issued a final directive in 2017, restricting the use of several classes of antibiotics for use in growth production and feed efficiently, and bring their remaining therapeutic uses in feed and water under the supervision of licensed veterinarians. Some of these bacteria in the food animal might contaminate the surface of its meat during processing. If the meat is not thoroughly cooked to kill these bacteria, and enough organisms are present to infect a person, they could cause a food borne illness.
The incidence of food-born antibiotic-resistant bacteria developing is much higher in feed-lot or housed animals, such as beef cattle, swine, dairy cows, and chickens and turkeys, in which they are mostly housed in very close quarters, in unsanitary conditions and grain-fed, and not naturally-fed in open fields where they can graze on their own in a healthy way. These food animals are also given antibiotics and synthetic hormones irresponsibly, as The CDC noted.
This article “The Shame Of Concentrated Feedlots” by United Nations University, will give you a real look at the horrible way most of world’s foods are produced.
The development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is far less in traditionally-fed food animals such as beef cattle and dairy cows raised on nutrient-rich natural organic grasses, and in free-range (not housed) raised pigs, sheep, and poultry, including turkey, chicken, and duck, and including laying-hens for eggs.These naturally grass-fed or field-fed food animal sources are much safer for human consumption, because typically, these natural fields are also organic, as well.
The animals themselves re-fertilize the ground the grasses and plants grow in. It also holds true for farm-raised fish sold as wild-fish, that are also given antibiotics, and harmful food additives routinely, resulting in contaminated food-born bacteria-resistant fish. Naturally-caught or wild caught fish and seafood, who only rely on the sea for their nutrition, like land-based grass-fed food animals, are more nutritious, disease free, and much healthier and safer for human consumption.
In addition, grass-fed food animals raised in the traditional old farming way, the way nature intended, are not routinely given antibiotics, because there’s no need to, because they are leaner and much healthier, living a life of less stress, in un-crowded conditions, and free to roam and graze at their own will in more sanitary conditions. Food animals graze on healthy natural grasses, using the rotating pastures method, or paddocks, having little or no incidence of bacterial infections or illnesses, as this Jarid Woodgate short video shows. Food animals deserve a better life, don’t you think?
The fact that these food animals are eating natural grasses and bugs, and the wild fish and seafood are eating from their natural saltwater environment, as nature intended, which are all very high in nutrition, including protein and micronutrients consisting of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids (not omega 6s), and essential amino acids, should tell you all you need to know.
Change Your Eating Habits
If you’d like to avoid consuming these potentially harmful ingredients,
there is only one surefire way: Avoid processed foods and precooked packaged foods, foods which aren’t organically-grown (using chemical fertilizers and pesticides), and feed-lot or housed meat food sources and farm-raised fish. Eat foods in their fresh, whole, natural, organic state and you won’t have to worry about harmful side effects from chemically processed additives, or chemical residuals or bacterial-contaminated foods.
That simply means eating fresh natural certified organic nutrient-dense foods consisting of lean finished grass-fed or free-range meats, and dairy products, cage-free brown eggs (A), wild-caught or cold-water fish such as salmon (A), fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, and seeds (A). The fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds, hopefully you are growing in your own backyard garden. Other healthy nutrient-dense foods include whole-grains and complex carbs, natural fermented foods, fresh herbs and spices, polyunsaturated oils (extra virgin olive oil), and antioxidant drinks (A).
If not, starting a backyard garden should be one of your primary goals. Supplementing with a natural and organic, nutrient-dense whole-food Adaptogen called Peruvian Maca is also a great idea. You can learn all about the incredible health benefits of P Maca by reading these reviews: “Where Can I Buy Maca?” and “What Is In Maca Root?” You can also purchase these incredibly nutritious foods through the links provided.
You now know the 3 Harmful Foods To Avoid in order to maintain or
restore you and your family’s overall health and well being. The question is are you going to take an active roll in changing your eating habits? The choice is yours. Your comments and questions are welcomed.
(A) Use these links to reviews for more information, authority studies, and to purchase these incredibly nutrient-dense foods.