Toxic Food Ingredients

Have you ever thought of food as being toxic to your body?! Food is supposed to be nutritious and provide your body with the healthy fuel it requires. Food is supposed to give you energy to fuel daily functions or give you that extra power punch to enhance your sports performance. Most importantly, nutritious foods and beverages are made to rejuvenate, revitalize, restore and repair your muscles and your body on a daily basis.

However, some foods can set your back and put your body in a “rut,” forcing it to work less efficiently and leaving you feeling exhausted and fatigued (even when you’re exerting only a small amount of energy and not working out). Here are a few tips of the top 10 foods to avoid or limit because they may be doing more harm than you think….


1. Palm Oil

When a regular fat like corn, soybean, or palm oil is blasted with hydrogen and turned into a solid, it becomes a trans fat. These packaged foods at the supermarket allow for a longer shelf (lasting years without ever getting stale or rotting). Imagine what this does inside your body!! It raises your “bad cholesterol” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and lowers your “good cholesterol” HDL, increasing your risk of blood clots and heart attack. Avoid palm oil and other trans fats like the plague, like fried foods and baked goods with shortening, butter and other hydrogenated oils.

2. Shortening

Start reading the nutrition facts and ingredient lists on products. Avoid any foods with shortening or partially hydrogenated oil as an ingredient (trans fat). They clog your arteries and increase your risk of obesity. Choose healthier monounsaturated fats and foods that contain unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids.

3. White Flour, Rice, Pasta, and Bread

When a whole grain is refined, most of its nutrients are sucked out in an effort to extend its shelf life. Both the bran and germ are removed, and therefore all the fiber, vitamins, and minerals are lost. These refined foods raise your blood sugar and insulin levels incredibly high, which can lead to weight gain, impaired metabolism, increased risk of diabetes or worsening symptoms if you already have diabetes. Replace processed grains with whole grains, like brown or wild rice, whole-wheat breads and pastas, barley, high fiber cereals and oatmeal.

4. High Fructose Corn Syrup

The amount of refined sugar we consume has declined over the past 40 years, however we’re consuming almost 20 times as much high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It’s in practically everything (even ketchup), so start reading your nutrition facts label and protect yourself! It increases triglycerides, boosts fat-storing hormones, and drives people to eat more / overeat and gain weight in result.

5. Artificial Sweeteners

Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), saccharin (Sweet’N Low, SugarTwin), and sucralose (Splenda) may be even harder on our metabolic systems than regular sugar. These proposed diet-friendly sweeteners may actually be doing more harm than good! Studies suggest that artificial sweeteners “trick the brain” into forgetting that sweetness means extra calories, making people more likely to keep eating sweet treats without abandon. Splenda is 600x sweeter than plain sugar and therefore you need to use less of it. However, I see people add 2-3 packets of Splenda to 1 cup of coffee or cereal in the morning. Your body does not register this “food additive” and therefore your body craves more “sweet foods” and carbs. When eaten in excess, it can cause gastrointestinal distress as well. Watch out!

6. Blue, Green, Red, and Yellow

The artificial colors blue 1 and 2, green 3, red 3, and yellow 6 have been linked to thyroid, adrenal, bladder, kidney, and brain cancers. Always seek out foods with the fewest artificial chemicals, especially when shopping for your kids. Avoid these artificial colors and opt for color-free medications and natural food products.

7. MSG

Monosodium glutamate is a processed “flavor enhancer,” used in many foods and sauces (Chinese foods while dining out). No wonder I feel so lethargic after Chinese food. It tastes so good going down, and then my body feels the effects later! While glutamates are present in some natural foods, such as meat and cheese, the ones exploited by the processed-foods industry are separated from their host proteins through hydrolysis. High levels of MSG might also be linked to altered brain chemistry.

To learn more about the last three “toxic foods” on the Top 10 “toxic food list,” schedule a nutrition consultation or Grocery Store Tour with Courtney Walberg, Registered Dietitian and Founder of Nutrition For Body And Mind and learn how to fuel your body the RIGHT WAY! Believe me, your body will thank you later!