It’s appalling when I think about all the thousands of patients I’ve seen over the years that have been taken advantage of by the food industry. These companies fool consumers by using words like “All Natural,” “Fat Free,” and “Organic,” but when you read the fine print, the ingredients are far from being healthy. In fact, many of the chemicals used to make our food are a major contributing factor to disease! In my #1 National Bestselling book, Food Sanity, how to eat in a world of fads and fiction, I share some tidbits on how to read food labels and better protect you and your family.
For example, the Hidden Valley Ranch label shows farm fresh green fields, healthy looking vegetables and the words “FAT FREE.” With 70 calories per tablespoon, it appears to be a healthy addition to a salad. However, if you read the ingredients on the back of the bottle, here’s what you’ll find in the fine print:
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): This is a liquid sweetener alternative to sucrose (table sugar) used in many foods and beverages. Scientists say HFCS is as addictive as cocaine and may alter the brain's ability to learn and remember information. HFCS is a leading cause of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, liver failure and cancer.
Tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ: This is synthetic chemical that is used to extend the shelf life of oily and fatty foods. It is also an ingredient used to make varnish, paints and lacquers. TBHQ destroys human “T-cells” which lowers the body's immune system. It's been linked to autoimmune disease, asthma, allergies, liver disease, and stomach cancer.
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid or EDTA: This chemical is used to preserve the color and texture of food. It’s also an ingredient found in household cleaning agents, laundry soap and shampoos. It’s been linked to causing fatigue, anemia, asthma, and kidney damage.
Sodium Benzoate: This popular food food preservative is also an ingredient used to make fire works! Consuming this chemcial has been liked to depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and DNA damage. When sodium benzoate combines with ascorbic acid (vitamin C,) benzene can form, which is a known carcinogen. Benzene is also an ingredient used to make gasoline!
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): This is a common food flavor enhancer. Glutamate is a naturally occurring amino acid that the body uses and needs. The synthetic manipulation and processing of glutamate produces a form that is not found in nature and not good for humans to ingest. MSG has been linked to causing headaches, hormonal imbalances, and memory loss.
Don’t be fooled when you see farm fresh green fields with “Fat Free” or “Low Calorie” on food labels. I look forward to the day we have “Chemical Free” labeling. Until then, you have do you own due diligence. The saying, “You are what you eat” is something we all need to live by. The food you eat controls your DNA, the essence of who you are. Every muscle, organ and gland is fueled by what you put into your mouth. Food has the power to prevent disease or cause it. Our body wasn't created in a lab and I believe, neither should the food we put into it. Read your food labels!
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