I am very specific on what I allow my children and I to put in our bodies. Especially when it comes to food! “You are what you eat”, that’s what I was always taught growing up. When I go shopping, I read the back of the labels on almost everything that I buy so that I can ensure that only the healthiest ingredients are consumed by me and my family. Throughout time, the economy has determined whether society at large could eat healthy or if they had to buy whatever they could to survive rather than instead. Purchasing food based upon affordability, and survival usually means that the consumers are buying things that are available and convenient rather than verified as healthy and organic. We do have to admit that healthier food comes with a healthier price tag and it’s not made affordable or available that way for families who are struggling. I remember trying to buy healthier foods for me and my family at times when we didn’t have a lot of income coming in. It was really hard. Anything that was vegetarian or organic had a healthier price tag on it than any of the other foods at the store.
However, just because organic options are pricier, doesn’t mean that you can’t find healthier options for you and your family. Not only this, but instead of only looking for the good foods, people need to start checking to see whether their house contains any of the bad ones too. In the quest for a healthy lifestyle, people often focus on the foods they should be eating. I’m a bit extreme, I admit, and so I look for the toxic foods too. After my own research and years of checking labels, I’ve found foods that are harmful. In this article I’ll reveal the potentially toxic foods that everyone should avoid buying and how to ensure a healthier grocery.
From harmful additives to hidden dangers, I’ll shed light on some of the most toxic foods commonly found in households. By identifying them, you can make informed choices and prioritize your well-being.
Processed Meats: The worst!
Processed meats like hot dogs, sausages, and deli meats often contain high levels of sodium, preservatives, and nitrates. These additives have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and other health issues. Opt for fresh, unprocessed meats whenever possible. You never know what you’re actually going to get in processed meats. There is a variety of different animal parts that are ground up and put into the meat with many spices in order to produce the different processed meats that are out there. Other examples are bologna, pastrami, and even your every day breakfast sausage.
While they may seem like a healthier alternative to sugar, artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose can have adverse effects on our health. Research suggests that they may disrupt gut bacteria, contribute to weight gain, and even increase the risk of developing metabolic disorders. Consider natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup instead. it’s actually interesting enough to consider that aspartame is created with genetically modified bacteria that goes through a process in order to produce it.
Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are often treated with pesticides, which can be harmful to our health. These chemicals have been associated with various health problems, including hormone disruption, neurological issues, and even cancer. Whenever feasible, choose organic produce or thoroughly wash and peel non-organic options. We can’t be certain that half of the products labeled as organic in the food markets actually are. Throughout the ages many different brands have promoted that their products are safe and healthy and have been found to actually produce toxic health effects on the consumer.
Canned foods may seem convenient, but they often contain harmful chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is an endocrine disruptor that can interfere with hormone function and has been linked to reproductive issues, obesity, and certain cancers. Opt for fresh or frozen alternatives whenever possible. Canned foods are promised a certain duration of shelf life until they expire, but how much is that actually holds up? Imagine food sitting in a can that is building up in bacteria over time? It’s unsafe. It has even been said that eating out of the can can cause botulism. Even though the food is cooked, much of the nutritious value is gone. How can canned foods that bathe their own juices for months be healthy?
Artificial Food Coloring:
Artificial food coloring, commonly found in candies, baked goods, and processed snacks, has been linked to hyperactivity in children and may also cause allergic reactions. Look for natural food coloring options or choose snacks that are free from artificial additives.
Trans fats, often found in processed snacks, margarine, and fried foods, are known to increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems. Check food labels for hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and avoid products containing these harmful fats.
Pesticides & Additives:
Believe it, or not, but additives put into food to preserve it on the shelf are actually harmful for your health. Glyphosate is actually an herbicide used in farming which has been also added to cereals as a preservative. That definitely doesn’t sound safe to me. I’m sure that many of you would not go out into your garage and pick an herbicide off of your shelf and pour it into your child’s cereal would you? I didn’t think so.
Unhealthy “Healthier” Ingredients:
Since health and wellness have both become quite the trend these days, many people are trying to opt for healthier options. But how many of these additional options are actually healthier? For example, protein bars contain something called ethanol in them. This is said to be a great substitute for sugar, but it’s actually not. The body breaks down ethanol as a fat. Since ethanol is actually a form of alcohol, and the body breaks it down as a sugar, a lot of consumption of this chemical could be responsible for causing cancer.
Moldy foods, such as bread, cheese, and fruits, can produce mycotoxins that are harmful to our health. Ingesting these toxins can lead to respiratory issues, allergic reactions, and even neurological problems. Discard any food showing signs of mold to prevent potential health risks. Most fresh produce starts growing mold rather quickly these days. When I was a little girl growing up in the 90s, we could leave a bunch of bananas out on the counter for a good week or two, and they would hold up. Nowadays, it only takes a few days and the bananas are already going rotten. there’s a lot of mold in the air generally. I have more information on this in another article on another website, but for now, just keep in mind that your food isn’t going to last that long and you should probably throw it away a few days earlier than you usually would have. Just because it’s not showing signs of mold, doesn’t mean it hasn’t started developing mold spores.
Being aware of the toxic foods lurking in our homes is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. By avoiding or minimizing our consumption of processed meats, artificial sweeteners, non-organic produce, canned foods, artificial food coloring, trans fats, and moldy foods, we can take proactive steps towards safeguarding our well-being. Remember, knowledge is power, and making informed choices about the foods we consume is essential for a healthier and happier life.
In order to purchase healthy foods, and avoid bringing any into your home, and remember to always check your labels. Do your own research as well! Look up the ingredients listed in everyday products that you bring into your household and find out what they really are! Don’t lack awareness as a consumer. Just because it’s sold doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Always take precautionary steps to ensure the better health of you and your family members. Try to avoid products that have red dye, phenylalanine, trans fat, ethanol, added sugars, and glyphosate in them. Also, shop only where you know that your produce can be trusted from a real organic source, and ask your grocer to verify it. It’s your body, make sure that you’re putting the right stuff into it. A few other helpful tips are to eat more fresh and shop small daily. This will help you to not have a lot of food sitting around that could grow mold. My children and I buy our dinners daily and only keep some very small, healthy snacks laying around in the house.
I hope that this article helped raise awareness and inspire others to be more mindful as they shop for themselves and/or their family.