Most households use the same supplies nowadays. Same foods, common house cleaning products, many kitchens look alike in the modern world. And this is not a very good news. As I often say, something being common doesn’t mean it is normal. Like being tired for example…. Or eating cereals for breakfast.
I decided to make a top 10 list of those very common foods that may be in the kitchen cupboards of many of you, and show you that it might be time for you to re-consider them…
Have you checked the list of ingredients in your old friend the Ketchup tomato sauce?
Sugar, Sodium (from bleached processed salt), High Fructose Corn Syrup, artificial additives, overcooked tomatoes… “flavour” or “natural flavour” usually means “artificial chemicals added” by the way. This tomato sauce has actually nothing to do with a real fresh home-made tomato sauce. There are almost no nutritional value to it. It is pure sugar mixed with GMOs and other toxic chemicals. By the way, this is the case for most of commercial condiments and sauce sold everywhere.
TIP: Do it yourself! Use fresh organic tomatoes, and sweeten with some raw honey and/or stevia. You can add some good fats to make it even tastier. Easy, better, healthy.
2. Chocolate spread (you see which one I am talking about)
This is an all-too-common go-to for snacks, breakfast, afternoon lows, and some people feel even proud having their names printed on the jar… but do you know what you are giving your kids or yourself with just one spoon of it? Again…it is sugar, refined palm oil, low quality cacao, soy lecithin… A real mix to disrupt your metabolism, your hormones, your health. This is NOT a good idea.
TIP: Do it yourself! ALL ORGANIC: raw cacao powder, almond butter, coconut oil and/or raw grass-fed butter, coconut milk, unrefined Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt, hazelnuts, raw honey, pinch of fresh vanilla… How better does that sound and taste? I would say that it is always a bad idea to start the day with more carbs than fats or proteins. But as a snack or after a meal, to have a great healthy treat, this can be quite a good option. Don’t think that being healthy means being frustrated. It means have enough clarity of mind to make the right choices.
3. Breakfast packaged cereals
Again, check the list of the ingredients here…. They are all highly processed. And when they are “enriched in vitamins….”, it often means that processing this “food” killed all the good enzymes and nutrients in it, and that therefore they had to add some synthetic vitamins to add some value to it…. Sugar, processed cereals (often GMO), soy, high fructose corn syrup, additives, artificial flavors and colorings, processed chocolate with little cacao in it…. These are never a good option. Your health and that of your kids is more worth than that.
TIP: choose organic oat meal or oat bran instead. Mix it with cinnamon, fruits, nuts/seeds, raw cacao, raw honey in hot water or unsweetened almond or coconut milk. The closer you are from nature, the better you are doing.
4. Canned tomatoes
Most of the cans are made with Bisphenol-A (BPA), a common plastic chemical that is HIGHLY toxic. It can mimic and interfere with your hormones, disrupting your endocrine system, which can lead to many harmful health issues: reproductive abnormalities, neurological problems, increase risk of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease…. Eating just a couple of canned foods can exceed the safety limits for daily BP for children! This goes for all types of canned foods: tomatoes, tuna, corn, soups, beans, lentils…. Here I am specially talking about canned tomatoes because that’s what most people have at home, and because the acidity of the tomatoes causes the BPA to leach even more into the food.
TIP: chose dried beans or lentils instead. And cook home-made tomato sauce or soup! As for tuna or sardines…. From time to time I would say it is ok 80/20 rule…), but keep in mind that it is not ideal and that it should not be a regular food you are eating.
5. Commercial yogurt or milk
This is tough one…. Who hasn’t some commercial yogurts or milk in the fridge? Maybe even soy yogurt? Or soy milk? Or even mixed with fruits? Or fat-free? (this is even worse by the way…!) Who thinks they need yogurt and milk to get the right amount of calcium, especially for kids? And this should be the subject of another article (coming soon I guess :-) ). So for now I am going to keep it short: pasteurized dairy is dairy depleted in its essential vitamins and nutrients. And when it is not organic, it is often full of hormones and antibiotics fed to the animals it comes from. On top of that, they get either enriched with synthetic vitamins and minerals (to show some fake nutritional value), sometimes some sugar or high fructose corn syrup gets added as well, with other additives, artificial colorings or flavors…. There is NOTHING HEALTHY in those foods! And choosing the SOY or low-fat version is even worse (please READ MY ARTICLE ABOUT SOY to understand that).
TIP: choose organic RAW (un-pasteurized) dairy, that you can usually find at your local farmers market. Raw cheese can be good if you are tolerant to dairy in general. Organic Kefir milk is a better choice as well. And don’t worry, you get plenty of calcium in vegetables, especially dark leafy greens and grass-fed animals who are eating healthy greens (grass…)! No need for dead food to get your daily recommended amount of calcium!
6. Fruit Juice
Whether it is written on the bottle “100% juice” or “not made from concentrate”…. This doesn’t mean anything. It is just a Sugar drink, sometimes with even more artificial sugar or sweetener added. But even when they don’t add anything which is rare), it is only sugar, which is NOTHING HEALTHY for you. Want to disrupt your hormones, especially insulin? Go ahead and keep on thinking that you are having a healthy drink.
TIP: chose organic fresh wholefoods fruits instead. And if you like juicing, read my article about it and make good choices.
7. Sunflower Oil
Al vegetable oils are harmful to your overall health, and therefore should be avoided as much as possible (see ARTICLE HERE). Often highly processed, hydrogenated, sometimes becoming trans-fats, those are nothing but harmful molecules, highly inflammatory, similar to plastic. The best oils to cook with are the ones that don’t get rancid and oxidized when reaching high temperatures (think coconut oil, raw grass-fed butter, ghee, duck fat…). For cold dressings or salads, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is always the winner. By eating just those fats, you are sure to have a more balanced Omega 3 / Omega 6 ratio, and to give your body all the healthy fats it needs to function at its best.
Why replace a nutrient-dense power food like raw grass-fed butter with a chemical, plastic-like substance called margarine? Because it is cheaper. Please READ MY ARTICLE ABOUT MARGARINE HERE, throw the last jar you might still have in your fridge and go buy some real butter. Nothing beats the quality (and taste!) of what nature provides us with.
9. Soda drinks
Are you still having some diet soda as a drink? Giving it to your family, thinking you are helping them not getting too fat and diminishing their daily sugar consumption? Stop right away. Those diet sodas are WORSE, artificial sweeteners, sometimes mixed with caffeine, are highly toxic for you. Those sodas are a mix of highly processed chemicals, they should be called everything but “drinks”. Think about all the artificial colorings and flavors that have to be added, your body does not want that, believe me. Kidney stones, osteoporosis (due to phosphoric acid), diabetes, hypertension, liver damage are but a few of the health problems you can face because of the consumption of those poisons.
TIP: Nothing will ever beat good quality mineral water for hydration and overall energy. Add a zest of lemon or orange or cucumber for some refreshing taste.
10. Processed cereals and grains, in bread, pasta, chips, cookies, pastries…
This is logical but it might be worth making a point here. Any highly processed food is bad for you. Because you lose the nature of what the whole food really is, because it is often added with sugar and other harmful chemicals (to make them more appealing and even make them addictive), sometimes bleached, because they are often full of harmful trans-fats, because those “foods” should not be called foods after all. Gluten is a big topic and I am not going to talk about it now, this is something I will write about in a more detailed article later. In the meantime, I would just like to make you understand that those processed foods are usually bad for you, that there are always better healthier options available, that you don’t need to be frustrated to be healthy. Nature knows it better. If you wonder whether one food you bought is good or not, just ask yourself whether this food existed 1000 years ago, and there you have the answer. Forget lab-made “foods” and support local farmers and nature instead.
This article is made to give you some heads-up about what might be harming you on a daily basis without you even knowing about it. Again, knowledge can make the difference. When you know it, you can make better choices.
Eating well is a fantastic journey, going back to the real savours and taste of REAL food is an awakening experience. Get back in touch with nature, to get back in touch with yourself.
In Health and Happiness,