Who doesn’t like to sit down on the couch and cozy up to the TV with a big bag of freshly popped corn, coated in butter and salt? Delicious isn’t it?! Well maybe so, but when you start looking at the chemicals inside that bag… you might want to think again before choosing your next snack. Microwave popcorn bags are coated with chemicals like perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) that are considered carcinogens. Studies have linked the chemicals in microwave popcorn to health tumours, cancer (liver, pancreatic, testicular) as well as a potential cause of infertility! If you are craving something salty and light to pair with movie night, either splurge on a popcorn maker or buy the pre-popped variety.
Bleached White Flour
Now that everyone and their brother seems to be jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon, more people are starting to take notice of what exactly is in white flour. The problem is that the “white” in the flour comes from…you guessed it – bleach. Furthermore, regular consumption of refined carbohydrates like that in white flour has been linked to an increase in breast cancer by 220% according to recent cancer research.
Some time long ago, people started saying that you had to eat fish to get your Omega fatty acids and since then, it has been taken as gospel. This falsified idea has pushed the fish farming industry into full gear while putting human health at risk. Farmed fish, like salmon, tilapia and shrimp are fed an artificial diet that is pumped full of growth hormones, pesticides, cancer-causing chemicals, and even fertilizers. Many fish are also force fed antibiotics to combat infection and disease while they are being bred in overcrowded unhygienic pens. Salmon are also fed chemicals to colours their flesh so that it appears more pink when sold at market. Because of the unhealthy living conditions these fish are often sick themselves and full of mercury that is a known neurotoxin causing severe health conditions like infertility, tumours, cognitive disabilities, and Minamata disease.
Would you like fries with that? Our impulsive natural reaction screams- yes, I want fries!! The salty, delicious crispy side that goes so perfect with just about everything might just be secretly killing you. The piles of sodium mixed with excess trans fat is a recipe for obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. And even if you don’t look “fat” doesn’t mean that your arteries aren’t full of caked up junk. If that isn’t reason enough to skip the fries, the oil used for frying, usually Canola or Rapeseed oil is one of the most heavily genetically modified foods in the United States. GMO foods according to the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) are linked to serious health conditions such as “infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system”.
Deli meats such as popular sandwich lunch meats, hotdogs, bacon and sausages have been frequently associated with colon cancer because of the sodium nitrite and nitrate additives. These preservative agents act to keep meat looking and tasting “fresh”, but in reality are doing much more harm than good. If meat is a part of your diet, best to skip the pre-packaged choices or at least opt for those that do not have the known cancer-causing chemicals.
Similar to deli meats, there is another concern with the preparation of meats. If you like that charbroiled flavor and blackened crisp, you might want to work on changing your taste buds a little bit. The burnt edges on your hunk of meat might actually be a potential source of colon cancer causing fuel! If you are grilling your foods and manage to “flambé” the edges, trim them off and be sure not to eat to eat them.
Refined Sugar and Processed Foods
Sugar, poor sugar. We love you but you are just so hard on our bodies! Refined sugars including white sugar or high fructose corn syrup act like rocket fuel for cancer cells. Where do I find refined sugar you might be asking? Cakes, cookies, soda, granola bars, cereal, ice cream, microwave dinners, pasta sauces… you name it! If you are buying any processed foods be sure to read the label carefully and avoid excess sugar and corn syrup as much as possible.
There are few countries on the planet that do not have some kind of “chip-like snack”. These deep fried crunchy treats are soaked in oil and then coated in salts, artificial flavouring, and MSG. Think of chips as crunchy sponges for fat, chemicals, and little cheerleaders for high blood pressure. Yes, they taste AMAZING, but unless you want to send your health into the bin with the empty bag of chips, best to limit or eliminate your consumption of this popular treat. Look for healthier options such as popcorn or nuts. The New England Journal of Medicine put it in good perspective, one single ounce serving of chips per day will pack on close to 2 extra pounds of weight on your body per year!
There aren’t many people out there who will try to deny that soda pop is not good for you. So what makes soda so bad you are wondering? Well… the yummy cocktail of chemicals, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, colouring, artificial flavours does a darn good at contributing to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Also, sodas are highly acidic which chomps away at your bones and high fives any cancer cells you might have lurking around your body. Diet-sodas are by no means a healthy option to soda pop either. If you want a fizzy cold drink the go for a carbonated water with a dash of fresh fruit instead.
Fat Free Foods and Aspartame
Losing weight is difficult so when companies came out with “diet” options, it seemed like a no-brainer. Eat whatever junk or processed food you want, so long as it says diet on the bag became the mentality. What failed to get across is the fact that many “diet” foods are often jam packed with salts, sugars, and artificial flavorings to make them edible and this brings us to Aspartame. When aspartame was first developed it was seen as a golden egg to replace sugar! It is 200 times sweeter than sugar and was marketed as a lower-calorie food choice. Aspartame has been associated with adverse health effects such as weight gain, migraines, depression, neurological disorders and cancer. Though some people argue that aspartame isn’t as bad as some scientists suggest, there seems to be an overwhelming lack of research supporting its consumption. Meaning- we don’t know exactly what aspartame does to us or how it effects our bodies. For this reason alone, many choose to avoid it completely.