How to Avoid Toxic Foods And Hormone Disruptors In Our Food Supply
Toxic foods, and the endocrine disrupting chemicals in them, can easily be decreased in your daily diet if you know where to find them.
In Part 1:
Causes Of Obesity and Part 2:
we discussed the nature of chemicals in our daily diet and environment, called obesogens, and how these obesogens create toxic foods and a toxic environment.
These toxins, or obesogens are nasty! They mess with our fat hormones increase our appetites and cravings and lower our metabolism. The result is that we have a very difficult time losing weight and staying healthy. Will power and calorie counting no longer seem to work.
We have witnessed the disasterous effect of chemicals and pollutants on our wildlife and environment for years now, why did we think that the human body was immune??
In 2009 an incredible documentary called 'Food.Inc.' was released, if you haven't watched it yet, here is the trailer:
I suspect it is the unwavering trust we have in our government, regulatory agencies and food manufacturers. But the unfortunate reality is: no one is going to look after you ..except YOU. These folks are too busy either chasing profits $$$$, bogged down in bureaucracy or fighting to stay in power.
“The 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is out of date and ineffective at protecting the public from chemicals that have been linked to cancer, learning disabilities, asthma, reproductive problems, and other serious diseases.”
Furthermore, don't expect your doctor or dietician to help you either, these folks are oblivious to the ongoing research. They will merely encourage you to take more medications full of obesogens or continue eating more toxic foods! Is your doctor a picture of health, or is he overweight like many?
Having managed a holistic weight loss clinic for 4 years, there have been many health care providers: nurses, doctors and even dieticians that have sought my weight loss help. They are as mystified as we are as to WHY we have all begun to gain so much weight.
Listen to Dr. Oz,
, who says that toxic foods and the obesogens they contain, cause your fat cells to multiply. Do your own research, check out resources mentioned here and clean up your diet as best you can.
Dr. Paula Baillie-Hamilton was the first researcher to alert the world to the potential hormone disrupting effect of toxic chemicals in our food and environment. Dr Paula Baillie-Hamilton calls obesogens 'Chemical Calories'. Chemical Calories are scary since it implies that the traditional method of calorie counting is obsolete, no wonder calorie reduced diets have never worked. If calorie counting did work we would not be facing an ever growing obesity epidemic here in North America.
This is a fascinating subject, I am sure there is more shocking research yet to be unveiled. However, the good news is that you can do a lot to reduce and reverse your exposure to these obesogens. Lets look at some ways to reduce toxic foods in your daily diet:
1) Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Fruits and vegetables are rich in obesogen fighting nutrients. Dr Paula Baillie-Hamilton says that the more overweight we are, the more deficient we are in nutrients. Make every meal count and pack it with nutrition.
2) Buy Organic or Grass Fed Meat Where ever possible buy organic or grass fed meats free of additional antibiotics and hormone disruptors. Ask for your meat to be wrapped in brown paper or butchers wrap. Try and eat hormone and antibiotic free animal products whenever possible. Remember these obesogens are designed to make animals grow fat and ...fast. We are fortunate to have a great little butcher here in Stratford called 'The butcher and The Baker', it is a rewarding experience buying good quality meat from a real butcher.
3) Buy Organic Fruits and Vegetables According to the Environment Working Group (EWG) there are 12 fruits and vegetables high in pesticides. These are called the 'Dirty Dozen' and include: apples, celery, strawberries,peaches,spinach,imported nectarines, imported grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce, kale and collard greens.
There are also the 'Clean 15' fruits and vegetables which include: onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocados, asparagus, sweet peas, mangoes, eggplant, cantaloupe, kiwi, cabbage, watermelon, sweet potatoes, grapefruit and mushrooms.
Environment Working Group site
and download their free PDF file 'Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce'. Print it and post in on your fridge. This is a great site to subscribe too.
Here is a short video where Dr.Sanjay Gupta takes you grocery shopping in the produce aisles and shows us which produce has the highest pesticides:
Buying Organic Fruit and Veggies.
Dr.Sanjay Gupta concludes that, by avoiding the dirty dozen or buying the organic version, you can reduce your pesticide consumption by a whopping 80%! This is a great way to easily reduce your intake of toxic foods and their hormone disrupting effect.
4) Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Products Research shows that HFCS is even worse than plain table sugar because it has undergone extensive processing, the body no longer metabolically recognizes it as a food. Your body stores HFCS in your fat cells, making them bigger. It is a chemical calorie that increases your appetite and cravings for 'crappy' foods and it is everywhere.
The 'uproar' by the Corn Refiners Association(CRA) on the research into HFCS is predictable, they are fighting to keep their profits at the expense of our health. In order to 'calm' the public, they have spent millions on ad campaigns trying to persuade you that HFCS is safe.
The Corn refiners association have even petitioned the FDA to change the name of HFCS to 'corn sugar'. Their aim is to confuse the public so that we don't stop buying their HFCS filled products. I am sure you recall what happened to Oprah Winfrey when she dared to challenge the 'Big Beef Boys'. These food associations wield a lot of power and their interest is definitely NOT our health. Can't help but wonder, what a wonderful world it would be, if the CRA put their bucks into cleaning up toxic foods in our food supply instead of multi million $$ ad campaigns.
5) Avoid Processed Foods Processed foods are generally toxic foods and are loaded with obesogens such as colourings, additives, HFCS, MSG, aspartame etc. Just remember ...if you can't pronounce or recognize the ingredient, it is likely to be a toxic food. A few food manufacturers are taking an active role to take obesogens out of their foods, most aren't.
6) Avoid Soy Products Yikes...I used to munch on soya nuts everyday, having read the research on how soy is a major hormone disruptor, my nuts have been relegated to the dustbin.
7) Avoid Farmed Fish For example, farmed fish such as salmon is usually called Atlantic Salmon and contains more pesticides than Wild salmon. You will find that wild salmon is usually a darker pink color.
7) Take a Quality Multi Vitamin and Omega 3 Supplement Dr. Paula-Baillie says that taking extra vitamins and minerals in the form of quality supplements will help your body rid itself of toxic chemicals. She recommends:
“Take your supplements on a regular basis. Take a multi vitamin-mineral supplement, CoQ 10,Omega-3 essential fatty acids, Tyrosine, Methione, Glutahione, 5HTP, Milk Thistle, soluble fiber, and grapefruit pectin.”
8 ) Drink Lots of Filtered Water Tap water contains obesogens buy a granular activated carbon water system to avoid the obesogens in tap water.
9) Avoid Tinned Products I know you are probably feeling overwhelmed at this point, but visit your local health food store and see what they have to offer. They will carry all sorts of foods that are non toxic. Be open and explore...have fun.
10)Eat More Fibre Soluble fiber binds to toxins and can carry them out of your body. Dr. Paula Baille-Hamilton advises that if you do eat a meal high in chemical calories take some soluble fiber asap to reduce the impact and absorption of obesogens from the toxic foods.
The Cost of Being Healthy $$$$$
I know that cost is often a factor, and a factor I take into consideration too. I remember a client at the clinic balking at spending $27.00 on a bottle of fish oil I had recommended. She was 68lbs overweight, suffered from diabetes type 2, had multiple food allergies, was taking anti-depressants and had recently been told by her doctor that she had high blood pressure. Her current medication was not only full of obesogens (another topic) but she was spending over $300.00 a month on them.
I knew that adding the fish oil to her diet would definitely help improve her health along with a few other dietary recommendations.
I try very hard to be non-judgemental BUT...this client had an expensive haircut, expensive clothes and her fingers were riddled with diamond rings. I felt like saying... what if you spent the same amount of money on your inner health as you do on your outward appearance, perhaps your health would be better!
But I didn't say that, I smiled politely and said good-bye. I firmly believe that:
You can only help those who want to help themselves
If you found this article on avoiding toxic foods helpful please pass it on, share it on facebook or twitter or let me know your comments in the box below.
Dr, Paula Baillie Hamilton MD, PHD
is author of the book The Body Restoration Plan: Eliminate Chemical Calories and Repair Your Natural Slimming System (Avery, Penguin; 2003; $24.95). She is a specialist in Environmental Medicine.