You’ve probably heard it before and you’ll going to hear it again now: “Americans are overfed and undernourished.” It means that, as a nation, we are eating plenty of calories but they are doing nothing to nourish our bodies and give us what we need. We are ‘starving’ as a nation and it’s no wonder that we have high rates of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.
We are what we eat. And few people truly understand how foods can help to keep them healthy or how they can fail to keep them healthy. We live in an age of scientifically-created foods which have little to any resemblance of how nature did it first. There are certain foods that make up a large percentage of the average American diet. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if these foods were eaten occasionally. But the problem comes when we consistently consume them day after day, meal after meal.
So what are the top 4 ‘foods’ to avoid if you want to be healthy?
SugarIf you can make only one change in your diet, it must be to eliminate sugar completely–or at least as much as possible. Many people tell me that they ‘eat no sugar at all.’ But what they are really saying is that they don’t add sugar to their meals or drinks from the sugar bowl. Once you start reading labels of boxed foods, you’ll soon learn that sugar (in all of its chemically created/altered forms) is present in most, if not all, processed foods. It’s almost impossible to avoid! The average American eats over 160 pounds of sugar a year!
Sugar, even in small amounts, is detrimental to your health. It suppresses the immune system for hours and plays significant effect on your hormones, throwing your body out of balance and into a state of biochemical chaos. If you eat sugar, morning, noon and night, your body is always in this state of chaos leading to disease. Furthermore, sugar is actually an antinutrient, meaning that it leaches nutrients from your body! Because certain nutrients are removed from sugar in the refining process, your body cannot process it. So, it leaches minerals from your body to attach to the refined sugar molecules in order to move the sugar through your body. Also, because it’s an antinutrient, sugar also causes calcium to be lost in the urine, which in turn is replaced by calcium from the bones, leading to osteoporosis.
It’s important to understand the difference between natural sugar, like that present in fruits and some vegetables and altered sugar – such as white sugar. Natural sugar is good for your body. Refined sugar, on the other hand, is destructive to human health.
White FlourAlmost all bread, pasta and baked goods are made with white flour. It’s easy-to-use, easy-to-store, and practically never goes bad. However, white flour contains little nutrition, is toxic and is an antinutrient (like sugar). And the scary part is that the average American consumes more than 200 pounds of white flour every year!
Almost all nutrients that were once contained in wheat are lost in the process of creating white flour. And just like sugar, because white-flour is no longer a ‘whole food’, it actually leaches minerals from the body in order to metabolize it.
To avoid the health problems associated with processed grains, use whole grains such as: millet, oats, quinoa, spelt, amaranth, kamut and brown rice.
Processed OilsMany people think that low-fat is healthy. This is not the case. We NEED healthy fats in our diet. Our cells are surrounded by a cell membrane built with….fats! The important thing though is using high-quality building materials to create these cell membranes. When oils are heated above 392 degrees F (as most supermarket oils are, which are used in junk foods like potato chips, candy, breakfast cereals, and salad dressings) the fat molecules change shape, turning them into a difference and toxic category of fats called “trans-fats.” When cells are built from trans-fatsthey become brittle and weak. If the cells throughout your body are made with these types of fats, you have a serious problem. The health of our bodies is boiled down to the health of our 75 trillion cells. If the majority of these cells are weak, then our bodies are going to be weak and diseased.
Put healthful oils into your diet like high-quality olive oil, hemp seed oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, pumpkin seed oil, and organic butter or ghee.
MilkMilk products have a reputation of being highly nutritious and necessary in everybody’s diet. And yet the nations with the highest milk consumption also have the highest rates of osteoporosis, breast cancer, allergies and diabetes. In fact, 70% of the world’s population does not even drink milk or consume other dairy products such as cheese, yogurt and ice cream.
One of the largest problems with milk is the pasteurization process: it alters the milk proteins. It actually changes the molecular structure so that the body cannot process and receive the protein in the milk. And not only that, it renders the proteins actually toxic to the body!
And the calcium in milk? Forget about it. Milk robs calcium from bones. The protein in cow milk metabolizes to strong acids which can be harmful to the body. So, what does the body do? It uses calcium (from the bones) to neutralize those acids.
Cow’s milk is most certainly NOT ‘nature’s most perfect food’ as the milk and dairy administration would have you to believe. Instead, why not try making your own nut milks which are easy-to-make fresh, and loaded with nutrients.
Our foods are more ‘make-believe’ then ever. The further away you get from how nature created our ‘perfect whole foods’ the more likely you are to develop instances of sickness and disease. Aim for a whole-food diet, remove these 4 “foods” from your diet and enjoy vibrant health!
Never Be Sick Again
Erin Schumacher is a Certified Natural Health and Holistic Nutrition Practitioner (CNHP; CHNP) She specializes in detoxification programs, internal cleanses, and helping clients build strong immune systems. She also travels internationally to do raw food workshops, yoga retreats, and personal coaching. In addition, Erin is a Certified Power Yoga Instructor and a Certified Raw Food Chef from the SunKitchen. She currently lives in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. For more information, visitErinSchumacher.net.