15. AVOID FOODS WITH CHEMICALLY DERIVED AND MANIPULATED FOOD ADDITIVES
Factory-made foods have made chemical additives (non-food) a significant part of our diet. To avoid and defeat cancer in your life, you will have to avoid as many chemicals as possible.
Many substances are added to foods to prolong their shelf life and to enhance color, flavor and texture. Common chemical additives can be in the form of preservatives, coloring, flavoring, salt, food enhancer (MSG), and sweeteners.
Food additives can be natural or synthetic
Food additives can be natural or synthetic, involving chemical manipulation. The food additives that you should be wary of are the synthetic and unnatural kinds.
The role of food additives in cancer risk is an area of serious concern
Some food additives have been known to induce allergic reactions, while others have been linked to cancer, asthma, Alzheimer’s, infertility and birth defects. Most food additives are listed on the product label, along with other ingredients; the not-so-good news is that finding the ingredients on the label and being able to read and make sense out of it can be a challenge. This is because additives are often listed without specificity, as "spices" or "flavorings," making it impossible for consumers to determine what, exactly, they are eating.
There are also many cases in which approved additives deemed safe were later restricted or banned after being proven harmful to human health. For example, the artificial sweetener cyclamate, widely used in the 1950s and 1960s, was later banned by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1970 after research suggested that it caused cancer. In addition, rarely does any food have only one additive in it. Testing for additive safety has been done for individual additives, not in combinations, hence its safety when interacting with other additives is in question.
What ever happens to 'real healthy' food?
Today processed food is so deceiving. There is 'health food' that is actually just processed food, there is 'fitness processed food', there is healthy 'breakfast cereals', vegan and vegetarian processed food and many of these foods labeled healthy fat-free are actually unhealthy processed foods ladden with chemicals.
Too small a quantity to harm?
Some people will say that the amount of these chemicals in our food is so low that it will not hurt our health. Unfortunately, research indicates that these chemicals bio-accumulate in our bodies. Not long ago we might have eaten processed foods once a month, now it is every day and for many people every day all day. These chemicals from various sources put a tremendous strain to our bodies especially the liver and other organs that have to detoxify this chemical junk. Overtime the body suffers from lack of nutrients and excess toxins and eventually leads to diseases.
Additives to avoid
Sometimes it is quite difficult to avoid these chemically processed foods, but at least we can be aware of what is really in them and make a conscious choice. There the first thing you have to do is to learn to read ingredient labels and try to stay away from them as much as possible. We have listed below a few additives that are particularly harmful.
MSG — Monosodium glutamate is a processed “flavor enhancer” and one of the worst food additives on the market. It is used in canned soups, crackers, salad dressings, frozen dinners and much more. Some food labels come right out and say that a product contains added MSG, but others are hidden in ingredients that may contain MSG such as hydrolyzed soy protein, autolyzed yeast, textured soy protein concentrate, carrageenan, maltodextrin, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, flavours and modified cornstarch.
MSG is an excitotoxin, which means it overexcites your cells often times to the point of damage or death, causing brain damage to varying degrees and potentially even triggering or worsening learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease and more 1.
According to a report on MSG by the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, MSG promotes the growth and spread of cancer cells within the body and can also be linked to "sudden cardiac death." MSG is also linked with obesity and inflammation within the body, particularly the liver and it has been called for re-evaluation as food additive. Therefore do not buy any food that has any added MSG in it and do not add any MSG seasonings or stock to your home cooked food. Eating out is almost impossible without you being exposed to MSG or other forms of artificial food enhancer.
High fructose corn syrup (HSCF) - is a sweetener made from corn. It's sweeter and much cheaper than sucrose, which is sugar made from sugar cane. It is also being referred to as corn sweetener, corn syrup or corn syrup solids as well as high-fructose corn syrup. Consumption of HFCS can lead to insulin resistance, high triglycerides, increased levels of the harmful cholesterol and increased fat accumulation in the liver and abdominal cavity. A diet that includes HFCS can lead to obesity and non-alcoholic Fatty Liver. HFCS can be found in many processed food from cookies, sodas, fruit juice, sauces, dressings and more.
Processed fat and may contain trans-fat
Artifical colours, flavours
Trans Fats, Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats are made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil to increase their saturation. As a result, they are easier to bake and make food taste good and last longer on the supermarket shelves. Unfortunately, it can clog your arteries and cause Type 2 Diabetes, as well as other serious health problems. Margarine and butter substitutes, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil contain trans fat.
Artificial Sweeteners are highly-processed and chemically derived sweeteners found in diet foods such as diet sodas, sugar free desserts, gum and individual packets of sugar substitute to reduce calories per serving. Although these artificial sweeteners allow you to indulge in food without the extra calories, they are also packed with chemicals that can be very harmful to your body in the long run and are much harder on our metabolic systems than plain old sugar. It is also not easily metabolized by the liver.
Some of the well known artificial sweeteners are aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), saccharin (Sweet'N Low, SugarTwin), and sucralose (Splenda). Some of these sweeteners have been associated with brain damage, cancer, nervous system disorders; affects brain development in fetuses; increase risk of type 2 diabetes, dizziness, headaches, nausea, mental confusion, seizures, and may affect short-term memory and mental performance.
Food Colorings are used in numerous food products, such as cereal, sodas, baked goods and candy. Some of these food colorings have been found to have cancer-causing properties and may also cause behavior problems in children. The colours to watch out for are Blue #1, Blue #2, Yellow #6 and Red #3 and 40 and Orange B.
BHA and BHT: Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are chemicals that prevent food from decaying, changing color, losing flavor, or becoming rancid, but some studies show that BHA, in particular, may be a carcinogen. As for BHT, which is very similar in its molecular structure, the research is inconclusive. BHT and BHA can be found in food such as cereals, fast food, processed potatoes, drink mixes, shortening, snack foods, and so on. The compounds are also found in food packaging, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, rubber, plastics, animal feeds and more. Your best bet is to avoid both of these chemicals. Using or consuming products having additives as these may increase your risks of getting cancer.
Read the label - Do you use non dairy creamer?
The ingredients include genetically modified crops like soy and corn, artificial colours and others items that are basically part food and part chemicals, - the chemicals you would never use at home to prepare your own meals. Imagine adding this to your coffee every day.
Today most foods come in a box, bottle, bag and frequently contain a long list of chemical ingredients that you’d never find in the kitchen, but the most scary part of processed foods can often be what we didn't even realize was added in the first place.
When we begin replacing real, traditional foods like ‘nasi lemak’ with highly processed food like ‘sugared cereal’, we get sick. Our body isn`t designed to remove so many man-made chemicals that are being introduced into our food.
A simple way is to avoid eating processed foods. Instead, concentrate your diet on fresh fruits and vegetables, organic whole grains and responsibly raised organic animals and fish. If it comes in a vacuum-sealed package, in a bag, box or can, the chances are that it contains one or more of the ingredients listed above.
Read labels or stick to whole foods to avoid them.
Fruits and vegetables are not only sources of vitamins and minerals they also contain thousands of phytochemical compounds that have very powerful anticancer activity that targets the processes involved in the development of cancer.
- Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board-certified neurosurgeon and author of “Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills.
- February-March, 2008 issue of the "Journal of Autoimmunity, - Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine