<<HONK!!>> Wrong! Guess again!
These are just a few things that are lurking in the food you eat Every. Single. Day.
There's quite a buzz going on about eating a more “whole food” based diet, or maybe you’ve been wondering why it’s such a hot topic. With such an alarming rise in obesity, food allergies, and chronic illnesses—it only makes sense to try to find
the common denominator in all of these factors.
Ya ready for one of those common denominators? It's food additives.
Let me share a little story. When my son was a toddler I noticed that every time he ate ranch dressing he broke out in a rash around his lips. I know, weird, especially since it only happened with ranch dressing. I knew he wasn't allergic to dairy. I considered soy, however, with soy prevalent in everything this was also unlikely. So, one day I sat down in front of the computer with a bottle of ranch dressing and one-by-one “Googled” all eight of the food additives. What I found made the hair on the back of my neck stand up: preservatives, detergents and solvents – oh my! -- all in this seemingly innocuous bottle of ranch dressing, and all going into my baby! Propylene Glycol Alginate (I’m going to refer to it as PGA from here on) was one of those ingredients, and also the culprit behind my son’s rashes.
Now, our bodies are designed perfectly, meaning that the nutrients in each molecule of a whole food you eat have a receptor in your body specifically designed to receive that nutrient and use it. Those nutrients - carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals - are substances our bodies need to carry out all its essential functions: heart beating, lungs breathing, limbs moving…you get the picture. But, when a food has something in it that isn’t a nutrient, like PGA, the body doesn’t recognize it.
And then we got problems.
If your body doesn’t recognize something you eat and can’t use it, the only alternative it has is to store it because only foods with nutrients can be turned into waste. And where do you think unidentifiable substances get stored?
In your fat cells! Indefinitely… and that ain’t good.
Furthermore, those substances being held hostage in your fat cells-- indefinitely -- become more toxic over time. Things like solvents, preservatives and foaming agents have no business in our bodies anyway; there is no ‘PGA-Receptor’ in our bloodstream. Really.
Unfortunately, over time these toxins start to leach out, and that’s when things like food allergies, autoimmune diseases and cancers happen.
So, let’s look closely at what happens when you eat something with PGA:
First of all, it certainly isn’t a nutrient, so your body can’t use it so it gets stored in your fat cells. Then, we need to know what PGA is: It’s an emulsifier (something to hold oil and water together), anti-foaming agent and thickener, plus it’s listed in the Hazardous Chemicals Desk Reference as ‘mildly toxic by ingestion’ (aka "eating"),
and made from the same compound as antifreeze! And this is in our food! Yay!
Some people will have an immune response that causes itching, swelling, hives and rashes, but it also causes nausea, vomiting, cramping and diarrhea in a perfectly normal person. Then, because your body doesn’t know what the heck PGA is, it gets stored in your fat cells, where it leaches out little by little, causing chaos over…and over…and over again.
At this point you might be wondering “Is this even legal?”
Yup. …and the FDA is o.k. with this, because it falls under the federal GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) guidelines for food additives. Basically, this means that as far as federal regulations go, it hasn't killed enough people to be conspicuous, and very little long-term testing has been done.
Hopefully, you’re getting the picture now, right?
So, what can you do to be proactive about eliminating food additives from your diet?
- Ditch the processed foods. Period. If it comes in a box, plastic bag, container –heck—if it needs an ingredient label, it’s probably processed in some kind of way, which means it’s going to have, at minimum, preservatives. Fuggedaboutit. You’re looking for trouble if they find their way into your body.
- Aim to make your diet more plant based, like say 50%, and purchase these foods as close as possible to their natural form. Juicing and drinking daily smoothies make this ridiculously achievable.
- Read. Every. Label. Even if you think “Oh, gee, it’s just a container of olives” <<HONK!>> Wrong! If you are shopping in a market, you
Thanks for reading,
"Planting your nutrition seed for the day."