Eating in the modern world can be difficult, with all the genetically modified, chemically treated, and inhumanely raised food out there these days. Sometimes compromising is necessary when it comes to food choices, if only to make the best of the current food crisis.
That said, there are certain foods that my philosophy as a nutritionist will simply not allow me to eat. Here are 15 foods that will never touch my lips:
#1: Artificial sweeteners
Our bodies don't recognize these substances as food, and they tend not to aid weight loss in any meaningful way.
Alternatives: stevia, rice malt syrup, maple syrup, dates, raw honey (in small amounts).
#2: Caged Eggs
These come from egg-laying hens confined to cages, meaning they don't have space to move or stretch, and they show more fearful behaviour and become prone to skeletal problems.
Alternatives: Go for free range pasture-fed and certified organic instead.
#3: Breakfast Cereals
Highly processed, high glycemic index because of the high and hidden sugar content (which causes your blood sugars to spike quickly and then drop very suddenly after eating them), high in sodium, high in preservatives. Just avoid them if possible.
#4: Farmed Salmon
Farmed salmon has a high mercury content and is usually higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, and pesticides. Farmed salmon also has less of the essential fatty acids (EPA and DHA) which make it a very healthy food for us to eat.
Alternatives: Wild Salmon.
#5: Processed Peanut Butter
The second ingredient listed is often sugar, or an artificial sweetener, which means a large proportion of the peanut butter is sugar!
Alternatives: 100% nut butters found in health food stores or the organic section of grocery stores. My favourite is 100% raw almond butter.
#6: Canned Tomatoes
There's tons of hidden salt and sugar! The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from repoductive problems to heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Acidity, a prominent characteristic of tomatoes, causes BPA to leach into your food.
Alternatives: Use fresh tomatoes and try to avoid canned foods in general.
#7: Salted and Roasted Nuts
When nuts come pre-salted, the sodium content is through the roof. Also they are usually roasted in soybean or some other GMO oil which we should not be putting in our bodies.
Alternatives: Raw and organic nuts and seeds.
#8: Pre-Packaged or Frozen Meals
Frozen or pre-packaged meals usually contain hidden sugar, high fructose corn syrup, salt and lots of preservatives which allow them to last way longer than any food normally should.
Alternatives: Home-cooked meals or pre-packaged meals from health food stores that use fresh ingredients.
#9: Table Salt
Most conventional table salt is highly refined, which leaves it with little nutritional value. In high amounts it can contribute to hypertension in individuals who are pre-disposed to it.
Alternatives: Pink himalayan sea salt
#10: Non-Organic Dairy
Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in the milk.
Alternatives: Organic milk, almond milk, coconut milk.
#11: Vegetable Oil
Most commercial vegetable oils are highly processed and high in trans fats. Trans fats are the ones responsible for the increase in LDL, the bad type of cholesterol that may lead to bad heart health.
Alternatives: Organic extra virgin olive oil, or organic coconut oil which is high in MCT's (Medium Chain Triglycerides), a type of fatty acid which helps your body burn more fat as energy.
#12: Packaged, Processed Bread
Bread you find packaged in supermarkets is typically refined and processed. These loaves are packed with processed wheat and gluten that the human digestive system finds very hard to break down. This kind of bread is also high in sodium, and is sometimes even high in sugar.
Alternatives: Ezeekial bread, rye or spelt.
#13: Processed Meats
The animals that make these products are given growth hormones, antibiotics and other veterinary drugs, and are raised in deplorable conditions that promote disease. These meats are also filled with sodium nitrate (a commonly used preservative and antimicrobial agent that also adds colour and flavor) and other chemical flavorings and dyes.
Alternatives: Grass-fed and organic meat.
Margarine is high in trans fats, the fats formed during the process of hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oils into a solid substance.
Alternatives: Organic butter from grass-fed cows or coconut oil.
#15: Unfermented Soy Products
Unfermented soy products, including tofu and soy milk, can mess with your hormones making it harder for you to lose weight.
Alternatives: Almond milk or fermented soy such as tempeh.