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We are all well aware that eating processed food is not a good idea as they contain a lot of saturated and trans fats, sugars, and other chemicals, which are all very toxic as well as addictive in nature. Addictive, yes! Because the more you eat these foods, the more you crave the same foods, which are bad for your health and your waistline.

Sometimes we get trapped by the labeling that manufacturing companies put on their “healthy” products, but the only way to ensure you are not eating any harmful additives and chemicals is to READ the label. It is considerably better to have fewer ingredients in a packaged product and that these ingredients can easily be identified as actual food. Avoid anything that contains ingredients that sound like a chemistry experiment. Again, read your packaged food labels on everything, even the “healthy,” “natural,” and “organic” products.

Here are some of the most important ingredients to avoid in ANY food due to their toxic and addictive nature:

High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): First and foremost, HFCS is NOT the same as sugar or honey to the body!!!! It is a chemically manufactured sweetener that converts glucose into fructose, which is much sweeter and cheaper. Our bodies are not properly equipped to process HFCS and result in free and unbound sugars that must go through extra metabolic steps to be utilized. But all this carries many multiple negative health effect. Princeton University study has shown significant weight gain in lab animals, while long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup led to abnormal intra-abdominal fat,  and a rise in circulating blood fats (triglycerides), which are all known risk factors for diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and cancer. The amounts of HFCS are extremely high and concentrated, allowing a person to consume much more than they realize or intend, while they are also highly addictive because their intense sweetness over-saturates the reward center in the brain, just as cocaine would. In addition, the manufacturing process altered the ratio of fructose to sucrose in a disproportionate manner, while the excess fructose is metabolized to produce and store fat in the liver and muscles.

HFCS is used as a “flavor enhancer” and a way to brown foods, and is present in large number of the following products, so consider before buying these: salad dressing, breads and other baked goods, cookies, crackers, cereal, spaghetti sauce in cans and jars, salsa, fruit juice, soft drinks, yogurt, frozen meals, condiments, cough syrup, etc.

Read all of packaged food labels to ensure the best possible ingredients for the health of your family!

Bisphenol-A (BPA): BPA is a chemical compound that creates endocrine disruption in the body because BPA imitates an estrogen hormone. BPA has been found leached out of polycarbonate plastics, especially during heating of any sort. Multiple studies have shown that  BPA is linked to myriad health effects in rodents: breast and prostate cancer, genital defects in males, early onset of puberty in females, obesity and even behavior problems, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The problem is that BPA is quite unstable as it interacts with hormone receptors on cell membranes, and leads to physiological effects even in small doses.

BPA is a growing plastics industry at 10% increase each year, which produces baby bottles, food packaging, canned foods, water bottles, juice bottles, eyeglasses, headlights, CDs/DVDs, and many other consumer products, even in paper and resin.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG): MSG is a neurotoxic flavor enhancer that may create health risks, such as obesity, headaches, migraines, asthma, heart irregularities, endocrine disorders, reproductive disorders, behavioral and learning disorders, neurodegenerative disease, and cancer.

MSG is contained in many processed foods, including chips and crackers, fast foods, soups, sauces, canned foods, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, protein powders, spices and seasonings, etc.

So what should you do?!

The best way to avoid these toxic food additives is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet of unprocessed vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, and grains. In addition, keep the amount of processed foods and drinks to a bare minimum. It may seem like a large feat at first, partially due to the addictive nature of some of these chemicals. But it is important to start even with small steps, such as switching from frozen to canned vegetables and fruit. Incorporate crunchy vegetables, nuts and seeds as healthy snacks, instead of salsa and chips/crackers. These small steps result in feeling better and healthier, which will make larger changes over time.

Have any questions? Have something to add? Contact me below in the comments, at drtijana.dc@gmail.comFacebook, or Twitter!

Be healthy & happy, Dr. Tijana

SCHEDULE THE FIRST APPOINTMENT FOR YOU & YOUR FAMILY for a comprehensive health assessment TODAY at 706.254.4579!

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