“Americans are overfed and undernourished.” What does that mean? It means that as a nation, Americans are eating plenty of calories but are not getting the nourishment their bodies need. We are a malnourished nation, suffering from high rates of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other lifestyle related health issues.
We are what we eat. 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.
4 Foods That Wreak Havoc on Your Health
1. Sugar – If you can make only one change in your diet, you may consider eliminating processed and refined sugar. Once you start reading labels on boxed foods, you’ll soon learn that sugar, in all of its chemically created and altered forms, is present in most, if not all, processed foods. The average American eats over 160 pounds of sugar a year!
Sugar is detrimental to your health. It suppresses the immune system for hours and is actually an anti-nutrient, meaning that it leaches nutrients from your body! Since certain nutrients are removed from sugar during the refining process, your body cannot process it. Therefore, 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 anti-nutrient 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, 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.
2. White Flour – Almost 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 anti-nutrient (like sugar). The scariest part is that the average American consumes more than 200 pounds of white flour every year!
Almost all the nutrients that were once contained in wheat are lost during the process of creating white flour. White flour is no longer a ‘whole-food’; it actually leaches minerals from the body in order to metabolize it, in the same way sugar does.
To avoid the health problems associated with processed grains, use whole grains such as millet, oats, quinoa, spelt, amaranth, kamut and brown rice.
3. Processed Oils – Many people think that low-fat is healthy, but this is not always the case. We require healthy fats in our diet as our cells are surrounded by a cell membrane built with fats! The important thing though is that we use high-quality building materials to create these cell membranes. When oils are heated above 392 degrees F (as most supermarket oils are, and are used in junk foods like potato chips, candy, breakfast cereals, and salad dressings) the fat molecules change shape, turning them into a different and toxic category of fats called trans-fats.
When cells are built from trans-fats they 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.
Put healthy oils into your diet such as high-quality olive oil, hemp seed oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, pumpkin seed oil, and organic butter or ghee.
4. Milk – Milk products have a reputation of being highly nutritious and necessary in everybody’s diet, 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. Pasteurization actually changes the molecular structure so that the body cannot process and receive the protein in the milk. Not only that, it renders the proteins toxic to the body.
What about the calcium in milk? Forget about it. Pasteurized milk robs calcium from bones. The protein in cow’s milk metabolizes to form strong acids which can be harmful to the body. So, what does the body do in response? It uses calcium, from the bones, to neutralize those acids.
Cow’s milk is most certainly not ‘natures most perfect food’ as the milk and dairy administration would have you believe. Instead, I invite you to 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 diet rich in whole-foods, and in doing so you are beginning your journey towards vibrant health.
Source: Never Be Sick Again by Raymond Francis
She currently works with clients helping them to lose weight, overcome eating disorders, start and maintain a sensible exercise plan, and build a healthy lifestyle.
Erin’s nutritional counseling has helped many individuals sort through conflicting health and dietary information to find out what is good for their body, and what is sustainable on a long-term basis. She specializes in detoxification programs, internal cleanses, and helping clients build strong immune systems.
She also travels internationally to do 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 holds a BA in International Business from the University of Vermont.