Lesson #3: Not Recommended for Human Consumption!

Discussion in 'You Are What You Eat!' started by skip, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. skip

    skip Founder Staff Member

    Before we venture into various alternative diets, let’s take a look at what types of food everyone should avoid that have negative health consequences and other ecological implications.

    One of the first things I learned in my quest for health, was to avoid the three “white poisons”. These are everyday items that get included in nearly every processed food product today.

    The Three White Poisons:

    Salt
    White Sugar
    Bleached Flour

    Over the intervening years, most of the world has come to recognize that salt and sugar are unhealthy and overused, if not abused. Salt raises our blood pressure and is added in very high quantities as a flavoring agent, but also as a preservative. Why it’s needed in such quantities in canned and frozen food items defies reason, since they’ve used other means to preserve the food.

    Always check the sodium levels on the nutrition label. You will see as much as a full gram or more per serving in both canned and frozen foods. Compare labels to see the variation between products and brands. Low sodium offerings are increasing, usually with a 40% or more reduction. If a product contains more than 400mg of salt per serving, find another brand or a different product if you can, or just avoid it.

    Most foods already have a natural sodium content, so it usually not necessary to add salt to dishes (I never do, just a bit of tamari, occasionally). As we cut back on sodium, we desire it less. So hide the salt shakers!

    Most baked goods contain a lot of salt too, usually too much. I should mention, as a professional baker, that you still need to add some salt to all baked goods you make from scratch, but this can be reduced a bit too.

    White sugar is highly processed (a very nasty, smelly process at that!). It contains no nutritional value other than the empty calories. But it’s not just about white sugar, as all sugars are detrimental, especially if over consumed. It’s just that some sugar does have residual nutrition, like raw sugar, molasses, honey, maple syrup, etc.

    Consuming sweets is a big pitfall for those attempting to go vegetarian. When we cut out meat from our diet, our bodies seek to replace all that energy from meat with another high energy source. Sugars provide energy in abundance, but it can really mess up our bodies by altering our blood sugar levels too quickly. Diabetes is just one disease that relates to our sugar intake, and is a major result of obesity from too many sweets (although some would argue it’s genetics).

    Plain old white flour is another health nemesis. Again they’ve taken a healthy natural product, wheat, and processed it into a health damaging commercial product. To make white flour, they remove the husk of the wheat berry (bran), the most fibrous part, the wheat germ, the part high protein and nutrition, leaving the least desirable and least healthy part to made into baked goods.

    There are numerous studies that show that a diet high in white, bleached flour leads to more stomach cancer and digestive problems. All that fine flour without fiber accumulates in small pockets in our intestines, clogging them up, leading to digestive problems and eventually cancer or other disease.

    Likewise the lack of nutritional value in white flour means we deprive ourselves of needed vitamins and minerals in everything we eat containing it. Plus the lack of fiber in our diet is known to increase health risks, esp. cancer.

    So whenever possible substitute whole wheat flour, or other whole grain meals for white flour. You can get whole wheat pastry flour to replace all-purpose flour. Check those labels to see if whole wheat bread is really made from whole wheat, instead of white flour and a few bran flakes.

    Trans-Fats

    And speaking of baked goods, it’s now a well established fact that trans-fats, which were invented to withstand higher temperatures and extend the shelf life of baked goods are very bad for our health.

    Trans-fat is one of the leading causes of obesity today. That’s why it’s being restricted, if not outright banned in the US and Europe.

    What is trans-fat? Basically it’s hydrogenated vegetable oils. These replaced natural fats like lard and butter in baking when Crisco was invented around 1912. So that margarine you eat is likely to contain some hydrogenated oils unless it specifically says otherwise.

    So now when you go to buy margarine, you must not only look out for genetically modified ingredients (like soy and corn) and saturated fats, but trans-fats too!

    I’m now using Earth Balance, also known as Soy Garden margarine. (NOT Healthy Balance!) This product contains organic canola, soy and olive oils, no GMOs, no trans-fats, and it tastes like butter! This is the gold standard as far as I’m concerned. It’s too bad you can’t find it everywhere.

    I highly recommend avoiding using butter, substituting olive, canola or organic soy oils when possible. Butter and other animal fats do contain a different type of trans-fat but in much reduced levels. But they too are known to contribute to obesity and heart problems due to their high cholesterol content.

    Meat and Dairy Products

    There are so many reasons to avoid meat and dairy products, I doubt I can list them all. It’s not just about health, either. There are also many environmental, economic, social, political and spiritual reasons not to eat meat.

    The health reasons alone should make one think twice about the wisdom of eating a dead animal, especially one raised in a factory pumped up with antibiotics, hormones, chemical laced feed, that’s been hacked up, shipped around the country, colored with dye and left waiting for weeks to be purchased on a shelf while putrefaction continues.

    Yup! Eating factory farmed meat is one of the worst things we can do for ourselves and our planet! Every farm animal is injected with antibiotics that when consumed by humans lowers our resistance to disease. They’re fed hormones to fatten them up when they’re still young. These same hormones end up in children who eat meat, causing them to fatten up for the slaughter as well.

    Cattle and other animal feed is now mostly genetically modified grains, meaning they contain more pesticides than before. Those chemicals, once in the food chain, accumulate in meat eaters, more than ever before. GM crops are tolerant to much higher doses of pesticide. Rather than genetically modify the crops to be resistant to bugs, they just make them more resistant to pesticides so they can sell more chemicals to farmers!

    Factory farms process animals as though they were just fiber, not living beings. Nothing is done to make the animals lives comfortable. They live in deplorable crowded conditions, where disease runs rampant, thus the need for high doses of antibiotics.

    So the use of these chemicals from antibiotics to hormones to pesticides, all benefit the farmer and the industry that sells them, to the detriment of the consumer. They increase the yield of feed crops, the size of the animals and the viability of them under extremely stressful living conditions. Thus it increases profit at the expense of public health. But hey, isn’t that what business is all about?

    So this is not only about meat, but all non-organic dairy products too! They can contain even higher concentrations of these dangerous adulterants, especially in cream and butter. So if you must buy dairy, buy organic…

    Meat takes much longer to digest than most vegetables. Before you even cook meat, it has begun to rot (putrify). This is unlike fruit and vegetables which ferment when they rot. So when you eat meat, it continues to putrify in your intestines, releasing nasty, carcinogenic chemicals. Fruit and vegetables digest much faster, with barely enough time to ferment, so very little, if any turns to alcohol in your body.

    Besides your health, there are a number of other issues associated with the massive meat industry. The amount of land devoted to raising beef cattle is enormous and has resulted in the loss of millions of acres of pristine forest in places like the Amazon jungle.

    The amount of farm land dedicated to animal feed has grown too, land that could be producing 12 times as much protein for human consumption each year! So eating beef deprives us of valuable farm land needed to feed the Earth's growing population.

    The deforestation of course has knockon effects to the world's ecosystems. Global warming is an indirect consequence of the loss of those forests and the addition of billions of methane excreting animals (methane is far worse than CO2!)

    See Frances Moore Lappe's Diet for a Small Planet for more on this.

    Spiritually, many people realize they don't need to kill animals to eat. This is a great reason to stop eating meat. It means you've become conscious of your karma and don't wish to burden yourself with the unnecessary deaths of innocent animals.

    In this case, even organically raised meats will leave you cold!

    Organic vs. Non-Organically Grown Foods

    As consumers wise up to the nature of the food they’re eating, more and more are opting to buy organically grown products. Each year the organic food market expands another 20%, and this has been happening for more than a decade now.

    Farmers are learning that organically grown food is better for the land, for the farmer and for the consumer. It’s even becoming cheaper as Monsanto corners the market on genetics and chemicals, making them more expensive and farmers more dependent on the company.

    It doesn’t take a scientist to discover that organically grown foods taste much better than non-organic, commercially grown foods. Because organic foods are not GMO, their genetics were selected due to qualities other than shelf-life and resistance to pesticides. Rather you get produce that’s tastier, more nutritious, without chemical additives.

    Tasting is believing! Tomatoes are redder, juicier, far more intensely flavorful if organically grown. Even with something like eggs, you notice the difference. Organic eggs usually have real yellow yokes, harder shells and more flavor.

    Of course organic foods usually cost more. Although the gap in price is decreasing, and I’m starting see some organic foods selling for the same price as non-organic foods, at least here in California. As that gap closes, more people will opt for organic and the market will explode!

    There are many other types of food that are not fit for human consumption, but most of these contain one or more of the things I’ve already mentioned. So once you cut out those items above from your diet, that will include many more things you never realized might be harmful to you.

    Of course for many it will be impossible to cut out all these things. But a conscious reduction in consumption of these items will yield immediate and long-term health benefits.

    Assignment: Look at the food in your house. Read the labels. What things would you need to remove from your diet if you were to follow the advice given above?
     
  2. Pharoah

    Pharoah Member

    Instead of butter, I'll use herbed olive oil~ I need to stop buying the el cheapo milk and just buy organic and drink less.
    Gak the white flour I need to cut this out, I use it as a thickener in soups, it doesnt add much anyway. That probably goes for the "wheat" bread in the fridge too. Ooh and salt, that is a tough one, because I always thought of salt as good. I'm sure If I cut back on eating so much I would cut out lots of salt in my diet.

    We do get alot of foods from family around here, we all grow veggies and share~ So I eat alot of homegrown good stuff from apples to zucchinis. I also buy organic and food from the farmers market on weekends.
     
  3. umm...ya

    umm...ya over joyed!

    When cooking I try to buy organic. If they don't have what I need then I will use non organic foods. As for salt I only use sea salt. It is very different and does not have the same harmful effects that iodized salt does.
     
  4. skip

    skip Founder Staff Member

    Yes, a good point. Sea salt is a different chemical combo with lots of trace elements. Campbells soup (which I don't usually recommend), just came out with a whole new line of lower sodium soups made with sea salt! I thought that was a breakthru! :)
     
  5. Fedora

    Fedora Member

    We use butter not good! I do prefer 100% whole wheat breat (7 grains) by Earthgrains, but my wife likes white bread. We eat a lot of garden veggies because I have a garden. This year was bad because of drought in NC but we still had a lot of hot peppers (habanero and jalopena) and okra. The flour is a problem with the okra b/c we usually saterate the okra with it before frying (which probably isn't best way to fix it) Wife has been experimenting with okra and tomatoes cooked or steamed which is very good. Salt: I always try and use seasalt but my wife usually uses regular salt. Where do grits and eggs fit into the picture. We usually get eggs from sister in law who has a farm with chickens (so they are not store-bought). Wife and I have talked and commited to try one of the diets when you post them. Still waiting on book to come from amazon (don't know why it is taking so long). My wife and I have been taking a lot of herb suppliments here lately to get off prescription medicine (Sinus Support and Fenugreek & Thyme for both of us and Saw Pelmetto, Zinc, and Milkthistle for me only. I know I need to cut out the EZ Mac and cheeze everyday and probably cut back on Doritos and Little Debbie cakes (just traded hot peppers for 3 boxes of Little Debbies), oh the temptation!!! Also just planted greens and turnips in garden for winter (started raining two days ago and is still raining as I write this [more than 3 and 1/2 inches] so greens should begin to come up. I also bought two 20 oz stainless steel containers to drink water out of (remember we have a filter on sink and want to quit buying bottled water as you advised). Coffee will probably be my downfall (8 cups a day-summer, more in winter). If I don't drink coffee I have a headache. The herb store girl said since I was A+ type blood that would help some but still needed to cut back. Hope the water containers will help (must resist temptation to fill with coffee). I am going to make a commitment to do better though and my wife joins me in this feat. The temptations are great though, yesterday I was taken out to fish camp and ate fried flounder and shrimp. Tonight we are going to church hot dog sale for supper and last Friday I ate shrimp and grits (maybe that wasn't too bad). We also been trying to eat sub sanwiches Veggie style when we go out. Peace be with you!!!
     
  6. skip

    skip Founder Staff Member

    Fedora, how nice that you can grow your own veggies! That's always the best source. :) Eggs, imo, are pretty damn good. If they're coming from free-range, hunt and peck gals, they're probably fine.

    Some ppl say eggs are bad because they have so much cholesterol, found in yokes. Others say they're not bad if you don't eat too many. Still others say it's the perfect food, tasty protein that comes in it's own recyclable packaging! (Don't forget to compost your egg shells)

    I say the bad is balanced by the good. Egg whites are high in lecithin which supposedly counteracts the cholesterol clogging yokes. Therefore eggs are balanced. They're also an excellent source of protein, esp. for vegetarians who also eat eggs.

    What kind of oil are you using for frying? Olive oil is good, as is canola. Soy and corn oils tend to be GM foods, so it's good to avoid those. Butter and lard are probably the worst, esp. for frying. Make sure your oil has no trans-fats (you want non-hydrogenated).

    Good luck to both of you with your new diet. I hope to have one or two diets up by Monday for ppl to try if they like. :)

    Ah, I guess I didn't address caffeine yet, either. Caffeine's effect upon the body is substantial. It's also addictive with nasty withdrawal symptoms that occur over the course of 2-3 days.

    Caffeine appears in teas, coffee, mate, guarana and chocolate. It's a natural pesticide and occurs in the leaves and fruit of many plants. It's a psychoactive stimulant that also gets added to sodas and energy drinks.

    Caffeine dilates blood vessels which has a number of effects, including enhanced concentration and a more energetic frame of mind. Caffeine acts to inhibit dopamine absorbtion in the brain, which means more dopamine in cell synapses, and a good feeling!

    Excessive caffeine can cause a number of problems, even miscarriage or death (you'd have to take a lot of caffeine pills to kill yourself). But the most common is insomnia. I try to never drink caffeine after 11pm, as I find it's effects last 12 hours for me (different people, different effect times). So if I hope to go to bed by 11 or 12, I have to stop drinking it 12 hours earlier.

    I go for one or two cups of half-caf in the morning, decaf tea or coffee at night. If you have problems sleeping, it definitely means it's time to cut down.

    If you drink tons of it as Fedora does, then you'll probably not have a sleep problem because your intake is constant, so the level of caffeine is steady and your body adapts to it.

    But the long-term consequences of more than 2 cups a day is not good. You might experience nervousness, irritability, anxiety, tremulousness, muscle twitching, insomnia, headaches, respiratory alkalosis and heart palpitations. I've experienced most of these at one time or another after too much coffee.
     
  7. Fedora

    Fedora Member

    Forgot about the oil. I use Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil (trans fat 0). This is for okra. When I fry eggs though I usually use butter. Reckon I need to change. Thanks for the good advise.
     
  8. skip

    skip Founder Staff Member

    Yeah, eggs are fine to fry in olive oil. I can't go back to butter because it makes the eggs taste too slimy and heavy. That Bertolli is very good stuff! It's too bad olive oil is so expensive now! Demand has increased so much and the Spanish can't be bothered to harvest their olives anymore. They don't want to work like that these days! So supply has decreased...
     
  9. umm...ya

    umm...ya over joyed!

    I use olive oil and peanut oil when I cook and instead of butter I use and 100% canola margarine. As for sugar I consume more than I should. I have a sweet tooth. But I have cut back a lot in the last few months. I have cut out most soda I don't put sugar in my tea or coffee any more. I use it sparingly when I cook but When I am making breads I do use regular sugar. I can't seem to get the bread to rise when I use raw sugar. I don't know what it is but it doesn't work for me.

    edit: and I LOVE fresh eggs. They are the best!!
     
  10. Divinaeon

    Divinaeon Member

    Well most of the breads and baked goods I eat are probably chock full o' white sugar and flour, but I don't eat too many of those (and I'm a vegetarian) and I'm not too big on dairy either. I really like cheese, and it's hard to buy organic cheese around here, but the eggs we use are cage-free, vegetarian fed, organic, etc etc eggs. I rarely use butter, and I drink a lot of soy milk.

    Question: Is there bad vs. good soy milk? I know you were talking about how they process wheat and grains, so is there a similar problem with soy products, or is soy just generally good for you all around no matter what (besides being a natural source of estrogen and giving men unwanted assets)?
     
  11. squawkers7

    squawkers7 radical rebel

    Salt~as a child I couldn't add salt to any of my food, as I would get a bloody nose everytime. Even now if I eat to many chips or microwave popcorn I end up with fat lips that look like I got punched in the face. Even now if I go to someone's home to eat & they salt the food while cooking, it is to salty for me cuz I guess I just ain't used to it.
    My cousin that died recently was diabetic and was having major problems with her kidneys.(she went to dialysis 3 times a week) The docs had told her not to have alot of salt and we had a hard time shopping for stuff like spaghetti sauce & peanut butter & whatever.

    Today I went to the general store here at the canyon after reading this thread and for the first time in a long time (probably the first time in the 7 months that I've been here) I started reading all the labels on food I usually eat here.....OMG~what a surprise! I must of wandered around for over an hour, not knowing what I was gonna buy, cuz everytime I looked at a label it had way to much sodium & sugar...some things I normally eat had 500-600mg of sodium. Even those so-called healthy protein bars have to much in my opinion. I used to eat them almost every day for awhile. Maybe I should of checked labels before I went to the clinic here complaining of headaches & other stuff and listen to them tell me I had a sinus problem (and giving me a $300 bill for the visit & labwork)...and I never had a sinus problem before. But I don't know...does to much salt & sugar cause headaches? high blood pressure...duh, of course salt will do that.
     
  12. skip

    skip Founder Staff Member

    Yes, too much sugar too can cause headaches, but usually you have to eat a LOT! But everyone's body is different, and you seem to be more sensitive than most to salt.

    And yes, you may have high blood pressure which causes headaches. Pollution can cause headaches too, but in the Grand Canyon, there's not usually too much pollution (but some days there is!).

    If you're surviving on processed, packaged foods as is often the case when you live far from farms and produce markets, you put your health at greater risk.

    It's always better to make a meal from scratch than to eat any packaged product. But there's not always a choice in some cases.

    Living in the dry desert, you probably need a bit more salt than normal, esp. if you work outside, sweating out salts every day. But the amount found in packaged foods exceeds anyone's needs.

    So cut back on packaged foods if you can, making your own from scratch when possible. If you use a premade tomato sauce say, add a can of tomatoes or fresh tomatoes to dilute the salt in the sauce. I do that all the time, make a sauce from scratch (saute up onions & mushrooms, etc., add tomatoes) then add some sauce from a jar to thicken. I never add more salt!

    It's kinda funny when I have guests over. I never add salt to my cooked foods, and I never have a salt or pepper shaker out. So my guests always go crazy. My food tastes very bland to those who are used to lots of salt (even though there are usually lots of spices in it). But I never miss the salt as I'm used to low levels in my diet.

    Once you are used to a low sodium diet, anything with a lot of salt will turn you off or make you feel very weird after eating it.

    If you haven't checked your blood pressure, you should. Especially any older hippies out there! High blood pressure sneaks up on you over the years, and anyone 40 or older should definitely get it checked each year.

    I have to take a bp pill and a diuretic every day to keep my bp down. Fortunately the drugs are the least problematic of all the ones available, and they work well. They're also the cheapest ones on the market, I pay $5 a month for one, $2.50 for the other (enalapril and HCTZ).

    The diuretic flushes salt out of the body and when taken in combo with the bp pill they are more effective together. If I were to stop drinking caffeine and get more exercise I probably could cut back or eliminate the drugs. That is a goal I really should focus on myself! :)
     
  13. skip

    skip Founder Staff Member

    There is some controversy over soy milk today. Like many soy products, it is highly processed, made into a powder, then reconsitituted. This is not the traditional way to make soymilk. The soybeans should be soaked, cooked, blended with water, boiled again, then strained. That makes soymilk.

    But that is not the industrial process and some fear that process makes soy milk less digestible with more side effects.

    Certainly there is a choice among soymilks. Most soymilk sold in America is flavored, sweetened, and sometimes fortified with vitamins. In other words it's become another mass-marketed, factory made food.

    However there are organic brands of soymilk, which at least ensures they're not using GMO soy beans, which likely have more residual pesticides and other chemicals. The organic brands are usually made on a smaller scale, with a lot more awareness of the processing and its effects upon the body.

    You don't need soymilk to be sweetened and flavored (sometimes artificially). You'll have to look very closely at the ingredients to find a brand that is organic and unsweetened and unflavored! Once you find it, if you like it, stick with it! Trader Joes has exactly that, for around $1.20 or so a box, about half the price for the name brands!

    If you can find fresh soymilk, not reconstituted, that would be best, or you can make it from scratch, but it's a long tedious process that takes like an hour and a half. But then you can also make tofu with the soymilk, you can use the Okara (left over soy solids) to substitute for meat (it makes great burgers!)

    I don't believe the hype about the estrogen, sorry. I've been eating soy products continuously for 35 years and I've yet to grow breasts or lose any hair (I wish!).

    I'd really like to know who it is who comes up with this stuff, because obviously they want you drinking something else, probably milk. Soymilk is a direct threat to the dairy industry, which is huge and a big lobbying group. So my guess is any antisoy propaganda originates there.
     
  14. Divinaeon

    Divinaeon Member

    Thank you so much for the info! I usually drink Silk because of the taste, and I'll be sure to check to see if it's organic, etc.

    Thanks!
     
  15. skip

    skip Founder Staff Member

    I was going to mention Silk, they have an unsweetened version that is very good. But watch out because sometimes it might still have flavor, like fake vanilla even if it's not the vanilla version!

    It always amazes me that they have to flavor & sweeten soy milk! If ppl want it flavored and sweetened, can't they do it themselves? Their marketing staff just assumes no one will buy it if it doesn't taste like a milkshake! Ridiculous!

    Everyone should remember that if they don't find what they're looking for on the shelf, you can always ask them to order what you want. Some places do that automatically, but big supermarket chains often have to take what they get!

    I once asked for a certain brand of product and was told they just request the generic name and get whatever they get... If that's the case, then go somewhere else to shop!
     
  16. IlUvMuSIc

    IlUvMuSIc Senior Member

    Hmmmm.... Well we do buy organic wherever we can (in the UK Sainsburys and shops like that are probably the best for it) and we eat brown bread. We get wholemeal flour (i have grown to love brown bread) and ermmm we dont eat margarine and not much butter.

    We use ghee (well my ma :)) in cooking and sugar is a no go since my dad is like health mad.

    Salt id say is not too bad but can be improved as my mum cooks our dinner and lunch is cooked every morning (normally pasta etc with veggie sauce) so we dont have ready meals etc. Though i need to cut back on the cereal bars... And i will.
     
  17. shaggie

    shaggie Senior Member

    There's a saying, "Don't let your body be the burial ground for dead animals."

    .
     
  18. skip

    skip Founder Staff Member

    No matter what they say about estrogen in soy milk, it is NOTHING compared to the estrogen in Cow's milk! That is many times worse and has been linked to so many diseases including prostate cancer, cadmium poisoning, etc.

    In addition to estrogen, Cows milk provides more than 50 other hormones and:
    Here's the article about it:
    http://www.rense.com/general26/milk.htm

    If anyone thinks soy is so bad, go drink your cows milk, eat your cheese (10xs the concentration of the above toxins), eat your butter (20xs the concentration!).

    I hope you live a long healthy life....

    I find it incredibly ironic that the milk industry pushes these studies criticizing Soy milk, when their own product is so much worse, with so many other toxins causing human diseases besides estrogen...
     
  19. my question is this...its where my confusion sits...
    how is eating meat unhealthy for an omnivore? humans are omnivores...we eat meat and plants...is just supplying the body with protein and the other beneficial nutrients from meat, with pills or porcessed supplements REALLY the answer to eating more healthy? didnt god make us omnivores because we were supposed to eat meat or did he make us omnivores to try to discover new ways to supply our bodies with the nutrients we need?
     
  20. skip

    skip Founder Staff Member

    There are literally HUNDREDS of reasons not to eat meat.

    Several dozen are the CHEMICALS that cattle are fed. Hormones, antibiotics, genetically engineered grains, etc.

    The damage raising cattle does to the environment and the entire planet is enormous. So much good farmland is dedicated to cattle, whereas we could get 20 times more protein from the same land by growing crops.

    Cattle are responsible for most of the E-coli outbreaks in the world.

    There are so many reasons, please look them up, and LEARN!

    If you're part of this class you SHOULD be reading Diet for a Small Planet which goes into this.
     

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