We all know that some foods are better for us than others, but some are particularly bad for our long term wellbeing. These foods acidify our bodies, making them ripe for disease, suppressing our immune systems, depleting our energy and often causing mild to major allergic reactions that compromise our health.
When we talk of immunosuppression many people think that a suppressed immune system simply leads to more coughs and colds. The reality is that a suppressed immune system is far more serious – it inhibits the body’s ability to fight not only bacterial and viral infection, but also it’s ability to fight cellular mutation (e.g. cancer cells) and inflammation (e.g. bowel disease).
If you want to feel vibrantly well and full of energy, here are the Top 10 Most Toxic Foods which you should avoid on a regular basis and what to eat instead…
1. DAIRY PRODUCTS: milk – cheese – cream – yogurt – butter – whey & milk powder
Dairy products are made from milk: cows’, goats’, sheep’s, buffalos’ – any kind of animal that humans use for their milk.
Why is it bad for us? The majority of milk is full of antibiotics, hormones, chemicals, puss and blood (from the milking process) . Milk is also hard for humans to digest, with a reported 75% or more of the human race being intolerant to the lactose found in dairy. Dairy products have also been linked to breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, asthma and eczema. Plenty of good reasons to get creative and avoid this toxic food!!
If you’re not sure how to live without dairy, here are some healthy alternatives to try instead:
- fresh-made nut and seed milks (almond is the easiest flavour to start with)
- nut cheeses, freshly made or fermented (including nut cheese sauces and nut cheese sprinkles)
- cashew cream – simply blend soaked cashews with water and a medjool date
- coconut yogurt
- extra-virgin coconut or olive oil in place of butter
If the idea of not eating dairy is anathema to you, aim for goat and sheep’s products and always go for organic (although commercial organic dairy cows are usually treated no better than normal cows), and have it as infrequently as possible.
2. TINNED FOODS: tinned fish – tinned vegetables – tinned pulses
Bisphenol A is a chemical that’s used to line the inside of food tins to prevent rust – there are over 100 studies that suggest that it’s toxic to humans even at low doses. Use wholefoods, home prepared, instead. Make batches at the weekends and freeze your beans/fish/vegetables in portions, ready for use throughout the week/month.
3. WHEAT & PROCESSED WHEAT PRODUCTS: bread – cakes – biscuits – crackers – pasta – almost everything pre-packaged
Due to its high glutamine content, wheat tends to inflame the intestines, which not only makes it very hard to digest, but can also cause long term stomach issues such as IBS/D (Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Disease), bloating and bad skin. Again, wheat is very acidifying for the body and one of THE major causes of energy depletion.
If you’re not sure how to live without wheat products, here are some healthy alternatives to try instead:
- oat and rice cakes instead of bread
- homemade gluten-free biscuits, muffins and cakes
- raw crackers
- homemade gluten-free bread
- homemade gluten-free pancakes
4. REFINED SUGAR: table sugar – corn syrup – non-raw agave syrup – sweets – baked products – chocolate – fizzy drinks – alcohol – pre-packaged foods and drinks (even the ‘healthy’ ones and many dairy-free milks)
Refined sugar is the evil of all evils when it comes to toxic foods and immunosuppression. Highly addictive, fattening and acidifying, it drains us of energy and leaches essential vitamins and minerals from our bodies.
Sugar has been linked to many mood-related mental health issues, including anger and violence, depression, stress and excessive anxiety. Along with wheat, it is one of the most energy draining and debilitating substances that you can put into your body.
If you’re not sure how to live without refined sugar, here are some healthy alternatives to try instead:
- snack on dried fruit, nuts and seeds
- drink herbal teas, green tea, fresh juices and mineral water
- eat raw chocolate and homemade sugar-free sweets
- use coconut sugar, honey, raw agave syrup or stevia in cooking and drinks
5. REFINED CARBOHYDRATES: white rice – supermarket gluten-free products – white pasta – white flour – breakfast cereals – baked goods
Refined carbohydrates are quickly digested by the body, which causes our blood sugar and insulin levels to spike. This causes hypertension and headaches and can lead to diabetes in the long-term.
If you’re not sure how to live without refined carbohydrates, here are some healthy alternatives to try instead:
- brown rice (basmati / long grain / short grain)
- homemade gluten-free bread made with wholegrain gluten-free flour
- gluten-free brown rice pasta
- homemade sugar-free granola, dehydrated raw breakfast cereals, wholegrain rolled oat porridge / oatmeal
- homemade baked goods made with wholegrain gluten-free flours and healthy sugar-alternatives
6. CAFFEINE: coffee – tea – coca cola – pepsi – sodas / fizzy drinks – energy drinks
Caffeine raises blood sugar and stimulates the body’s adrenaline production. Although we might feel energised initially, over time our adrenal glands become depleted leaving us feeling moody and exhausted.
And why are your adrenal glands so important? The hormones produced and regulated by healthy adrenal glands help you to deal with physical and emotional stress effectively, maintain a healthy weight, balance your blood sugar (avoiding blood sugar related issues such as type 2 diabetes and hypoglycemia), manage blood pressure and have a healthy cardiovascular system.
It’s easy to get into a caffeine habit when you are stressed through work or life related issues, but it is the very last thing your body needs in order to cope. If you are super stressed, your number one priority should be to cut out caffeine and sugar. You will be amazed by how much calmer you feel after a week or so of kicking these habits.
If you’re not sure how to live without caffeine, here are some healthy alternatives to try instead:
- herbal teas
- green tea
- fresh-made juices
- mineral water
- roasted chicory coffee
- unsweetened malted drinks (check the label for any nasties)
- almond milk hot chocolate made with plain coco or cacao powder (unsweetened or sweetened with a healthy sweetener)
7. NON-ORGANIC FRUITS & VEGETABLES
Most fruit and veg is artificially grown using pesticides, herbicides and insecticides that are known to cause headaches, cardiovascular problems and joint pain. Always buy organic when you can.
8. ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: saccharin – aspartame – sucralose – neotame – acesulfame potassium
Artificial sweeteners are toxic. The main culprits are saccharin, neotame, acesulfame potassium, aspartame, and sucralose. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to migraines and weight gain and put us at greater risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Although you may consume artificial sweeteners as a way to try and lose weight you are likely to be doing your body more harm than good. Aspartame has been investigated as a possible cause of brain tumors, mental retardation, birth defects, epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes, and artificial sweeteners in general mess with your hormones – not good if you are trying to lose weight, as weight gain is often caused by an imbalance in your hormones.
If you’re not sure how to live without artificial sweeteners, here are some healthy alternatives to try instead:
- raw honey
- coconut sugar
- raw agave syrup
9. PROCESSED SALT: pre-packaged foods – table salt – processed sea salt
The body needs salt to maintain overall health, but table salt and even most sea salt has been created or treated to make it white. Table salt is created without all of the essential health-promoting vitamins, mineral and enzymes and refined sea salt has had them washed out for the sake of whiteness.
Consuming processed salt is bad for your health, contributing to blood pressure issues, heart disease and overall acidity in the body. Unrefined salt is good for you when used in moderation, so get rid of your refined salt and go buy some unrefined sea or rock salt.
10. MEAT: non organic meat – processed meats – ham and sliced meats – bacon – salami
Meat is another highly acidic food, with non-organic meat containing levels of antibiotics, hormones and other chemicals ingested through the animals feed. If you must eat meat, eat grass-fed beef or organic chicken as infrequently as possible.
If you’re not sure how to live without meat, here are some healthy alternatives to try instead:
- nut roasts
- cooked bean-based dishes
- slices of aubergine / eggplant flavoured with smoked paprika and unrefined salt
- Portobello and brown mushrooms marinated in extra-virgin olive oil an gluten-free tamari, eaten raw or cooked
- vegetarian or vegan burgers
10 Most Toxic Foods Summary
Do yourself a huge favour and start dramatically reducing or cutting out these food. By doing this you will prevent, and even reverse, toxic overload, immunosupression and energy debilitation so you feel more like your bright and shining self!
Make a habit of eating whole foods whenever possible and always read the ingredients labels on pre-packaged food, whether it claims to be healthy or not. Pre-packaged and processed foods usually contain at least 1 of the top 10 most toxic ingredients.
And if you’ve cut these foods out, or would like to, I’d love to hear your thoughts so please post a comment 🙂