Foods to Avoid
Top 5 Foods to avoid if you are serious about improving your health.
When starting a new health regime, many people start to include healthy foods into their diet – which is great! However, more often than not the best place to start when wanting to improve your health is to remove the harmful foods and drinks from your diet first.
Here are my top 5 foods and drinks to take out of your diet for optimum health.
- 1. All fizzy canned drinks – Coke, Diet Coke, Pepsi, Fanta for example. Why? The most important reason fizzy drinks are on the list is for their sugar content. Did you know that there are about 10 teaspoons of sugar in a can of Coke? Within 20 minutes of drinking the Coke, your blood sugar spikes, and your liver responds to the resulting insulin burst by turning large amounts of sugar into fat! Within 40 minutes your blood pressure rises due to your body having absorbed all the caffeine, and then your liver dumps even more sugar into your bloodstream! After about an hour, you’ll start to have a sugar crash, which often leads to a vicious cycle of having to have another Coke, or something similar, which starts the whole cycle over again, and again! It is a proven fact that sugar weakens the immune system and increases your insulin levels, which leads to weight gain and high blood pressure, premature ageing and many more negative side effects.
- 2. HFCS – High-fructose corn syrup. Why? High-fructose corn syrup and cane sugar are totally different products and act on the body in a totally different way too. HFCS is a man made product and is digested differently than cane sugar – a natural product. Cane sugar (sucrose) is made of two-sugar molecules bound tightly together – glucose and fructose in equal amounts. The enzymes in your body must break down the sucrose into glucose and fructose in equal amounts which are then absorbed into the body. HFCS also consists of glucose and fructose, but not in a 50-50 ratio, but in a 55-45 fructose to glucose ratio and in an unbound form. Fructose is sweeter than glucose, and HFCS is cheaper than sugar. Products with HFCS are therefore sweeter and cheaper than products made with cane sugar. The problems arise with the digestion of HFCS – because they are in an unbound form, they are absorbed into the body immediately – our enzymes don’t need to break them down – so you get an immediate sugar rush. HFCS are in so many processed foods these days it is hard to avoid – but avoid it you must if you want to be healthy. HFCS is the number one cause of obesity in the USA and probably the UK too, and is a factor in diabetes, heart disease and many many more unwanted diseases. Remember, that fructose itself isn’t bad! After all it is in fresh fruit, it is only harmful to you in this man-made form – which is totally alien to the body. If HFCS is in a food product, it is almost always an indicator of a poor-quality, nutrient-poor food.
3. Refined bread – this is most bread you find in supermarkets. Why? It’s important to realise that when food is refined, vital nutrients are destroyed (many of the B vitamins, and the mineral chromium in the case of bread). In some cases it’s questionable whether what remains is even fit to be considered food! That is if you consider that ‘food’ is something that should give us some nutritional value. Once you remove the most nutritious part of the grain, it effectively becomes a form of sugar. An excess of sugar in the diet contributes towards obesity, it is a marker for diabetes, and it lowers the immune system. Even if you buy something labelled ‘multigrain’ it may still be devoid of nutrients – you need the one labelled wholegrain.
4. Processed foods – again, similar to above – most processed foods are nothing but a combination of manmade chemicals – that cause havoc in the body. Many processed foods contain way too much salt, HFCS, and an abundance of colourings and additives – avoid processed foods at all costs.
5. Poor protein choices – If you want to start on the road to good health, then it is important to make good protein choices – that is protein that you can identify – organic whole chicken (never buy chicken pieces), wild salmon, organic eggs, beef or lamb (not minced), whole pieces of protein that you KNOW without doubt what it is you are buying! Avoid at all costs, sausages, anything processed like pork pies or meat pies. Protein is important in the diet but items like sausages contain poor protein and a combination of saturated fat and refined cereals.