Are We Counting Calories? Or Chemicals?

Chances are we have all heard the following two sayings:

  1. “You are what you eat”
  2. “You can pay the farmer now, or pay the doctor later”

Fact is, what we choose to eat on a daily basis becomes a part of our body’s makeup. Do we really know what we are eating? Do you know what the ingredients are that are becoming a part of you?

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Our family tries to eat organic food whenever possible, for a healthier life style. Organic food is grown or produced without pesticides or genetically modified organisms. We believe that this diet is the healthiest way for our family to eat. We try to avoid preservatives, additives, artificial flavors and colors, etc.

However, everyone has their limits, and our cheat drink is the Icee frozen drink. It is such a great treat to cool off during the hot days in Florida. It can be so refreshing on a hot day. Until you get a “brainfreeze” that is!

I read an article recently that explained that human bodies are taking longer to decompose after being buried in the ground. Why, do you ask? Research has shown that it is due to all the unnecessary additives preservatives that are eaten in our foods.

Chemicals can enter our bodies through various sources such as:

  • Oxygen we breathe
  • Food we ingest
  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Air fresheners
  • Lotions
  • Deodorants
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Beauty products such as makeup

Cancer causing chemicals have been known to enter the body when using plastic that gets hot. A classic example of this is a microwave or a plastic water bottle that sits in your hot car too long. The BPA (bisphenol A) is an industrial chemical that has no place in the human body. By heating up something in a microwave, the plastic breaks down into particles ans becomes part of the food (Yes, even in a microwave-safe container). I have switched to an aluminum water bottle that lives in my cup holder.

Many of the major food manufacturers in America, also produce food in Europe. The manufacturing guidelines set in Europe are a lot more stringent healthier than the FDA in America. Why is this? I wish I had an answer for that.

For example, Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain bars made in America contain artificial flavors and colors. Yet the same product that was made in Europe is colored with natural colors found in beets. When this was brought to my attention, I was left scratching my head in disbelief. In the UK, the coloring is achieved using beetroot. But in the USA, the coloring is Red No. 40, a dye that has been associated with hyperactivity, and some types of cancer. Why does the FDA allow this? Better yet, why are we buying this stuff?

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In Europe manufacturers need to prove an ingredient is SAFE beyond a shadow of a doubt for it to be approved for use. In the US researchers need to prove an ingredient is DANGEROUS beyond a shadow of a doubt for it to be banned. What’s wrong with this picture? Why is the FDA not proactive? No wonder healthcare is so expensive.

Many additives or preservatives that are found in common America foods are banned in Europe. Read more here and here. Anything with an “artificial color” to make it more visually appealing is bad for your health. These banned ingredients can cause cancer, hyper activity, kidney problems, behavioral problems, thyroid issues, birth defects, nervous system damage and more and more health related issues.

Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, acts as an emulsifier in soda and sports drinks, preventing the flavoring from separating and floating to the surface. The ingredient is banned more than 100 countries because it contains bromine, a chemical whose vapors can be corrosive or toxic.

Here is an easy and quick reference, to start living an organic lifestyle. The “dirty dozen” are foods that you should buy organic. The “clean fifteen” are foods that can be purchased conventional or non organic, due to the low levels of pesticides. Here’s to your health.

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The Swiss company Arbonne sells make up and other products that meet or exceed European standards. I was introduced to this company by Judy Di Georgio when we shared the same business coach. The FDA of America has banned 10 ingredients while European countries have banned 1342. 10 vs. 1342? What’s wrong with this picture?

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As a family, we are trying to avoid unnecessary chemicals from entering our bodies. We can’t control the air, but we can control what we put in our bodies through food and drink. I hope this served to open your eyes and helps you to improve your health using simple ways. My suggestion to you is that you spend a little more time looking at the ingredients and less time looking at the calories.

Three good rules of thumb are:

  • If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t eat it
  • If you don’t know what it is, you probably shouldn’t eat it
  • If it has more than 5 ingredients, you probably shouldn’t buy it

Stay tuned for part 2.

Naida Gould – Owner/CFO

Gould Design, Inc.