Here is one of our recent articles in Beverly Hills Times.

BHTEating Clean:  6 Processed Foods You Can Avoid

By:  Mimi Kozma

www.mimikozma.com

“Let medicine be thy food and let food be thy medicine.” ~Hippocrates

…except when your food is sprayed with chemicals, stripped of its nutrients, then fortified and enhanced with artificial sweeteners, flavorings and colors.   Chemical adulteration of food wasn’t the case in 460 B.C. or even in the early 1800’s.  However, it has been a deafening reality since post WWI.  When did food, so beautifully created by nature with all of its nutrients, flavors and colors in tact, need to be improved?  Is man so arrogant to believe that he can ‘one-up’ what nature so beautifully orchestrated? No, I cry!  If Hippocrates, ancient cultures and scores of generations possessed the knowledge that man could structure his intake of food to avoid the development of and manage illness, why has it taken us so long to ‘get it’?  So begs the question–can we change and if so, how?  Now that we have snapped out of our state of apathy and regained our common sense, we can return to equilibrium and look to mother earth for sustenance and healing.  That is to say,  join the movement towards clean eating.

What is ‘eating clean?’  According to cleaneatingmag.com, “It is a simple practice of eating food in its natural state, or as close to it as possible.”  Eating clean means avoiding highly processed and ultra refined foods, while basing your diet on whole foods.  Albeit, eating raw is probably an ideal situation.   It’s just not for everyone.  Some foods need to be processed in order to remove harmful bacteria.  Other foods  can be preserved, chopped, blended or cooked.  Though that is technically considered ‘processed’, that doesn’t count in this case.  Highly processed foods and ultra refined foods are those foods that have been dramatically changed from its original state.  With the factory farms and modern food production methods, clean eating habits can be difficult to achieve.  Here are six “Frankenfoods” (Sandoval, 2015) to avoid and some tips to guide you on the road to change. 

1.  Artificial sweeteners to include high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sucrose actually stimulates your appetite, increases carbohydrate cravings, stimulates fat storage and weight gain and can increase insulin sensitivity .  Worse yet, some of the artificial sweeteners on the market may cause brain tumors, seizures, skin rashes, diarrhea and headache. Instead, try natural sweeteners such as honey, syrup or my personal favorite, coconut sugar.

2.  Food Dyes are a petroleum-based product, suspected of causing birth defects allergic reactions and cancer.  Dyes are purportedly linked to hyperactivity in children.

3.  Natural Flavorings are not natural, but are made in labs.  Additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG) leads to obesity, migraines, fatigue and depression.  It is also linked to nerve disorders.  Instead,  use herbs and spices to change the flavor profiles of your food.  They are tasty and many have medicinal properties.

4.  Refined Oils including corn, canola, soybean and cottonseed oils are highly processed.  They are full of toxic trans fats that can cause inflammation and raises your risk for cardiovascular disease.  Instead, try organic coconut oil, grape seed oil, or ghee.

5.  Farmed Raised Fish do not possess the same nutrients as their wild counterparts.  They sometimes develop unhealthy levels of fat  and PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls) within their systems and ingests high rates of antibiotics.  As you steer clear of meat from factory farms, apply the same standards to your seafood.  Instead, eat only wild caught fish.

6.  Refined grains are grains that are stripped of their most nutritional parts.  They are high in gluten, devoid of natural fiber and nutritionally imbalanced.  When consumed, refined grains can spike energy levels then crash, leaving you feeling drained.  Consumption of refined grains is linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, increased inflammation and weight gain.  Instead, consume whole grains such as red, brown or black rice or my favorite, quinoa.

Some overarching points to keep in mind are:

Don’t blindly eat whatever crosses your path 

Know from where your food comes; read labels and ask questions 

Observe how you feel when you eat those foods and learn its benefits for your body

If it’s not practical to eat organic all of the time, refer to http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/ for the dirty dozen foods you should always eat in an organic state

It’s well past the time for you to trust that the food industry is looking out for your best interest.  In much the same way you are proactive and vigilant in other aspects of your life,  so to should you take charge of your nutrition.  Remember these words of wisdom from Ann Wigmore, “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”