It’s party-down time, and many of us let our guards down when it comes to wanting to satisfy that “Sweet Tooth” during November, December and the beginning of the New Year. But if you want to live longer, put way less strain on your heart and liver, and still enjoy an occasional sweet, you might want to think “avoidance” of some of food’s biggest offenders.
Matt, one of our GreenAcres owners, ticks off the “Five Scariest Food Ingredients to Avoid” anytime, not just during the holidays. We list them here for a reminder that your health is too precious to lose over an offending chemical.
In the spirit of “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips,” and “we should leave day-glo to socks, not to our food,” we present Matt’s Top Five and welcome you to any GreenAcres Market in eight locations in the Midwest, and promise you will not see these offenders anywhere.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup. Hidden in everything—soft drinks, candy, snack cakes (think Twinkies and Little Debbie Snack Cakes), catsup, salad dressing and more–this cheap sweetener has been linked to liver disorders and diabetes. Natural sugar, honey, coconut sugar or agave nectar offer the same sweetness without the dangerous side effects.
- Hydrogenated Fats. Particularly hydrogenated oils found in margarine and so many processed foods. Primarily linked to heart disease and cholesterol, this chemically-altered fat hides in fried fast foods, baked goods and even soups and sauces. Use butter, coconut or olive oil for better choices.
- Artificial Sweeteners. Whether in the pink, yellow or blue packets on the restaurant tables, they are all dangerous. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to cancer in lab rats, plus headaches and neurological symptoms in people. They are in your diet soft drinks and many sugar-free treats. Safe options would be Stevia herbal sweetener or Xylitol.
- Artificial Colors. You often hear us talk about eating a colorful diet, but the colors in kids’ cereals, candies, cake decorations and even chewable vitamins can only be found in a chemical laboratory. Often thought to be associated with cancer and behavior problems in children, artificial colors are best left alone. Pick naturally-colorful foods for the antioxidant power you need: seasonal fruits and vegetables. If you want colorful sprinkles for your favorite cupcakes, we’ve got non-toxic options along with coloring sources that occur in nature, naturally.
- Chemical Preservatives and Additives. MSG, a flavor enhancer can cause nausea, weakness, headaches and chest pain. Preservatives like parabens to prevent mold have been removed from many skin care products. Don’t you think we should get them out of our food as well? How about the petroleum-based preservatives BHT and BHA, thought to be carcinogenic in humans. Finally, fertilizer ingredients like nitrates, nitrites and ammonia don’t belong in our food. GreenAcres has plenty of choices in lunch meats and all-natural hot dogs, brats and sausage that taste better and are better for you.
Judy, our Cheese Guru, says, “Let’s eat fresh instead!” Matt couldn’t agree more.