What Poison Are You Feeding Your Body?
By: Marianne Fernance
Have you heard the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? A beautiful princess, deceived by an evil witch eats a poisoned apple and is doomed to sleep until saved by her handsome prince.
Like the witch’s apple, sometimes foods that we enjoy the most are the ones that harbour a secret poison. These poisons won’t put you to sleep to be awakened by a handsome prince; rather, these poisons can lead to health problems like diabetes, heart disease, hormone problems, and depression.
In our clinic, we find these are the most common “poisoned apples” that young women are often tempted by:
Chocolate is at the top of the list of poisoned apples, and who doesn’t love chocolate?Chocolate contains what we call the deadly duo - sugar and cow’s milk! The deadly duo will cause weight gain, but it doesn’t stop there! The deadly duo is a slow acting, insidious poison that can lead to:
• insulin resistance and type II diabetes from constant blood sugar spikes and troughs
• problems regulating hormones and painful menstrual cycle
• skin conditions, boils, and eczema.
With a little time and planning you can make your own chocolate to satisfy those chocolate cravings. We use a recipe based on coconut oil, cacao powder and cacao butter.
Food manufacturers know there are three types of flavorings that our taste buds love – fat, sugar, and salt. While chocolate contains one deadly duo, there’s a second deadly duo that’s just as dangerous and they’re found in potato chips. The combination of salt and fat is guaranteed to please every palette and it’s no less deadly than chocolate.
The high levels of salt in packet chips can lead to:
• development of auto-immune conditions in later life
• high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease
• puffiness and bloating due to water retention
• frequent headaches / migraines
For a healthy change, bake sweet potato slices in a fan forced oven. Not only will these be lower in salt they will also have higher amounts of soluble fiber which feed and nourish the good bacteria in your gut.
3. Soft Drinks
Did you know that an average can of cola contains between 9 and 10 teaspoons of sugar? That’s an awful lot of sugar for your body to process.
Like chocolate, the sugar in soft drinks leads to insulin resistance and diabetes in later life. This is made worse as the sugars in soft drinks are highly available to the body and need very little digestion. Soft drinks can also damage your liver. Drinking two or more cans per day increases your risk of liver damage and can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cirrhosis of the liver.
Fruit juices and sports drinks contain just as much sugar as soft drinks so swap your soft drinks for plain water or iced herbal teas. For extra flavor try a squeeze of lemon or lime, or add some liquid stevia drops.
4. Energy Drinks
Following close on the heels of soft drinks are energy drinks. Not only do energy drinks contain as much sugar as soft drinks, an average 250ml can of Red Bull is packed with a whopping 80mg of caffeine. This is close to the same amount of caffeine as a double espresso.
Like other stimulants, high consumption of caffeine often results in problems related to mood, anxiety, and depression.
The quick energy pick-up provided by the combination of sugar and caffeine comes at a cost. The subsequent crash can leave you feeling worse than before and triggers addictive behavior.
We often find the need for energy drinks is driven by nutrient deficiencies in B12 and Iron. These nutrients are important for energy production. Check with your GP who can arrange blood tests to see whether this is the problem.
While there is nothing quite like the taste of a warm, fresh, croissant, pastries are high in a form of fat known as trans fats. Trans fats are vegetable fats that have been artificially stabilized, and these are deadly. Linked to elevated cholesterol, heart disease, and a possible carcinogen, trans fats are just bad news.
Now, I don’t want to discriminate against croissants, they are too yummy for that! Trans fats can also be found in other pastry based products including: pies, sausage rolls (both the meat and vegetarian variety), and cakes.
Trans fats are most commonly found in commercially prepared products. A little time in the kitchen can allow you to indulge your taste for baked goods without the damaging trans fats.
Marianne Fernance is the owner of Passion 4 Health Natural Medicine Centre. For more information on health and wellbeing you can access Marianne’s website at www.passion4health.com.au.