Eliminating processed foods from your diet is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure your long-term health as the sheer number of cancer causing chemicals and toxic additives in food continues to increase your likelihood of serious disease. Large corporations spend billions on advertising that seduces customers into thinking low-fat and sugar-free alternatives are a good way to stay healthy, when in fact artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are well-known carcinogens. Checking the labels on most processed foods reveals a long list of noxious additives, preservatives, toxic food coloring, and GMO ingredients. It is now difficult to avoid all dangerous food ingredients as an estimated 95% of US corn comes from genetically modified seeds; however, you can drastically reduce the amount of chemicals you are consuming by swapping the store-bought processed food items for your own healthier homemade versions. The following five no-no snack foods are loaded with cancer-causing additives that build up in the system over time. Learn what not to eat and how to replace your favorites with delicious, healthy alternatives.
As well a whole host of additives, preservatives and added wheat from GMOs, most processed potato chips have been found to contain a chemical known as acrylamide. This carcinogenic substance is created when carbohydrate-based foods are cooked to a high temperature and can be found in French fries, toast, roasted breakfast cereals and even coffee beans. Homemade chips will still contain a small amount of acrylamide as it is impossible to avoid it altogether unless you follow a raw food diet, but frying at home with healthy cooking oils will release far less amounts of acrylamide than during mass production. Start by scrubbing your potatoes and then thinly slicing them. Peel them first or simply leave the skins on for extra crispness. Soak the slices in cold water for about half an hour and then dry thoroughly using paper towels. Heat 1/2 inch of organic sunflower or virgin coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pan and fry potatoes in batches for 3 minutes on each side. Avoid oils that do not have a high smoke point such as olive oil. Alternatively, bake potatoes slices in the oven, but be sure to boil the slices beforehand for 2-3 minutes to remove the starch. Add salt, vinegar, garlic, herbs or any other spices you like, and leave them to cool to room temperature before serving.
Almost all of the ingredients in packaged cookies are unhealthy, and the low-fat versions are often packed with an extra helping of deadly chemicals. Refined sugar and flour, trans fats, GMOs and a long list of preservatives are all lurking in those seemingly innocent chocolate chip cookies. Creating a healthy, gluten and dairy-free alternative is surprisingly easy, and requires only 2 ingredients. Mash 2 ripe bananas in a bowl and add 1 cup of uncooked oats. You can add any extras you like such as cinnamon, raw cacao, dried fruits, nuts, chocolate chips, or you can leave the mixture as it is for a simple and healthy treat. Spoon little balls of the mixture onto a greased cookie sheet a few inches apart, and then bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Like bread, pizza is almost always made from refined, genetically modified (GM) flour that has undergone a bleaching process in order to achieve its snow white color. Commercially produced flour is given a chlorine gas bath that strips the natural color and also ages the flour. The EPA defines chlorine gas as “a flour-bleaching, aging and oxidizing agent that is a powerful irritant, dangerous to inhale, and lethal. Other agents also used include oxides of nitrogen, nitrosyl, and benzoyl peroxide mixed with various chemical salts.” Nutritionists advise that consuming organic whole grains and unprocessed flours are the best way to keep your heart healthy; and, this includes eliminating other bleached foods such as white rice and pasta in favor of their organic whole counterparts. To create a healthier baking blend that can also be used for all flour-based recipes, combine 2 cups of organic brown rice flour with 1 cup of organic tapioca flour and add ½ teaspoon of xanthan gum. This blend is gluten-free and can be used in place of wheat flour in all types of pizza crust and bread recipes.
Pre-packaged Lunch Sandwiches
Readymade sandwiches, such as those available from delis and sandwich chains like Subway, are loaded with fat, sugar, salt and GM flours. A study conducted by independent UK consumer charity, which found that the average prepackaged cheese sandwich contains as much saturated fat as a Big Mac, and a meatball sub contains around 4.7 grams of salt which is more than ¾ of the recommended daily intake. Meat-filled sandwiches often contain cornstarch, salt, tapioca starch, water and pink slime that are used to bulk up the meat content — and the added ingredients do not hold any nutritional value whatsoever. Preparing sandwiches at home from familiar, nutritionally sound ingredients is far healthier and often much less expensive than purchasing them from coffee shops and delis. Always use wholegrain breads or gluten-free alternatives, and substitute margarine for a drizzle of olive oil or organic butter. Instead of mayonnaise or other fatty and chemical-laden dressings like Ranch, mix equal parts honey, olive oil and wholegrain mustard for a delicious and healthy alternative.
Ketchup is mandatory in most households and suddenly announcing that it’s off the menu could lead to full-blown tantrums from kids and spouses alike. Despite leading manufacturer Heinz’s pledge that they do not knowingly use GMO ingredients in their ketchup, they cannot guarantee the origin of every ingredient they use. The Heinz ketchup ingredient list contains sugar, wheat, and high fructose corn syrup, all of which are likely to have come from GMO sources. English chef Jamie Oliver created a delicious recipe for homemade ketchup that uses a long list of ingredients that ambitious chefs can view here: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/homemade-tomato-ketchup. Those that prefer to keep it simple can start with 8lbs of organic tomatoes that have been seeded, chopped and had the skins removed. Simmer the tomatoes gently in a frying pan and add a cup of organic apple cider vinegar, 1 finely chopped red onion, a clove of minced garlic, and then salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and sugar to taste. Simmer the mixture for a further 30 minutes before removing from the heat and pushing through a sieve to remove any remaining seeds and skins. Place the sauce back on the stove and simmer until it reduces to a ketchup consistency. Optional extras include mustard seeds, cinnamon, ginger and celery seeds.
Once you begin preparing your own homemade snack foods you will start to wonder how you ever ate the salt and sugar-laden garbage sold in stores. Making snack foods is a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen, and you can rest easy knowing that you are in control of exactly what foods they are consuming. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be about cutting large food groups from your diet, but rather about finding healthy methods of preparing your favorite dishes. Quite often the best method of preparing food involves going back in time and cooking the same way your grandparents did, before the evening meal became a source of revenue for greedy corporations.
Permission is granted to copy the title and first one hundred words with the provision that the author's name be included and a link to the original article be added.