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Health Education: Macronutrients [Carbohydrates]

September 27, 2017

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Reading Food Labels and Making Informed Choices Improves Health

September 22, 2017

Hospital patients and seniors are served this with meals almost daily. Its jiggles prompt giggles from children in homes across America on a regular basis. Moms think they are offering a simple, fun, healthy option to go with their children’s meals, but what they don’t know is Jello, and the store brands of flavored gelatins, are some of the most toxic foods a body can consume. 


Have you seen the list of ingredients or examined the make-up of this popular side item? 


Ingredients: Sugar, Gelatin, Adipic Acid (for tartness), Contains less than 2% natural and artificial flavors, Disodium Phosphate and Sodium Citrate (control acidity), Fumaric Acid (for tartness), Red #40, BHA (preservative) 


The first ingredient on the list is sugar. The first ingredient listed is always the one of the greatest content in the product. If that weren’t bad enough, this sugar is quite probably derived from GMO (genetically modified organism) plants, making it even more dangerous thanks to likely exposure to harmful pesticides. 


So let’s examine some of these other ingredients. The gelatin itself is derived from animals in factory farms. Artificial flavors and as much as 12mg of food dyes used in Jell-O are primarily petroleum-based and are believed to be linked to hyperactivity in children. To make matters worse, these ingredients are contaminated with carcinogens. Red #40 is so bad, in fact, that it comes with a warning label in Europe. 


The preservative BHA is linked to cancer and is banned all over the world. Preservatives may increase the shelf-life of products like Jell-O, but they do not preserve human lives! 


Like flavored gelatins, processed foods, GMO’s, and produce contaminated by herbicides and pesticides, should be avoided at all costs! Besides Jell-O and problematic produce, my list of faux foods include anything canned, salt, artificial sweeteners, soy, microwave popcorn, and processed meats/food. 


I suggest you make a habit of checking labels and inspecting ingredient lists before you add items to your shopping cart. 

  • Look for the ingredient list, usually on the back of the package.

  • Remember, the first ingredient is always the biggest in content.

  • Avoid partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. 

  • Avoid foods with a long ingredient list. Chances are if you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t eat it! 

Instead, I recommend what is known as the Clean 15. These are vegetables and fruits that are the least likely to have been contaminated or penetrated by herbicides and pesticides, and are viewed as the most healthy items to include in your daily diet. 


Below is a list of the Clean 15

  1. Sweet Potatoes 

  2. Cauliflower 

  3. Cantaloupe 

  4. Grapefruit 

  5. Eggplant 

  6. Kiwi 

  7. Papayas 

  8. Mangos 

  9. Asparagus 

  10. Onions 

  11. Sweet Peas (frozen) 

  12. Cabbage 

  13. Pineapples 

  14. Sweet Corn (non GMOs) 

  15. Avocados 


The Top 15 fruits and veggies considered to be at the highest risk of contamination are: 

  1. Apples 

  2. Celery 

  3. Cherry Tomatoes 

  4. Cucumbers 

  5. Grapes 

  6. Hot Peppers 

  7. Nectarines 

  8. Peaches 

  9. Potatoes 

  10. Spinach 

  11. Strawberries 

  12. Sweet Bell Peppers 

  13. Kale 

  14. Collard Greens 

  15. Summer Squash 


Of these items, you probably have a variety in your fridge right now. I recommend that you keep these lists available to reference, plan nutritious weekly menus, craft your grocery lists accordingly, and stock your refrigerator and pantry with healthier options for you and your family.


Remember to read the ingredient list on packaging labels to avoid chemicals, preservatives, sugars, and dyes. Try to purchase organic items whenever possible to prevent ingestion of harmful chemicals, pesticides and herbicides.


Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” This is a prolific and valid statement, because the stuff we ingest to fuel our bodies may be the ultimate cause of many diseases that wreak havoc in our lives.


I want you and your family to live healthy lives! I am dedicated to providing the best care possible, with an emphasis on patient empowerment and education. I do my very best to help patients and their families integrate healthy, proactive, and whole-body approaches involving lifestyle and nutrition.



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