Trans fats are not food at all but are used to make food taste good and add texture. You will find them in many processed snack foods. Foods that may contain trans fats include:
Fried onion rings
Look in your pantry and check for trans fats listed on the Nutrition Facts food label. You may also see hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil listed as ingredients. This means the food contains trans fat and should be avoided at all cost!
Artificial flavors, colors and food additives are used to improve the appeal of packaged foods. However, they are among the most pro-inflammatory or excitotoxins in the world. Avoid them like the plague! Get assurance from any restaurant (Asian or otherwise) that no monosodium glutamate is used in food preparation. If you want to live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, avoid anything with artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors.
Sugar seems quite harmless when compared with artificial sweeteners. However, refined sugar is still responsible for much of the obesity epidemic in the industrialized world. It reduces the function of our immune system and causes sugar-derived substances called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) to clog our brain and blur our vision.
Refined and/or genetically modified (GMO) grains: Gluten intolerance is nearing epidemic proportions. This is primarily the result of over-consuming refined grains, hybrid-grain strains and genetically modified (GMO) grains. One physician commented on the damage to our digestive tract by comparing refined, GMO grains to sandpaper in our digestive system.
Processed meats contain high amounts of sodium far too much to be considered healthy. They also contain additives such as sugar and monosodium glutamate. The level of saturated fat is much higher in processed meats than in free-range or grass-fed whole meats.
Cooking oil imbalances the anti-inflammatory enzymes in our body by adding too much omega-6 oil to our dietary balance. We need omega-3 oils such as walnut oil, flaxseed oil, macadamia nut oil and olive oil.
Feedlot-raised red meat has more inflammatory acids than grass-fed red meat. For example, grass-fed beef is a good source of omega-3 essential fatty acids as compared to feedlot-raised beef which is higher in pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid.
Alcohol is a two-edged sword: drinking a little may offer some anti-inflammatory benefits. But drinking too much is a primary trigger for inflammation. Red wine in moderation is considered healthy.
Are you eating food that’s already banned in other countries but is still allowed to poison and kill Americans? Learn these pernicious ingredients and common foods through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your website.
<img src="http://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/banned-foods-infographic.jpg" alt="10 Banned Foods to Avoid" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">Are you eating <a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/10-banned-foods.htm"><strong>"food that's already banned"</strong></a> in other countries but is still allowed to poison and kill Americans? Learn these pernicious ingredients and common foods through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your website.</p>
Tips to Help You Avoid Toxic Chemicals
Within such a dysfunctional system, you are the best one to keep your family safe. Although no one can successfully steer clear of ALL chemicals and pollutants, you can minimize your exposure by keeping a number of key principles in mind.
Eat a diet focused on locally grown, fresh, and ideally organic whole foods. Processed and packaged foods are a common source of chemicals such as BPA and phthalates. Wash fresh produce well, especially if its not organically grown.
Choose grass-pastured, sustainably raised meats and dairy to reduce your exposure to hormones, pesticides, and fertilizers. Avoid milk and other dairy products that contain the genetically engineered recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST).
Rather than eating conventional or farm-raised fish, which are often heavily contaminated with PCBs and mercury, supplement with a high-quality krill oil, or eat fish that is wild-caught and lab tested for purity, such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon.
Buy products that come in glass bottles rather than plastic or cans, as chemicals can leach out of plastics (and plastic can linings), into the contents; be aware that even BPA-free plastics typically leach other endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are just as bad for you as BPA.
Store your food and beverages in glass, rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap.
Use glass baby bottles.
Replace your non-stick pots and pans with ceramic or glass cookware.
Filter your tap water for both drinking AND bathing. If you can only afford to do one, filtering your bathing water may be more important, as your skin absorbs contaminants. To remove the endocrine-disrupting herbicide Atrazine, make sure your filter is certified to remove it. According to the EWG, perchlorate can be filtered out using a reverse osmosis filter.
Look for products made by companies that are Earth-friendly, animal-friendly, sustainable, certified organic, and GMO-free. This applies to everything from food and personal care products to building materials, carpeting, paint, baby items, furniture, mattresses, and others.
Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to remove contaminated house dust. This is one of the major routes of exposure to flame retardant chemicals.
When buying new products such as furniture, mattresses, or carpet padding, consider buying flame retardant free varieties, containing naturally less flammable materials, such as leather, wool, cotton, silk, and Kevlar.
Avoid stain- and water-resistant clothing, furniture, and carpets to avoid perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs).
Make sure your baby’s toys are BPA-free, such as pacifiers, teething rings, and anything your child may be prone to suck or chew oneven books, which are often plasticized. Its advisable to avoid all plastic, especially flexible varieties.
Use natural cleaning products or make your own. Avoid those containing 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DEGME)two toxic glycol ethers that can compromise your fertility and cause fetal harm.
Switch over to organic toiletries, including shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants, and cosmetics. EWGs Skin Deep database10 can help you find personal care products that are free of phthalates and other potentially dangerous chemicals.
Replace your vinyl shower curtain with a fabric one.
Replace feminine hygiene products (tampons and sanitary pads) with safer alternatives.
Look for fragrance-free products. One artificial fragrance can contain hundredseven thousandsof potentially toxic chemicals. Avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets, which contain a mishmash of synthetic chemicals and fragrances.