June 18, 2015

June 18, 2015

24 Foods You Should Avoid at All Costs
Part 4

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Thursday and I hope you had a beary safe and great week so far. Dab the AIDS Bear is resting back to Idaho today to rest up after a very busy weekend so stay tuned for new pictures soon.

As we age we hopefully learn how to eat more healthy if we did not learn those facts as we were growing up. But do you know which 24 foods you should avoid at all costs? I started blogging on the issue Monday and it will continue all week. By removing the following meals and snacks from your kitchen cupboards, you will maximize your chances of staying fit and healthy for as long as possible:

#16. Microwave Popcorn

Microwave popcorn is a convenient, low calorie snack stocked by the case and stowed away in drawers in dormitories and offices everywhere, a quick and satisfying way to fend off hunger until dinnertime. Itís also one of the absolute worst snacks you can put in your body.

Popcorn itself is a healthy whole grain snack that provides fiber and nutrients, but when that popcorn is put into a bag filled with chemicals and flavored with more chemicals, what results is a potential health disaster lurking around the corner.

Perfluorooctinoic acid, or PFOA, is a chemical used to coat the microwave popcorn bag to keep the oils from leaking through and to prevent the bag from catching fire at high temperatures.

Listed as a likely carcinogen by the EPA, PFOA is linked to a 154 percent increase in the chance of infertility and twice the risk of developing thyroid disease. PFOA has also been shown to cause tumor growths in the liver, pancreas, mammary glands and testicles of rats.

Whatís inside the bag isnít much better for you. The butter flavor in microwave popcorn has very little to do with actual butter. Rather, the buttery flavor comes from diacetyl, a butter flavoring agent linked to respiratory conditions and Alzheimerís disease. Itís also the culprit behind ďpopcorn lung,Ē which is a bona fide occupational disease suffered by many factory workers who work with diacetyl.

Next time you have a hankering for some popcorn, make it from scratch in an air popper or whip it up on the stove in a deep-lidded pot with a tablespoon of vegetable oil per 1/3 cup of kernels. Oh, and sure to choose non-GMO kernels!

#17. White Bread

White bread appears to be so benign that itís used in our vernacular to describe things that are boring. In reality, white bread is a wolf in sheepís clothing. White bread has no nutritional value. Itís made from refined flour, which has been stripped of the germ and bran that provides nutrients, including protein, vitamins and minerals.

Refined grains are extremely starchy and high in gluten, have no fiber and contain up to 25 added chemicals, including bleaching agents to make them appear white and preservatives to keep them from spoiling.

White bread is a high glycemic food that earns a 71 on the glycemic index, which indicates how quickly your blood sugar level is elevated upon consuming it. High glycemic foods are digested quickly, resulting in a spike in blood sugar, which is quickly followed by a major blood sugar crash that makes you hungry for more carbs. They also contribute to obesity, type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

In addition to added chemicals, two slices of white bread contain three grams of sugar, which is one-fourth of the recommended daily intake of no more than 12 grams of sugar for children.

Instead of white bread, choose breads that specify 100 percent whole grains and carry the Whole Grains Council stamp of approval.

#18. Stick Margarine

Often used in baking because itís easy to measure, stick margarine should be taken off of your grocery list for good. Stick margarine is made with hydrogenated vegetable oil, which is high in trans fats.

This ďbadĒ fat increases bad cholesterol and lowers the good type of cholesterol.

The result is inflammation throughout the body, an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, and the potential onset of type-2 diabetes.

Free radicals abound in stick margarine, due to the industrial processing of the oil at high temperatures. Free radicals that break down in the body produce toxic breakdown products that can cause cancer, heart disease and a host of other health problems.

Additionally, stick margarine usually contains BHT, a chemical that is used to preserve and stabilize, and hexane, which is used in the extraction process during production. Hexane, by the way, is a solvent thatís also utilized as a powerful cleaning agent and used in the manufacture of industrial glues.

A better alternative to stick margarine is a tub variety that has no trans fats. Even better is pure whipped butter, which, due to its high air content, has fewer calories and less fat per serving.

Choose real dairy butter that has been made from the milk of grass-fed cows, which contains conjugated linoleic acid to help fight diabetes and certain cancers.

#19. Protein Bars

When you need a quick, convenient pick-me-up during the day or after a workout, you may reach for a protein bar with the reasonable assumption that these snacks arenít just candy bars wrapped in healthy packaging. Unfortunately, thatís exactly what many protein bars are.

While protein is an essential nutrient required for building and repairing muscle tissue, in addition to enabling a host of other essential body system functions, itís always best to get it from whole food sources, such as animal products and nuts and seeds, rather than expensive concoctions that can make you fat, tired and broke.

While some protein bars contain as much protein as a skinless chicken breast, many of them have far more calories than a serving of chicken. Unlike chicken, however, protein bars are also packed with fat, sodium and sugar, which can spike your blood sugar levels rapidly, followed by the dreaded sugar crash that saps your energy and makes you hungry for carbs again within an hour.

The next time you need a little snack loaded with protein, save your hard-earned money and opt for a handful of nuts, a slice of whole wheat bread spread with nut butter or a heaping helping of (non-GMO) soybeans, edamame-style.

Not only do these snacks have no added sugar, but theyíre also packed with healthy fats that can help you lose weight, and theyíre chock full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that will contribute to overall good health.

#20. Fruit Juice

A glass of orange juice with breakfast is seemingly an easy way to pack in a serving of fruit to start your day, but in reality, fruit juice has so little to do with whole fruit that you may as well drink a soda. Much of the fruit juice you find on the grocery store shelves are nothing more than water flavored with sugar and colored with chemicals, and many contain only 10 percent real fruit juice.

These juice drinks quickly raise your blood sugar level and can even increase triglyceride levels, which may result in heart disease and other dangerous health conditions.

Surprisingly, 100 percent fruit juice isnít much better for you than juice-flavored sugar water. Thereís a lot of fiber in fruit, but none in fruit juice. Once the fruit is processed, all thatís left of the fruit is a lot of sugar and a handful of vitamins.

The sugar is the biggest culprit when it comes to fruit juice. Eight ounces of 100 percent orange juice contain 24 grams of sugar, which is the upper limit of the recommended daily intake of sugar for women. The same amount of pure apple juice contains 26 grams of sugar.

The calories from sugar far exceed the recommended amount of no more than 25 percent, to the tune of 87 percent of calories from sugar for both orange juice and apple juice.

Citrus juices can damage your teeth, and may trigger IBS symptoms and worsen migraine headaches. They also affect how certain medications are absorbed into your bloodstream and metabolized.

Instead of fruit juice, try some lemonade or sparkling water infused with crushed strawberries, blueberries or raspberries.

Hope these tips help you live more healthy and you have a beary safe and great Thursday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab