Category: Health Awareness



alkaline-food-chart

The typical American diet is a deadly one, consisting primarily of toxic and acid-forming foods like processed sugars, artificial sweeteners, refined grains, conventionally produced meats and dairy, and hidden genetically modified organisms. All this, combined with a plethora of other challenging environmental factors (such as lack of rest, psychological stress, and pharmaceutical drugs), mean it’s no wonder that more and more people are being diagnosed with chronic, degenerative illnesses or otherwise deadly conditions for which modern conventional medicine claims to have no known cure.

One of the basic underlying problems with this unsustainable lifestyle – and there are many – is the average consumer’s lack of understanding that the body must balance the blood’s pH levels at a slightly alkaline level of 7.365 in order to survive. When a person ingests food to “burn” for fuel, the digestive and metabolic process transforms it into a kind of ash which is either acidic or alkaline. The laws of modern biochemistry further explain that it is not the organic matter of foods (whether the food itself is acidic or alkaline), but their inorganic matter (such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfur, phosphorous; that is, how they break down in our bodies), that determines either the acidity or alkalinity of this ashy residue.

For this reason, and because all foods in nature contain both acid and alkaline-forming elements according to the Conscious Living Center, balance is either achieved or thwarted as a direct result of the foods we choose to eat. Too many acid-forming foods can have dire consequences for our health, with “acidosis” being a common diagnosis in diabetics, for example. This is because when the nutrients required to maintain this slightly alkaline state cannot be obtained from food, the body will instead draw from its own stores, like the bones or other vital tissues – damaging its ability to repair itself and detoxify heavy metals, thereby making a person more vulnerable to fatigue and illness. And the margin for error is small. Even an only slightly acidic pH of 6.9 can actually lead to coma and death.

Of course, the ultimate goal is balance. Eating too many alkalizing foods can lead to its own fair share of complications over time, but the risk of this is seemingly less likely, given the current sorry state of today’s highly addictive consumerist diet. To combat the effects of such a diet, here are six of the most alkaline-forming foods to work into your everyday meals:

1. Root vegetables

Due to the healing “yang” nature of these foods in traditional Chinese medicine, and their tendency to be more rich in minerals than many other vegetables, it may be safe to say that you can’t get enough of them. Look for radishes especially (black, red or white), as well as beets, carrots, turnips, horseradish and rutabaga. Ready to eat after steaming for just 15-20 minutes, root vegetables will help you feel both satiated and better grounded.

2. Cruciferous vegetables

These are the veggies we all know and love, made even more delicious with just a small amount of healthy, homemade sauce like pesto. Choose from broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and the like.

3. Leafy greens

These include kale, Swiss chard, turnip greens and spinach – of which spinach may in fact be the best pick. Known especially for its rich vitamin K and folate content, spinach is also packed with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber, helping to improve digestion and even vision.

4. Garlic

A true miracle food, garlic appears at the top of innumerable lists of foods that encourage overall health, and alkaline-forming food is no exception. Among its other benefits are its ability to promote cardiovascular and immune health by lowering blood pressure, cleansing the liver and fighting off disease.

5. Cayenne peppers (capsicum)

As part of a family of potent, tropical peppers which contain enzymes essential to endocrine function, cayenne is among the most alkalizing foods. It is known for its antibacterial properties and is a rich supply of vitamin A, making it a helpful agent in fighting off the harmful free radicals that lead to stress and illness.

6. Lemons

Lemons may be the most alkalizing food of all. As a natural disinfectant, it can heal wounds while also providing potent and immediate relief for hyperacidity and virus-related conditions, as well as coughs, colds, flu and heartburn. Lemon also works to energize the liver and promote detoxification.

So it can’t hurt to think twice about what’s on your plate at your next meal, but not doing so might. Just applying that age-old motherly advice to “eat your vegetables” can be a solid first step in achieving better health.

 

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What Exactly Is Hypothyroidism?

 

Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid is basically a sluggish-functioning thyroid gland.

The thyroid, a butterfly shaped gland found at the front of the neck just above your collarbones, makes the thyroid hormones controlling how the human body uses energy.

 

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland fails to make or secret the necessary amounts of thyroid hormones needed by the body. Essential in this process of creating the thyroid hormones is the nutritional element iodine.

 

 

There are four thyroid hormones.  Each one is designated by the number of iodine groups attached – T1, T2, T3 and T4.

 

  • T3 (tri-iodothyronine) is the most active hormone and the one crossing into every cell in the body.  T4, is the most common circulating thyroid hormone, but must be converted into T3 before entering cells.
  • Thyroxin (T4) has a long “half-life”, meaning that it can circulate for days in the body without being metabolized in the liver.  T3 (tri-iodothyronine) has a very short life span of just a few hours.

When there is insufficient (or no) iodine in the foods we eat, our thyroid gland doesn’t have the raw material it needs to do its job. We’ll get into a detailed discussion of the extreme importance of dietary iodine (and why iodized table salt is of minimal use) further down.

 

Types of Hypothyroidism

 

There are several major types of hypothyroidism:

 

  • Primary Hypothyroidism – This is the most commonly seen type of hypothyroidism – and has reached epidemic proportions in the last 100 years.  The thyroid simply isn’t creating enough of the thyroid hormones.  The overwhelming cause of primary hypothyroidism is simply a deficiency of iodine.
  • Hashimoto’s Disease – This is the next most common type of hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s Disease is an auto-immune disorder where the body’s immune system actually attacks the thyroid gland as if it were a foreign invader.  In fact, about a third of all women and one in six men test positive for these thyroid antibodies.

 

Frequently, Hashimoto’s Disease follows an opposite condition called Grave’s Disease where the thyroid gland is too active (hyperthyroidism). The mere presence of positive antibodies does not necessarily mean that a person is hypothyroid, but once symptoms develop, then these thyroid antibodies make the condition very difficult to counter. Thyroid hormones get “attacked” by these antibodies, requiring mammoth doses of any prescribed treatment.

 

  • Secondary Hypothyroidism – This is when the pituitary gland fails to release adequate amounts of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Thyroid stimulating hormone is responsible for signaling the thyroid to manufacture T4.

 

  • Tertiary Hypothyroidism – When the hypothalamus goes haywire, it can affect the entire endocrine system, including the thyroid gland and its production of hormones.

 

  • Drug (or Toxicity) Induced Hypothyroidism – Some prescription medications (such as lithium for bipolar affective disorder and the heart anti-arrhythmia drug amiodarone) have been known to induce hypothyroidism. 47% of patients on long-term lithium treatment will develop clinical hypothyroidism.

    Likewise, amiodarone can take weeks or months to induce hypothyroidism, so patients taking these drugs should be regularly monitored for proper thyroid hormone levels.

 

Exposure to “Halogens” – chlorine, bromine or fluorine all fall under this toxicity category. We’ll discuss exactly how in just a bit.

 

  • Iatrogenic – Hypothyroidism caused by surgical removal or irradiation of the thyroid gland. These procedures are carried out in order to treat hot thyroid nodules.

 

Thyroid nodules are any abnormal growth forming a lump or lumps in the thyroid gland. These nodules are many times benign. Only about ten percent of the diagnosed nodules are cancerous. There is some speculation that nodules form because of low iodine intake. The nodules are trying to increase thyroid activity in order to make up for the lack of iodine. When these nodules go haywire, cancer develops.

 

Nodules are both age and gender related – mostly happening in women.

 

If the entire thyroid is surgically removed, life is difficult. Patients are totally dependent on hormone replacement medications – and unfortunately the dosages prescribed are almost always too little. Taking iodine supplements will not help those with surgically removed thyroids.

 

Irradiation is a common treatment for advanced thyrotoxicosis, which is a disorder especially common among women. Thyrotoxicosis (hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid) is most often caused by Graves disease and thyroid nodules. Radioiodine (radioactive iodine) is used as the last gasp therapy when anti-thyroid medication fails, basically stopping the thyroid from producing hormones. The danger of course is that the thyroid will never return to normal after the irradiation, keeping the patient in a constant state of acute hypothyroidism.

 

If left untreated, thyrotoxicosis usually burns out by itself and the patient becomes hypothyroid. These people are virtually caught between a rock and a hard place, with hypothyroidism the common denominator.

 

What Are The Symptoms of Hypothyroidism?

 

When the thyroid isn’t functioning as intended, the symptoms are many and varied. Often confused for other conditions (like depression) or simply “growing older,” hypothyroidism causes a laundry list of unpleasant and even dangerous warning signs:

 

 

Early Symptoms of Hypothyroidism:

 

  • Weight gain
  • Hard stools or constipation
  • Cold hands and cold feet
  • Fatigue or feeling continually “pooped”
  • Brain fog or an inability to concentrate
  • Sleep disturbances, especially early morning awakening
  • Heavier or irregular menstrual periods
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Paleness or dry skin
  • Depression
  • Thin, brittle hair and/or fingernails
  • Thinning hair
  • General muscular weakness

 

Advanced Symptoms of Hypothyroidism:

 

  • Decreased taste and smell
  • Hoarseness when speaking
  • Puffy face, hands and feet
  • Slow(er) or slurred speech
  • Thickening skin
  • Thinning eyebrows
  • Hair falling out in large clumps

What’s your score? You can find out for yourself how severe your symptoms of hypothyroidism may be. Take this online and confidential quick questionnaire to see where you stand.

 

The most severe and dangerous form of hypothyroidism is called Myxedema Coma occurring when the thyroid has essentially shut down. This is a medical emergency requiring immediate hospitalization.

 

Who is Most at Risk for Hypothyroidism?

 

Hypothyroidism can affect both men and women, and in cases of illness or malnutrition – children as well.

 

However, individuals over 40 and women in general are more prone to hypothyroidism. Here are the major factors involved:

 

Age Related Hypothyroidism

 

It’s a fact, as we age our bodies tend to slow down. Our thyroid gland is no different, and the stresses of decades of life do begin to take their toll. The thyroid just doesn’t function as efficiently as in our youth. If an individual has not been taking care of their health, this problem is of course exacerbated.

 

Women and Hypothyroidism

 

 

Women get hit with a “perfect storm” of convergences when it comes to developing hypothyroidism.

 

  • First is Age: Like everyone else on the planet, they are prone to decreased thyroid activity due to the aging process.

 

  • Second is Pregnancy: When a woman is carrying a child, their body gives the fetus first dibs on almost everything. As iodine is a crucial and essential substance for the unborn child’s proper development, iodine stores will be diverted from the mother and to the child. After even two pregnancies, a mom’s iodine reserves can be all but depleted – resulting in hypothyroidism – and that depressing weight gain.

 

  • Third is Breast Tissue: Many people (and even physicians!) are unaware that a woman’s breasts demand almost as much iodine as the thyroid gland.  Breast tissue siphons off the iodine needed or intended for the thyroid gland. Fibrocystic breast disease, which was one time unusual, is now almost universal in women in developed countries. The classic cause of fibrocystic breast disease is iodine deficiency and is almost always associated with hypothyroidism.

 

  • Fourth is Nutrition: As you read above, iodine is absolutely essential for a proper functioning thyroid gland and to help prevent hypothyroidism. But for both men and woman, we aren’t getting nearly the amount of iodine in our diets as we need.

The Iodine Connection in Hypothyroidism

 

Diet, Nutrition and Iodine

 

Today our nutrition is many times abysmal. Fast foods, junk food, foods grown in nutrient depleted soils – these just can’t give the human body what it needs to thrive. Now add three “modern day improvements” – fluoride, chlorine and bromine – and our thyroid is taxed to the max.

 

Here’s the problem:

 

Iodine is tough to come by naturally in our food supply. The two good sources of iodine – seafood and sea vegetables (such as seaweed) have been adulterated by mercury poisoning and industrial wastes poured into the sea. Plus, with the advent of Fukushima, we now have to contend with radioactive iodine flowing into the ocean’s waters and atmosphere as well.

 

Food grown on large commercial farms suffers from chemical over-fertilization. Gone are the times when farmers would use fish as fertilizer – restoring the trace amounts of iodine back to the soil. Also, the soils are not allowed to recoup their natural vigor by laying fallow for several seasons, but are rather “fortified” year after year by man-made fertilizers.

 

Yes, the plants grow – but the fertilizers used have only a limited amount of nutrients, and iodine is usually not among them. This nutritional shortfall is passed on to the crops, and ultimately us when we consume them.

 

Next come three other culprits in this iodine connection – fluorine, chlorine and bromine.

 

Fluoridated water is neither benign nor beneficial. To begin with, the fluoride found in our drinking water is anything but natural. It is actually hydrofluosilicic acid, a by-product of heavy industry, especially the fertilizer and aluminum industries. What are other uses for this substance? Try…

 

  • Pesticide
  • Herbicides
  • Rat poison, and
  • Sarin nerve gas – just to name a few.

 

Scrapped off factory chimneys and smelters, it is rightfully considered a poison and treated as a dangerous bio-hazard when handling. However, this EXACT same substance is then mixed into our drinking water, and by some yet unknown alchemical reaction (sarcasm) what was minutes before a deadly industrial waste suddenly becomes a so-called “healthy” adjunct to our basic water supply.

 

One of the problems with fluoride is that it slowly but surely displaces iodine in our thyroid. Another huge problem is the dosage. The more water one drinks, the more fluoride one consumes. Added to this is that fluoride is found in most toothpastes, and each day becomes a gamble as to just how much fluoride is actually entering the body. In fact there is enough fluoride in a tube of fluoridated toothpaste to actually kill a child!

 

Chlorine is another iodine-disrupting halide. Yes, chlorine does kill many pathogens in our drinking water. However, it does have its dark side. Skin exposure to chlorine from swimming in a chlorinated pool, bathing or drinking city water leeches iodine from the thyroid gland.

 

Think of it, every time you take a shower from the standard municipal water supply (especially here in the USA), the skin absorbs both chlorine and fluoride – which slowly poisons the thyroid gland.

 

You should note that while water filters are readily available to eliminate chlorine from both your drinking and shower water, they are just about useless for filtering out fluoride. (The fluorine molecule is exceedingly small and much harder to trap.)

 

Bromine is the third bad-guy in this story. Used in baked goods, breads, pastas, upholstery, plastics, medications, fire-retardants and soft drinks, bromine is an endocrine disrupter – and similar to fluoride in that it competes for the same receptors that are used to capture iodine, displacing iodine from your body.

 

Iodized Salt

 

In the turn of the last century it was recognized iodine was a critical nutrient – but one that was not very plentiful the further one was away from the sea. In the 1920’s, children in the Great Lakes, Appalachian, and Northwestern U.S. regions and in most of Canada (the so-called Goiter-Belt) were especially hit hard, with hypothyroidism and goitera constant problem.

 

Since the amount of iodine in the food they were eating was so low, the thyroid tried to compensate by growing larger. The end result was acute hypothyroidism and the large, bulbous nodule on the throat – a goiter.

 

It was found that by simply adding a miniscule amount of iodine to table salt, goiters could be prevented.

 

Yes, this trace amount of iodine prevented goiter – but the amount was hardly what the body needed – or needs – for optimal health.

 

Iodine and Children

 

Goiter is bad enough, but when a pregnant mother is severely iodine deficient, this can lead to disastrous results for the child. Iodine deficiency is the sole cause of cretinism in infants and young children.  The most common cause of mental retardation on the planet is simply a less severe form of cretinism. This is all the more upsetting as these lifelong handicaps could be prevented with just a few dollars’ worth of iodine supplements.

 

“Iodine” Allergies

 

You may have read or heard some people claim they are allergic to iodine. We come to the conclusion this is all but impossible. If a human became truly allergic to iodine, they would soon die. Every cell in the body requires iodine to function. If the iodine allergy was pre-natal, the unborn baby would remain just that – unborn.

 

Many making this claim base their assertion of an iodine allergy when eating seafood. It’s not the iodine that’s causing an allergic reaction, but any one or more of the thousands of biological components that make up the fish or sea life.

 

Testing for Hypothyroidism

 

Doctors usually will order blood tests (Thyroid Panel) to see the levels of T3, T4 and TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) circulating in your blood. If you have low levels of T4, and higher than normal TSH, that’s usually an indication of hypothyroidism. Your pituitary gland is producing more TSH – trying to stimulate the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone.

 

Many people experience what’s called subclinical hypothyroidism. The symptoms are slight and usually produce no overt, outward signs. Blood tests will show normal levels of both T3 and T4, but elevated levels of TSH.

 

Euthyroid Sick Syndrome – By far the most common presentation in hypothyroidal disorders – this vexing condition happens when a person shows signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism, but the lab results appear normal. Patients go to see their physician, get the tests and are basically told they’re fine – even if they feel lousy. Many doctors will then prescribe anti-depressants, which will do nothing for the underachieving thyroid, and only mask the patient’s symptoms.

 

It is yet not known if Euthyroid Sick Syndrome is an adaptive response that turns down the thyroid because of another undiagnosed problem or illness, or a negative condition in and of itself, which directly causes hypothyroidism.

 

Of course, if you are experiencing several of the classic symptoms of hypothyroidism mentioned above, it’s a strong indication your thyroid isn’t creating enough hormones for optimal health.

 

Treating Hypothyroidism – Non-Prescription Solutions

 

In many cases, hypothyroidism is a case of iodine malnutrition. You are simply not getting enough iodine in your diet. As we noted, the amount of iodine in iodized salt is barely enough to prevent goiter, but insufficient to restore proper function to the thyroid gland.

 

The first line of defense in treating hypothyroidism should then be the least invasive – namely supplementing with iodine. Just by increasing iodine levels, primary hypothyroidism can be alleviated and normal thyroid function restored in almost half of all cases. But please be advised most iodine supplements and multi-vitamins have far too little iodine in them to be effective. In fact, the standard 400 IU in most preparations is 80 – 100 TIMES LESS than what is truly needed.

 

At the end of this review you’ll find our recommendations for high-potency iodine supplements needed for optimal health and combatting hypothyroidism.

 

According to the WHO (World Health Organization) at least 72% 0f the world’s population is currently iodine deficient. Many holistic physicians feel even this figure is far too conservative. (See article here: World Health Organization; Global Prevalence of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, May 1995, and updated information at The International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders.)

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES – completed 1971-1974) shows iodine levels have dropped 50% in the U.S.A. alone. The problem has only worsened over time.

About the only populations on earth that get enough iodine in their diet are the Japanese and Eskimos. (They both eat plenty of fish and/or seaweed.)

The Japanese diet typically consumes a 100-fold amount of iodine than that of Westerners – and Japan has no significant amount of thyroid disease. But as mentioned above, with the advent of Fukushima this can well change as the seaweed and fish being consumed is now becoming radioactive.

 

Treating Hypothyroidism – Prescription Hormone Supplementation

 

The second line of defense in treating hypothyroidism is supplementing with thyroid hormones. Many doctors consider the best hormone treatment is using desiccated thyroid, of which the most well-known brand is Armour, followed by Westhroid, Nature-Throid and many other generic versions. The reason why desiccated thyroid is used is because it most closely resembles the natural human ratios of T4 to T3.

 

However, most doctors are not familiar with desiccated thyroid and will instead, prescribe daily doses of a synthetic thyroid hormoneLevothyroxine (Synthroid).

Levothyroxine (Synthroid) is simply the “backwards” mirror image version of T4 or thyroxine. Since this type of T4 is created in the lab, it can be patented.  It helps, but not as effectively as desiccated thyroid. About one third of those prescribed do not get a decent response.  Plus, when Levothyroxine is combined with other prescription drugs such as beta blockers, the results are severely limited. Additionally, T4 does not have the biological activity that T3 has.

 

Incidentally, many doctors do not prescribe large enough doses of any thyroid hormone, regardless of the brand.  They keep looking at the blood tests and not the patient.

Prescribed thyroid hormones can cause hyperthyroidism symptoms if the dose is too high: rapid resting heart rate, palpitations (PVC’s or extra beats), tremors/tremulousness, nervousness, anxiety or irritability, inability to sleep, hyperactivity or feeling hot.  Physical findings include hyperreflexia (increased deep tendon reflexes or “knee jerk”) and resting heart rate above 80 beats per minute.

The biggest dangers (if the dose is too high) are the cardiac effects, where the heart rate can switch into arrhythmias or beat so fast that chest pain results.  However, it takes WEEKS to get to this point and never happens overnight, even if someone intentionally overdoses.

The easiest way to follow proper dosage or over-dosage is to check the resting heart rate.  Normal is anywhere from 60 to about the mid 70’s. If it crosses into the 80’s, then the dosage should be reduced. If the heart rate reaches over 100, dosages should be suspended for a while.

This is why doctors are afraid to prescribe adequate doses of thyroid hormones. They don’t trust their patients to monitor their own heart rates, and instead simply rely on blood tests for guidance.  Simple education can do this with motivated patients.  It takes about three weeks for the elevated heart rate to become a problem, so there is plenty of time to make dosage corrections.

Iodine administration alone will never result in hyperthyroid effects because the body will only use what it can manage and eliminate the remainder through sweat or urine.
Treating Hypothyroidism – Non-Prescription Hormone Supplementation
There are also non-prescription thyroid hormones. These are dried thyroid/adrenal combinations derived from animal glands.  Raw Thyroid from Natural Sources is one such product, and Biotics Research also has similar formulations. The only downside is that one must take multiple pills to get the full, natural T4 and T3 effect.

Both these companies sell their products through a wide venue of vendors, from Amazon.com to Swansons to eBay – and dozens of other suppliers.

Additionally, if you have the financial resources you can go directly to a compounding pharmacy and have them custom-formulate a T3 T4 blend to you or your physician’s own specifications.

You might even wish to contact a bio-identical trained doctor for advice and guidance with your hypothyroid issues. One such group is Body Logic, but a simple Google inquiry will reveal dozens if not hundreds of alternatives – many specifically in your geographical location. (Note: We do not receive any financial remuneration from any of the companies listed on this site.)

Iodine Supplements – Our Recommendations      

 

There are many iodine supplements on the market, but unfortunately almost all of them are very low dosage, and won’t go far in reversing the effects of hypothyroidism.

 

A handful of supplements however do have a higher concentration of the elemental iodine necessary for a proper functioning thyroid gland.

 

Two of the better ones we’ve run across are Iodoral from Optimox and

IodinePlus2 from a company named Natural Living. Both these formulations cost approximately the same.

 

We do lean more towards IodinePlus2 because of these advantages:

 

  • IodinePlus2 contains the two forms of iodine necessary for good health – Iodine and Potassium Iodide. These two forms of iodine are balanced for optimal biological efficiency – 5 mg of Iodine and 7.5 mg of Potassium Iodide.

 

  • IodinePlus2 contains 15 mcg of Selenium. Selenium is necessary for proper functioning of the enzyme, iodothyronine deiodinase, critical for conversion of T4 into T3 (the active thyroid hormone).
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin – 15 mg) is also part of their exclusive formulation. Vitamin B2 apparently exerts a synergistic effect in conjunction with the iodine in helping the body make proper amounts of active thyroid hormones.

 

Please see www.1-thyroid.com for additional information on this product and company.

 

Summary of Recommendations

 

  • The first line of treatment should be supplementing with quality, high-potency iodine preparations.

 

  • If your symptoms don’t improve, then by all means seek professional help and get your iodine levels and thyroid activity checked and monitored.

 

  • Ask your doctor or health-care professional about the various choices available in prescription medications. In our opinion, it is almost always better to use natural hormonal substances than chemically altered mimics.

 

  • Please remember that Thyroid Panel blood tests will in all likelihood not catch hypothyroidism in its early stages. It can take up to 15 years before the tests catch up with the actual condition. Many physicians simply look at the test results, and automatically dismiss hypothyroidism if the raw numbers fall within a certain range.

 

One thing you must remember about the thyroid – any changes will come about slowly! Even with prescription medications, overnight results should not be expected. It will take at least two weeks, and maybe a month or more, before you start to see and feel demonstrable results.

 

Hypothyroidism can take years or decades to manifest itself. If you are experiencing symptoms of this disorder, give yourself and your body the time and the nutrients it needs to correct and heal itself.

 


Fat-Man-Eats-Burger-And-Drinks-Soda

No one wants to be overweight, but there’s something about belly fat that seems worse than other types. Even the names make us cringe: Muffin topBeer bellySpare tire. Widening at the waistline, however, is not just aesthetically unpleasant; it’s also bad for your health. Studies have shown that the larger your waist measurement, the more likely you are to have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. While eating well, taking supplements and exercising are all excellent ways to slow the expansion of your waistline, there are also some foods that you should completely avoid if losing belly fat is your goal.

Top 5 foods to NOT eat to avoid belly fat

Here’s the ultimate “perp walk” when it comes to belly-busting foods.

  1. Soda – Soda pop is pure liquid calories. A single super-sized drink, the kind you can get from a convenience store, packs as much pure sugar as an entire chocolate cake. Worse still, the sugar in most sodas is in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, an artificial form of sugar that has undergone a chemical process to enhance its level of sweetness. In a study reported by SCIENCE Natural News (1), rats were fed either high-fructose corn syrup or plain sucrose as part of their diet. It was found that the corn syrup-fed rats not only gained more weight but also had a significant increase in abdominal weight gain. Move over beer belly! Soda belly may be taking your place.
  2. White bread – White bread is made from highly processed white flour. Nearly all the vitamins, minerals and fiber found in whole grains have been completely removed. The result is a carbohydrate that is quickly processed by your body, causing your blood sugar and insulin to spike, and then drop. This process, if repeated often enough, can lead to obesity, pancreatic fatigue, type 2 diabetes and increased belly fat.
  3. Alcohol – Alcohol is simply highly refined sugar. And, while some studies show that moderate drinking can be good for your health, the sugar in alcohol is processed by your body in the same way that it processes all refined sugars and, in the process, increases your blood glucose levels. This, just as with refined sugars, can adversely affect your weight, your pancreas and your waistline.
  4. French fries – People think of French fries as starchy, because they’re made with potatoes, and high-calorie, because they’re fried in oil, but when it comes to avoiding belly fat, it’s not the starch or calories that are the problem. The problem is that most of the French fries served by restaurants and fast food outlets are fried in hydrogenated trans fats — chemically altered vegetable oils. Trans fats have long been known for their negative impact on our health, including an increased risk of heart disease. But a 2007 study reported by the National Institutes of Health (2), which measured how monkeys responded to fat in their diets, has conclusively linked trans fats and belly fat. It was found that the monkeys who consumed trans fats — as opposed to healthy, monounsaturated fats like those found in olive oil — not only gained more weight than the animals eating the healthier fats but also gained that weight around their middle sections. The trans fat-fed monkeys even gained weight when they were not consuming too many overall calories! Trans fats, found in many processed foods other than French fries, should always be avoided.
  5. Hamburgers – Because it’s usually made with ground beef and processed cheese, the all-American hamburger is sky high in saturated animal fats. Saturated fats have been linked to heart disease, arthritis, many types of cancer and type 2 diabetes. A diet high in saturated fat not only contributes to weight gain but also contributes specifically to abdominal weight gain. A study published by the American Diabetes Association (3) showed that participants who consumed extra calories in the form of saturated fats gained more weight in the abdominal area than participants who received those extra calories in the form of healthy fats. The take away? Skip the burgers at you next barbeque, and serve skinless chicken breasts or broiled fish and veggies instead.

Woman-Stretch-Beach-Ocean-Fitness-Exercise

The warm weather is here, and if you’re like most people, that means you’re hoping for a not-too-difficult way to shed some pounds and tighten your belly fat. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to get a better-looking belly without the need for costly equipment or heavy weights — and you can do these exercises in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Here’s the skinny:

When you tighten your belly fat, what you’re really doing is tightening your abdominal muscles while shedding the fat that’s on top of them. It’s that fat that’s loose and jiggly, and unless you get rid of excess fat, you’ll never be able to see those tight, toned abs underneath.

Ab exercises offer benefits beyond the way that your belly looks: Getting stronger abs can help reduce back pain and strain and even help reduce fatigue. Plus, shedding belly fat is important for warding off serious health conditions that have been linked with excessive abdominal fat, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. (1) Why is belly fat so bad? The fat that accumulates around your belly is easily broken down and absorbed into the blood, traveling to the liver where it increases the production of triglycerides and so-called “bad” cholesterol, both of which have been implicated in an array of diseases and medical conditions. It also works to upset the balance between blood sugar and insulin, which can result in diabetes and metabolic problems. According to the National Institute on Aging, some studies have even linked excess belly fat to dementia. (2)

So, when it comes to exercises that tighten your belly fat, ideally you want exercises and activities that accomplish two goals — ridding the body of excess belly fat while also toning and tightening the muscles underneath. Here are five ways to do just that:

Rolling crunches 
Unlike the old sit-ups of phys ed class, this exercise doesn’t cause strain on your lower back. Begin by lying flat on the floor with your lower back pressed against the floor for support. With your hands behind your head, begin as though you’re performing a sit-up, rolling your shoulders upward and forward and gently lifting your legs, bending them and rocking them toward your chest. If you can’t lift your head far — or at all — that’s OK; start with just the roll until you build up your strength. Repeat 10 times.

Lunge twist
Combine the power of a forward lunge with the waist-whittling motion of the torso twist: Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent, lunge forward with your right leg and gently rotate your upper body to the right. Move back to starting position and repeat with the left leg, performing 8 to 10 reps on each side.

Squat jump
Stand as in the lunge twist and squat down as though you’re sitting in a chair. Now jump straight up, raising both arms straight over your head. Land in the squat position and repeat 12 times.

Alternate hop
Standing as for the lunge twist, put your hands on your hips. Now step forward using your left leg while raising your right leg up to a 90-degree angle. The effect is as if you’re getting ready to take a giant step with the right leg. Now jump straight up on your left foot, landing with both feet together. Do eight for each leg.

Side leg kicks
Tone the obliques — the side muscles responsible for your love handles — with this exercise: Lie on your right side with your legs together and straight. Prop your upper body on your elbow, placing your lower arm on the floor in front of you to help you balance. Place your left hand lightly on the floor in front of you. Now, keeping your toes flexed, raise your left leg a few inches and slowly swing it forward as far as you can while counting to two, then swing it back as far as you can while counting to two. Return to the start position but keep your left leg raised — don’t rest it in between reps. Repeat six times and then switch legs.

These exercises can help you tone your muscles and burn fat, but to really ramp up your fat loss, add in some cardio. A study from researchers at the University of Virginia revealed that adding intense workouts to more moderate workouts significantly increased the rate at which fat was burned off. (3)

Like any exercise program, start slowly- – especially if you don’t regularly exercise. And, of course, be sure to see your doctor first to make sure that you’re healthy enough to begin a regular exercise program.


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If you’re in the mood for a chewy snack that doubles as a phenomenal health food, look no further than pumpkin seeds.

With a wide variety of nutrients ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc, pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses wrapped up in a very small package. They also contain plant compounds known as phytosterols and free-radical scavenging antioxidants,1 which can give your health an added boost.

Best of all, because pumpkin seeds are highly portable and require no refrigeration, they make an excellent snack to keep with you whenever you’re on the go, or they can be used as a quick anytime snack at home, too.

9 Top Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

1. Heart Healthy Magnesium

One-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium, which participates in a wide range of vitally important physiological functions, including the creation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy molecules of your body), the synthesis of RNA and DNA, the pumping of your heart, proper bone and tooth formation, relaxation of your blood vessels, and proper bowel function.

Magnesium has been shown to benefit your blood pressure and help prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke, yet an estimated 80 percent of Americans are deficient in this important mineral.

2. Zinc for Immune Support

Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc (one ounce contains more than 2 mg of this beneficial mineral). Zinc is important to your body in many ways, including immunity, cell growth and division, sleep, mood, your senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health, insulin regulation, and male sexual function.

Many are deficient in zinc due to mineral-depleted soils, drug effects, plant-based diets, and other diets high in grain. This deficiency is associated with increased colds and flu, chronic fatigue, depression, acne, low birth weight babies, learning problems and poor school performance in children, among others.

3. Plant-Based Omega-3 Fats

Raw nuts and seeds, including pumpkin seeds, are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s (alpha-linolenic acid or ALA). We all need ALA, however, ALA has to be converted by your body into the far more essential omega-3 fats EPA and DHA — by an enzyme in which the vast majority of us have impaired by high insulin levels. So, while pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of ALA, I believe it is essential to get some of your omega-3 fats from animal sources, such as krill oil, as well.

4. Prostate Health

Pumpkin seeds have long been valued as an important natural food for men’s health. This is in part because of their high zinc content, which is important for prostate health (where it is found in the highest concentrations in the body), and also because pumpkin seed extracts and oils may play a role in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate). Research suggests that both pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds2 may be particularly beneficial in supporting prostate health.

pumpkin seeds

5. Anti-Diabetic Effects

Animal studies suggest that pumpkin seeds may help improve insulin regulation and help prevent diabetic complications by decreasing oxidative stress.4

6. Benefits for Postmenopausal Women

Pumpkin seed oil is rich in natural phytoestrogens and studies suggest it may lead to a significant increase in good “HDL” cholesterol along with decreases in blood pressure, hot flashes, headaches, joint pains and other menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women.5

7. Heart and Liver Health

Pumpkin seeds, rich in healthy fats, antioxidants and fibers, may provide benefits for heart and liver health, particularly when mixed with flax seeds.6

8.Tryptophan for Restful Sleep

Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid (protein building block) that your body converts into serotonin, which in turn is converted into melatonin, the “sleep hormone.” Eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed, along with a carbohydrate like a small piece of fruit, may be especially beneficial for providing your body the tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production to help promote a restful night’s sleep.7

9.Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Pumpkin seed oil has been found to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. One animal study even found it worked as well as the anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin in treating arthritis, but without the side effects.8

What’s the Best Way to Consume Pumpkin Seeds?

In order to preserve the healthy fats present in the seeds, pumpkin seeds should be eaten raw. If you choose to purchase seeds from a bulk bin, make sure they smell fresh – not musty, spoiled or stale, which could indicate rancidity or the presence of fungal mycotoxins. Organic pumpkin seeds are preferred, as they will not be contaminated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals.

However, most nuts and seeds have anti-nutrients like phytic acid that can make all the previously discussed important nutrients less bioavailable when you consume them. So if you plan on consuming seeds or nuts on a regular basis, it would be wise to soak or sprout them. To make them more palatable, you can then dehydrate them in your oven, or better yet and more cost effectively in a dehydrator. There are many dehydrators on the market, but Excalibur is generally considered the best. I have used one for over 20 years. They are readily available on Amazon.

If you prefer to eat the seeds roasted, do so yourself so you can control the roasting temperature and time. Raw pumpkin seeds can be roasted on a low heat setting in your oven (no more than 170 degrees F or 75 degrees Celsius), sprinkled with Himalayan or other natural salt, for about 15-20 minutes.

 
 

How-to-Use-Rosemary-for-Treating-Hair-Loss

 

Rosemary essential oil is a natural way to stimulate hair growth and hair health. Follow these simple tips for more lustrous locks.

There can be many reasons why we suffer from hair loss – whether it is thinning hair or more severe loss such as alopecia. It can have a profound effect on some people’s confidence. Generally alopecia is more common in men, but there can be many contributory factors including hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, skin conditions, chronic stress, certain medications and thyroid issues. Of course ageing and genetics also have a role to play.

However the good news is that rosemary essential oil has been used in many cultures to promote a healthy head of hair.
Rosemary oil is distilled from the leaves of the herb rosemary; it has a pleasant minty-balsamic smell. According to “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils,” rosemary oil is“stimulating, a tonic, restorative, antiseptic, carminative, digestive, analgesic, antioxidant, antimicrobial and astringent.”

simply applying as per the suggestions below, the scalp becomes stimulated which increase the blood circulation which improves the health and thickness of hair follicles.

Follow these simple remedies at home for a thicker head of hair.

DAILY SCALP MASSAGE:
Add two drops of rosemary essential oil to one ounce of carrier oil such as jojoba oil or coconut oil. Massage into the scalp for three minutes before rinsing well. If you do this daily it will stimulate the scalp.


Have you ever wondered why Coke comes with a smile? Because it gets you high even though they removed the cocaine years ago.1079904_10153276883275385_390446989_n

 

In the first 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar(or GMO high fructose corn syrup) hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor, allowing you to keep it down.

20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (And there’s plenty of that at this particular moment.)

40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate; your blood pressure rises; as a response, your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked, preventing drowsiness.

45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production, stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.

> 60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium, and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.

> 60 minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium, and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolytes, and water.

> 60 minutes: As the rave inside you dies down, you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now literally pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like hydrating your system, or building strong bones and teeth.


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Here are some foods that help you lose weight. Losing weight can be difficult, but with the right diet and exercise you can easily lose weight naturally.

There are certain foods that KILL belly fat and others that CAUSE belly fat and belly bulge.
Here are 15 that will flatten that bulge: 

1. Avocados: These little suckers are loaded with two nutrients that are KEY to killing belly fat: hunger-crushing fiber 11 to 17 grams per avocado!, and monounsaturated fats, which studies have shown to actually “spot reduce” belly fat. Zowie!

2. Peanut Butter: Okay, not just peanut butter, but mostly any seeds and nuts and these are the best: pistachios, walnuts, almonds (or almond butter, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds. Why? They keep you full and satisfied for long periods of time, and they’re stuffed with healthy, belly-burning fats and minerals.

3. Crisco: KIDDING! Just seeing if you were paying attention. That stuff is deadly. Healthy oils like olive oil, coconut oil and brand names like Udo’s Oil and Barlean’s Oil (I like the swirl flavors) actually help you burn fat by supplying healthy oils your body needs to burn body blubber.

4. These Veggies: I’ve got to thank my buddy Mike Geary for this one. Turns out certain vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, and cabbage contain special phytonutrients, such as indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which help to fight against environmental estrogens that can add belly fat. Mom was right…eat your veggies!

5. Omelets: Eggs aren’t bad, they’re nutrient-dense and loaded with belly-burning protein, vitamins B6, B12, A, D, E, and K, folate, choline, lutein, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, they keep you full for long periods of time. Choose eggs that come from free-range chickens. You’ll get more healthy nutrients.

6. Dark Chocolate: That is not a typo. Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants with nearly eight times the number found in strawberries and it contains stimulants that can have a positive effect on fat burning, including theobromine and caffeine. It also contains a nice dose of oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat. Make sure to choose the 78% or higher cocoa levels for best results.

7. Oatmeal: Packed with fiber and whole-grain goodness, you can’t go wrong. Just be sure to avoid the processed, high-sugar junk out there and stick to slow-cook oats. Add a dash of cinnamon, some walnuts, berries, and a natural sweetener to taste. BAM! Good stuff.

8. Green Tea: Not only does it contain a potent antioxidant, many scientific studies have linked green tea to increased fat burning, including a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that found green tea extract boosted the daytime metabolism of test subjects by 35- 43%.

9. Beans: Black beans, navy beans, refried beans, and lima beans all have 6 or more grams of fiber per ½ cup. Fiber can clean your system of pounds of “toxic waste” and reduce your belly bulge in a big way. See #5 for details.

10. Berries: Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are loaded with fiber, which slows sugar absorption, and they’re packed with vitamins that can fight cravings. Note: cravings can come from vitamin deficiencies.

11. Cinnamon: Researchers have found that cinnamon contains a type of antioxidant that increases insulin sensitivity and effectively helps to stabilize blood sugar. Bottom line…you’ll store less belly fat.

12. Chilli Peppers: Studies have shown that the active ingredient in chili peppers and powder, something called capsaicin, increases calorie-burning, stabilizes blood sugar levels which decreases fat storage, and is a potent antioxidant. Add some of this “spice” to your life.

13. Yogurt: Most regular yogurt is bad for your belly. It’s loaded with belly-bulging sugar that you want to avoid. However, Greek yogurts like Stoneyfield Farms Oikos Greek Yogurt -plain- are loaded with probiotics that fight belly bulge. See #6.

14. Wild Salmon: Hands-down one of the best belly-blasting foods because of its protein and high omega-3 fatty acid content. This is like a “double shotgun approach” to killing belly fat. Many people are deficient in omega-3s and when they add them to their diet the fat can really start coming off.

15. Giant Turkey Legs: You got me. I’m pulling your leg. (Get it?) I’m not just talking about turkey meat (white preferred), but any lean protein source is a good belly-blasting food. This includes wild salmon, free-range chicken, whey protein powders, and most especially grass-fed beef because it contains natural CLA—a fat that studies have actually shown to burn fat. The interesting thing about protein is your body will burn off as much as 30% of its calories after you eat it.


accent

 

MSG is a neurotoxin that is used as a food additive. It is toxic, inflammatory and causes or contributes to many diseases. It must be eliminated from your diet but avoiding it may not be as easy as you think. Here is what you need to know to avoid it and reverse its damaging effects.

MSG Toxicity

I have often worked with patients who are simply unable to overcome their pain syndromes or weight loss problems despite many effective therapies, diets and exercise. This is most often due to toxicity of one form or another. That is why living a non-toxic lifestyle is vital to achieving wellness.

Toxins must be removed from the foods you consume on a daily basis. MSG is the most common and deceptive toxin found in food. By eliminating MSG and other toxins, I have seen so many patients health conditions, including weight loss resistance, resolve completely.

What is MSG

MSG has been around since the early 1900’s as a flavor enhancer. It is derived from a naturally occurring amino acid – glutamate – but there is certainly nothing natural about it. It is a toxic chemical. In the 1940’s, it was added to food rations for soldiers to add flavor and improve the taste of their bland food. I have not had to eat military rations before but I can imagine that are not particularly tasty.

It has the ability to turn crummy tasting food into what is perceived as scrumptious food. After the early successes, it was then expanded to the general food supply. It was added to everything, including baby foods! It has been a common additive to most low-fat and other diet foods.

Not only does MSG enhance flavor but it increases preference for certain foods to an addictive level. This, along with the sheer pervasiveness of MSG, make it very difficult to avoid.

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Symptoms of MSG Poisoning

The general health conscious individual knows that MSG is bad for your health. However, many do not know the extent of the problems it causes. Several scientific studies have rightly suggested that it should be banned as a food additive. Here are just some of the major health concerns.

  • Causes flushing of the face and tingling and numbness in the cheeks, neck and arms.

  • Causes heart palpitations

  • Causes high blood pressure

  • Causes pain down the arms

  • Causes diarrhea

  • Causes severe headaches and migraines

  • Causes severe muscle pains

  • Passess through the placenta, damaging the brain of developing babies

  • Can contribute to hyperactivity in kids (ADHD)

  • Depresses the immune system (literally makes you sick)

  • It is a neurotoxin, causing brain damage

  • Causes nerve damage

  • Causes progression of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, ALS

  • Damages the retinas

  • Can trigger epileptic seizures

  • Cause kidney damage

  • Causes Liver inflammation and dysplasia (a type of hepatitis and abnormal growth)

  • Causes hypothalamic lesions and leptin resistance which

  • Leads to central obesity and type 2 diabetes

Many of the studies on MSG’s damaging effects were done with animals. However, the studies have shown that the amounts that people normally consume are enough to cause these problems in people as well.

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The Problem of Deceptive Labeling

You may think that all you need to do is read labels. If they list MSG or monosodium glutamate, then you avoid them. I wish it were that simple.

MSG is actually hidden on most labels by other names that the less savvy shopper will not recognize. It is often added to so-called “Natural” health foods. Here are 25 names used by food manufacturers to hide MSG and deceive you.

  • autolyzed yeast

  • calcium caseinate

  • caramelized yeast

  • carrageenan

  • E621 (E620-625 are all glutamates)

  • gelatin

  • glutacyl

  • glutamate

  • glutamic acid

  • glutavene

  • hydrolyzed corn gluten

  • hydrolyzed protein

  • hydrolyzed soy protein

  • monopotassium glutamate

  • monosodium glutamate

  • natural flavors

  • plant protein extract

  • protein concentrate

  • sodium caseinate

  • sodium glutamate

  • soy isolate

  • textured protein

  • vegetable extract

  • yeast extract

  • yeast food

These terms are either other words for MSG or other food additives that contain MSG. You must look for these and avoid them.

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Reversing MSG Poisoning

  1. Eliminate all sources of MSG. Read all labels on packaged food. This is made easy by simply eliminating all processed and packaged food from your diet.

  2. Eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet. They cause and progress hormonal imbalances, especially with leptin, insulin, and human growth hormone.

  3. Use Vitamin C and Ginger root extract. They have been shown to have protective effects against the MSG neurotoxic effect.

  4. Transition to an anti-inflammatory diet to reverse the negative hormonal effects and balance your hormones nutritionally.

  5. Use high intensity, short duration workouts to balance your hormones through exercise.

 

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The truth is that many common food items have been scientifically shown to increase cancer risk, and some of them substantially. Here are 10 of the most unhealthy, cancer-causing foods that you should never eat again:

1) Genetically-modified organisms (GMOs)

It goes without saying that GMOs have no legitimate place in any cancer-free diet, especially now that both GMOs and the chemicals used to grow them have been shown to cause rapid tumor growth. But GMOs are everywhere, including in most food derivatives made from conventional corn, soybeans, and canola. However, you can avoid them by sticking with certified organic, certified non-GMO verified, and locally-grown foods that are produced naturally without biotechnology.

2) Processed meats

Most processed meat products, including lunch meats, bacon, sausage, and hot dogs, contain chemical preservatives that make them appear fresh and appealing, but that can also cause cancer. Both sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate have been linked to significantly increasing the risk of colon and other forms of cancer, so be sure to choose only uncured meat products made without nitrates, and preferably from grass-fed sources.

3) Microwave popcorn

They might be convenient, but those bags of microwave popcorn are lined with chemicals that are linked to causing not only infertility but also liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes the perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in microwave popcorn bag linings as “likely” carcinogenic, and several independent studies have linked the chemical to causing tumors. Similarly, the diacetyl chemical used in the popcorn itself is linked to causing both lung damage and cancer.

4) Soda pop

Like processed meats, soda pop has been shown to cause cancer as well. Loaded with sugar, food chemicals, and colorings, soda pop acidifies the body and literally feeds cancer cells. Common soda pop chemicals like caramel color and its derivative 4-methylimidazole (4-MI) have also specifically been linked to causing cancer.

5) ‘Diet’ foods, beverages

Even worse than conventional sugar-sweetened soda pop, though, is “diet” soda pop and various other diet beverages and foods. A recent scientific review issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) of more than 20 separate research studies found that aspartame, one of the most common artificial sweeteners, causes a range of illnesses including birth defects and cancer. Sucralose (Splenda), saccharin and various other artificial sweeteners have also been linked to causing cancer.

6) Refined ‘white’ flours

Refined flour is a common ingredient in processed foods, but its excess carbohydrate content is a serious cause for concern. A study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Mile Markers, and Prevention found that regular consumption of refined carbohydrates was linked to a 220 percent increase in breast cancer among women. High-glycemic foods in general have also been shown to rapidly raise blood sugar levels in the body, which directly feeds cancer cell growth and spread.

7) Refined sugars

The same goes for refined sugars, which tend to rapidly spike insulin levels and feed the growth of cancer cells. Fructose-rich sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are particularly offensive, as cancer cells have been shown to quickly and easily metabolize them in order to proliferate. And since cookies, cakes, pies, sodas, juices, sauces, cereals, and many other popular, mostly processed, food items are loaded with HFCS and other refined sugars, this helps explain why cancer rates are on the rise these days.

8) Conventional apples, grapes, and other ‘dirty’ fruits

Many people think they are eating healthy when they buy apples, grapes, or strawberries from the store. But unless these fruits are organic or verified to be pesticide-free, they could be a major cancer risk. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that up to 98 percent of all conventional produce, and particularly the type found on its “dirty” fruits list, is contaminated with cancer-causing pesticides.

9) Farmed salmon

Farmed salmon is another high-risk cancer food, according to Dr. David Carpenter, Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany. According to his assessment, farmed salmon not only lacks vitamin D, but it is often contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), flame retardants, pesticides, and antibiotics.

10) Hydrogenated oils

They are commonly used to preserve processed foods and keep them shelf-stable. But hydrogenated oils alter the structure and flexibility of cell membranes throughout the body, which can lead to a host of debilitating diseases such as cancer. Some manufacturers are phasing out the use of hydrogenated oils and replacing them with palm oil and other safer alternatives, but trans fats are still widely used in processed foods.

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