The toxins you didn’t even know you were consuming
Thu, 30 June 2016 8:00AM
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Toxins in tea bags
Most traditional tea bags and silk pyramid infusers are unfortunately made from materials such as bleached paper (containing dioxin), petrochemical based nylon, PVC, rayon, polypropolene and thermoplastic, which can leach potentially harmful chemicals into your healthy brew. This is a real concern for daily tea drinkers using traditional tea bags, who think they are doing something good for their health. Choosing to drink loose leaf tea, or tea packed in natural biodegradable pyramid infusers, is the best way to avoid any unexpected nasties ending up in your cuppa.
Fish is a nutritious addition to the diet, rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for heart, brain and immune function. Some types of fish however should be limited as they contain higher levels of methylmercury. These are usually larger, longer living species that are at the top of the food chain such as swordfish, shark (flake), and marlin. Methlymercury is a neurotoxin that can cause damage to the central nervous system and brain, as well as the heart and immune system. Fish that contain lower levels of mercury that can be consumed safely up to 3 times a week include salmon, trout, mackerel and sardines. Mercury levels in tuna can vary greatly. Levels can be higher in larger species such as blue fin and albacore.
Bisphenol A (BPA) belongs to a group of chemicals called ‘xenoestrogens’, which are found plastic water and food containers, baby bottles, and coating inside metal cans. Trace amounts of BPA can leach from these containers into foods and drink. Xenoestrogens act like oestrogen in the body, interfering with normal hormonal signaling. We should take measures to avoid these ‘hormone-mimicking’ chemicals as they may increase the risk of breast, prostate, and reproductive cancers; reduce fertility and immune function; cause early puberty in children; menstrual irregularities and other disorders. The best way to reduce your contact with xenoestrogens is to buy and store foods and beverages in glass or stainless steel containers. Do not to heat food in a plastic containers or plastic cling wrap.
Processed deli meats
Processed meats such as ham, bacon, devon and salami contain a preservative called sodium nitrite (or nitrate), which is widely used to preserve deli meats to prevent botulism, and enhance their flavour and colour. Sodium nitrite is a precursor to a potent cancer-causing chemical called ‘nitrosamines’. Regularly consuming processed meats containing sodium nitrite can increase your risk of certain type of cancers. Look out for ‘nitrate-free’ meat products from selected natural grocers and butchers or even better use leftover roast meats and poultry for lunches.
One single pack of microwaved popcorn not only contains twice as much fat as a Mars Bar, but also contains dangerous compounds that can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have found a dangerous chemical compound called diacetyl (DA), which is an artificial butter flavouring used in some processed food products like microwaved popcorn, to give the appearance and taste of butter. It can easily cross the blood-brain barrier and disrupt normal brain functioning, which can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The bags also contain chemicals that produce carcinogenic substances when heated.
Tip: Popcorn can be a great quick and healthy snack, just air-pop some organic popcorn in a brown paper bag or glass dish with a lid.
Watch out for ‘diet, ‘low sugar’ or ‘sugar-free’ yoghurts as they contain potentially health-damaging artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame (E951), which have been shown to worsen insulin sensitivity, promote weight gain, and increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease. Don’t take a chance with your health and instead go for natural yoghurts and naturally sweeten them yourself with some fresh fruit, sliced dates, cinnamon, or a little raw honey.
Shelf stable baked goods eg. cakes, muffins, donuts, and creamy biscuits
Cakes, muffins, donuts and other baked goods sitting on supermarket shelves are not only ladened with sugar, which sends blood sugar levels soaring, and artificial additives and preservatives, but are also packed with trans-fats. These harmful fats increases your ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and lowers your ‘good’ HDL levels, and clog arteries and can increase your risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. A very good reason to start baking at home. Avoid processed foods that contain vegetable oils, or hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, as they will contain trans-fats.
Lisa Guy is a popular Sydney based naturopath who has been practicing for over 15 years.
Lisa has recently created her own organic wellness tea range which contains a variety of beautiful, unique tea blends that help promote good health and wellbeing. You can see the Bodhi Organic Tea range here: www.bodhiorganictea.com
Posted by: Guest Blog