9 Foods to Never Let into Your Mouth
Historically deceptive marketing has brainwashed generations of consumers into believing that almost anything can be healthy “in moderation”. This blind faith has allowed thousands of questionable products right into our homes, our lifestyles, and daily diets. Today we’ll remove the blinders and see clearly 9 foods that should NEVER make their way into your shopping cart, much less into your mouth!

1. Canned soups

alt text You’ve probably seen claims of BPA FREE on things like water bottles or even household products like flooring tiles, but did you know that many canned foods use BPA as the interior lining to prevent corrosion and breakage?

A study in the journal Environmental Research suggests that the highest concentrations of BPA can be found in canned soups in particular. The primary concern surrounding BPA consumption is that it leads to disruption of hormone functioning, reproductive abnormalities, neurological effects, heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, along with heart disease, diabetes, and more.

Your best bet is to choose fresh unpackaged foods whenever possible. But, If you aren’t ready to give up on canned food altogether, opt for one of the brands below that use no BPA in their packaging.

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2. Processed meats

alt text Processed meats are those typically found at the deli counter. They include things like pepperoni, ham, turkey, and roast beef and are generally sourced from animals bred, fed, and slaughtered in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). They are pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics to yield extra large and disease resistant animals that can survive the unsanitary and unhealthy conditions of the factory farms where they are produced. All of these toxins become a part of the meat that is then further modified with sodium nitrate (an antimicrobial and preservative), and other artificial flavors and colors. In our own bodies, nitrates are converted into harsh chemicals known to cause cancer. Furthermore, when these processed meats are cooked, even more, cancer-causing chemicals are created. These chemicals can even be introduced from the pasteurization and sterilization heating process.
Essentially, processed meats should be avoided entirely. A 2011 study commissioned by The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) confirms these statements and concludes that NO amount of these foods is safe. Your best alternative when looking for meat is to choose fresh organically-raised grass-fed meats that you prepare yourself.

3. Margarine

alt text Perhaps the greatest ruse in recent history has been the low-fat diet push to get people to lose weight. One of the first things to fall by the wayside was good-old butter. Into its place stepped a smooth and spreadable imposter with more than a few harmful hidden secrets. Margarine looked the part, almost, but should never have been allowed to be called food. It is formed by hydrogenating liquid oils into solid fats. Trans-fats. Man-made trans-fats are harmful in any amount. They have been linked to heart disease, cancer, hormonal imbalance, skin disease, infertility, low birth-weight and even learning disabilities in children. Along with trans-fats are the free radicals that are formed during the high-temperature heating required for industrial processing. They work in tandem with trans-fats causing illness and disease. Additional stabilizers and additives further increase the toxic effect of margarine in the diet.
Natural butter made from grass-fed cow’s milk is full of the healthy fats that not only fight cancer and diabetes but may help those struggling with weight to shed those unwanted pounds.

4. Vegetable oils

alt text Of all the misunderstood foods out there, heated vegetable oils may be the ones most damaging due to their rate of consumption. These highly processed oils throw off the balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in our bodies. When used for cooking, these oils become destabilized and convert good cholesterol into bad cholesterol-through oxidation. Consuming such oils have been linked to vascular disease and breast cancer.
Of all oils, coconut oil is the most stable and therefore least susceptible to heat damage. Furthermore, coconut oil actually serves to support your heart, brain, skin, immune system, and thyroid.

5. Microwave popcorn

alt text A long list of “gender-bending” chemicals have been making headlines in recent years for their ability to wreak havoc on your endocrine system and affect your sex hormones. And sure enough, some of those chemicals, perfluoroalkyls including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) are what line the inside of popcorn bags to keep the grease from leaking out. When heated during popping these chemicals leach right out into those absorbent little popcorn puffs.
Once ingested PFOA and PFOS cause such dangers as infertility, thyroid disease, cancer, suppression of the immune system, and increased LDL cholesterol levels. So, avoid any product that uses these toxins like grease-proof packaging from fast food restaurants and even non-stick cookware.

6. Pesticide contaminated produce

alt text Your best bet is always to source local and organic fruits, vegetables, greens, legumes, and meats, but when you can’t, do your best to avoid produce that absorbs the most pesticides. These 15 are the worst culprits when it comes to toxic loads of pesticides:

Apples Celery Cherry tomatoes
Cucumbers Grapes Hot peppers
Nectarines (imported) Peaches Potatoes
Spinach Strawberries Sweet bell peppers
Kale Collard greens Summer squash

And these are the safest when found as non-genetically modified:

Asparagus Avocado Cabbage
Cantaloupe Sweet corn (non-GMO) Eggplant
Grapefruit Kiwifruit Mango
Mushrooms Onions Papayas (non-GMO. Most Hawaiian papaya is GMO)
Pineapple Sweet peas (frozen) Sweet potatoes

7. Table salt

alt text Did you know that salt is an essential element used for many normal regulating processes in the body? It’s true! But, not all salt is equal. Some salts are beneficial while others are harmful.

Case in point:

  • Processed salt is primarily comprised of sodium chloride, remaining elements are actually dangerous man-made chemicals like moisture absorbents ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate, plus iodine.
  • Natural salt is about 84 percent sodium chloride. The remainder consists of other naturally occurring trace minerals, like silicon, phosphorus, and vanadium. Fortunately, there are easily available alternatives that not only suffice but support the healthy functioning of your body. In particular is Himalayan salt which contains 85 percent sodium chloride along with 84 trace minerals.

8. Unfermented soy products

alt text It came as a crushing blow when I first discovered that the media hype I had fallen for about soy was just a bunch of malarkey. In fact, up to 95% of the soybeans grown for consumption in the US are Genetically Engineered to withstand lethal doses of herbicide. The active ingredient glyphosate in herbicides disrupts the delicate hormonal balance of the female reproductive system, causes birth defects, and induces autism. The real kicker is that soy protein may be hiding in many of the products you may think are safe. Check ingredient lists for words like “bouillon,” “natural flavor” and “textured plant protein.” And just like most of the other nasty no-no foods on our list, unfermented soy has also been linked to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility—even cancer and heart disease The only safe soy ever is properly fermented organic soy.

9. Artificial sweeteners

alt text Last but not least, one of the sneakiest ingredients of all, it’s what has millions wondering why their diet soda just gets them fatter, saccharin and aspartame. These actually serve to stimulate your appetite, increase carbohydrate cravings, and stimulate fat storage and weight gain! Synthetically modified elements, in aspartame, in particular, get into body tissues where they are chemically transformed into formaldehyde, which wreaks havoc on sensitive proteins and DNA. Safe alternatives are those made from extracts of the stevia plant or such products as Swerve.

Healthy Food Checklist

Whatever food you are seeking, look for these markers to determine the quality and healthfulness of anything you choose. Farmer’s markets and local food co-ops are usually a safe bet for finding products you can count on. For a complete list and access to healthy and smart food choices, check out this sustainable agriculture site.

  • Grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers
  • Non genetically-engineered
  • Contain no antibiotics or growth hormones
  • Includes nothing artificial
  • Is fresh
  • Grown in a natural environment with the natural tendencies accounted for
  • Grown sustainably
By Francesca Dote