A recent study estimates that highly processed foods make up nearly 60% of the American diet.
Sugar is a huge one. It is inflammatory and reduces your immune system.
Humans love the taste of sugar, we are drawn to it. Very much like the photo says: Happiness is a piece of cake. But just what does that added sugar do to our bodies?
When you add sugar to anything, it becomes a toxin for the body. And added sugar present in most processed foods.
Added sugar is also present in items that you may not think of as sweetened, like soups, bread, cured meats, and ketchup; your everyday sauces like ketchup and bbq sauce.
Facts to Know: The FDA requires that new labels declare the amount of and percent Daily Value for Added Sugars
So how much added sugar (sugar that food manufacturers add to products to increase flavor or extend shelf life), can you actually have without damaging your diet?
Women, no more than 25 grams of sugar/100 calories in total/ 5 tsps per day.
Men – 24 teaspoons of added sugar per day.
Challenge: Check your labels and tally the amount of sugar you consume in a day. Women should be
Polyphenols (what plants use to deal with their environmental challenges, and is found in all spices.
Olives contain a lot of polyphenols, which have potent antioxidant activities.
Dr. Shavon shares that cooking with olive oil is not a great idea, as it rids of the polyphenols in the heating process.
Cooking with fresh herbs gives you a lot of antioxidants in your food.
Too Much Oil
The kinds of oils you consume matter, how they are processed matter, and what you do with those oils matter. If you never cook it, it retains all the good nutrients.
Recommendation – Clarifying butter
5 Food Additives to Avoid (via the Cleveland Clinic)
- Sodium nitrites. These additives help stabilize, color, and flavor meat, and prevent harmful bacterial growth. But when meat is heated at high temperatures or combined with stomach acid, sodium nitrite produces nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are linked to an increased risk of pancreatic and colorectal cancer.
- Sulfites. Sulfites are a preservative many people are sensitive to that can severely aggravate asthma. Their use on fresh fruits and vegetables is banned in the United States, but sulfites are present in other foods. (Avoid products listing sulfur dioxide, potassium bisulfite, sodium bisulfite or sodium sulfite on the label.)
- Trans Fats. The FDA has banned trans fats in food because they increase the risk of heart disease. Manufacturers use these partially hydrogenated oils to improve the shelf life and consistency of cookies, crackers and other packaged foods.
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG). This enhances flavor and texture in Asian foods, in soups and in other processed foods. People sensitive to MSG can experience nausea, breathing problems and other reactions. MSG adds extra sodium that can also elevate blood pressure. (MSG occurs in some foods naturally; any added by a manufacturer is labeled monosodium glutamate).
- FD&C yellow no. 5 and no. 6. These artificial coloring agents, used in candy and cereal, can cause severe allergic reactions in those with asthma. Some research also suggests a link with hyperactivity in children, but this has not been proven.
This week, we sat in on a webinar with Dr. Shavon Jackson. She touched on a few things we need to be aware of:
- Food Imbalances
- How food is processed
- Why we get Food Allergies
- Growing conditions and where our food comes from
Also take some pointers from this article: Black Women, You Can Take Your Power Back If You Eat a Plant-Based Diet to get a handle on your food intake.
Listen to Dr. Shavon share below.
The Quarantine Kitchen Cookbook – 12 Holistic Health Professionals strive to keep their families healthy amid a global pandemic. In this book, they share some of their simple and delicious recipes (30 to be exact). They also share some of their tips, tricks, and strategies to keep their families safe and healthy during this time of upheaval and uncertainty.