Benefits of seasonal eating
Years ago, food was either bought or harvested at it’s peak, and consumed while it was still fresh. People ate seasonally, and as a result, their diets were likely far more nutritious. It is an understatement to say that times have changed and that this way of eating is lost on most people. But as the dialogue in culture changes, and as we realize how important the role diet plays in health is, many folks are trying to resume this type of diet. The idea is that the fewer steps between food being harvested and consumed, the healthier and more nutritious your food is likely to be.
There are many reasons why a diet rich in processed foods probably isn’t the most conducive diet to health. Added sugar, fat and salts abound, even in unsuspecting places. But these aren’t the only culprits in processed foods; there are a number of other food additives that advocates for health suggest avoiding. Despite some research suggesting that many of these products might be detrimental to health, they still lurk in the products our industrial food chain consistently pumps out, and while our FDA does a good job at protecting our food supply from things that may potentially harm us, lobbying from the food industry has made it difficult to legislate against the usage of some additives in our food supply.
If you are on the Phase One Diet, you are likely already avoiding most of these products; the Phase One Diet encourages lean, clean, organic meats, vegetables, some fruits, nuts, seeds and some specific dairy products, such as butter and plain, organic yogurt. The Phase One’s goal is to starve pathogenic fungi in the body, and avoid foods that might be contaminated with fungal poisons, known as mycotoxins. The foods containing mycotoxins may be more common than many people assume, and they include wheat, corn, peanuts and pistachios, or foods containing those ingredients. While the Phase One Diet’s specific goal isn’t to avoid food additives, it is amazing the secondary benefits that the diet affords adherents.
Regardless, living in the modern world, it is difficult to avoid all forms of processed foods and, subsequently, food additives. In the event that you buy something “processed”, here is a short list of food additives to avoid the best you can. This isn’t a comprehensive list of food additives to avoid, but it is a good place to start.
Additives to keep an eye out for….
Monosodium Glutamate, or MSG, is an excitotoxin––it can excite the endings of nerves to the point of death. Most people associate it with Chinese takeout, but it is a flavoring agent found in many common snacks and processed foods.
The only Phase One-approved sweeteners are stevia and xylitol. Other artificial sweeteners have been linked to health problems, such as headaches and even cancer.
Artificial Colors and Dyes
Food coloring agents are fairly ubiquitous in packaged junk food, but they lurk in other places you might not expect to find them. Some food coloring agents have been suggested to cause or exacerbate ADD and ADHD in kids. Some are banned in other countries. Regardless, they’re unnecessary and worth avoiding if you can.
Found in cured meat products, sodium nitrite has been linked to gastric cancers. Be particularly careful about bacon on Phase One.
This has been shown to affect hyperactivity in kids and can form the cancer-causing agent benzene in the presence of vitamin C.