The U.S. Food and Drug Administration was established to protect Americans from foods that are bad for them and encourage them to eat foods that are good for them.
While we don’t like the government sticking its nose in our business regarding what we should or shouldn’t eat, I want to be fair and admit that the agency has helped keep some Americans safe and has produced food guidelines that are fairly close to where they should be.
However (you knew a “however” was coming soon, didn’t you?), these administrators are far from perfect. Because the FDA is in bed with corporate agriculture, they’re going to say whatever keeps the money flowing, often at the expense of the health of American citizens.
For example, they’ll sometimes tell us that because a substance does not contain an abundance of a harmful chemical that it’s OK to consume. The truth is, often it’s not.
Fortunately, many of us know better, and we’re aware of a number of food ingredients that are better when they’re kept out of our stomachs. Some of these items are not only bad for us, they are practically poison. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
- Hydrogenated Oils. Great for increasing the shelf life of foods such as cookies, crackers, bread and salad dressings, this item creates trans fats when produced. Consumption increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. The FDA is in the process of eliminating these oils, but is still allowing something just as harmful – polyunsaturated, non-hydrogenated soybean oil.
- Sodium Nitrate. Processed meats including ham, bacon, hot dogs, corned beef and others are loaded with this stuff. Some believe that eating processed meats increases the risk of pancreatic cancer, thanks to sodium nitrate. Stick with unprocessed meats, although some bacon here and there won’t hurt you.
- MSG. Monosodium Glutamate excessively stimulates our cells, sometimes to the point of serious damage or even death. Included are brain cells, which is pretty scary. That’s why MSG has been linked to learning disabilities, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Fortunately, food manufacturers are required to list MSG on labels, so check it out before you buy.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup. Who doesn’t like jams, jellies, ketchup, ice cream and salad dressings? But many forms of them contain this substance, so watch labels carefully.
- Aspartame. This artificial sweetener – known as the brand names NutraSweet and Equal – seems to affect humans the same way MSG does, and it’s been linked to nerve damage. The best way to deal with this item is to avoid it altogether.