Friday, August 31, 2012

Quick-Sautéed Bok Choy and Kale

1 1/2 pounds kale, remove stems and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 pounds baby bok choy, coarsely chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Balsamic reduction (garnish)
Sea salt and black pepper

Add olive oil to a large skillet on high heat. When hot, toss onion and garlic to soften (about 3 minutes). Add the rest of the ingredients, stirring until wilted (about 3 minutes). Season with sea salt and black pepper. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic reduction over the top. Serve warm.

Food Processing – Why Do We Need It? - August 20th, 2012
The term “processed food” has gotten a bad rap in the last few years. We are told to buy unprocessed foods because they contain less chemicals, because they are natural and healthy for us. At worst a food product should be minimally processed.

But what exactly is processed food? And is a processed food bad for you by default?

What you need to know:

Food processing is a set of methods and techniques used to transform raw food ingredients into consumable food. Food processing can be as simple as cutting up some vegetables to prepare a salad, or as complex as manufacturing a Twinkie in multiple processing facility.

From the early days of food processing, the primary goal was to extend the life of a foodstuff, by acting as a preservative. This helped balance humans’ need to eat daily with nature’s trend to provide crops only during certain times of the year. To this day, extending shelf life is one of the most important reasons food manufacturers add so many weird sounding ingredients to products.

One of the first forms of food processing, dating back to BC, was the salting of meats as a means of preservation. Sugar was introduced much later as a preservative for fruit, and thus the jam was born. Keeping food cold, either underground, or by using ice, was an effective, if primitive method of preservation until the ascent of ice boxes and recently electrical refrigeration.

In the early 19th century, a new technology was introduced to vacuum bottles of food for French troops. It would lead to the use of tin cans a decade later and thus the canning industry was born.

Pasteurization, another French invention from the mid 19th century, greatly improved the safety of milk and milk products, as well as increasing their shelf life. (We won’t get into the raw milk debate in this post).

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chocolate PB&J Cups

This recipe was inspired by Sweet Box Treats
2 cups bitter sweet dark chocolate chips (60%)
2 cups milk chocolate
Crunchy salted peanut butter
Raspberry preserves

Line a 24-cup mini muffin pan with paper liners. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of hot water that's on a low heat, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. When the chocolate is melted, cover the bottom of each paper liner with about a tablespoon of chocolate. Follow this with a teaspoon each of peanut butter and preserves. Finally, fill the top with chocolate (about 3/4 full) and refrigerate to set (about 2 hours).

Keep refrigerated in a airtight container.

BPA Lurks in Canned Soups and Drinks - August 29th, 2012
A new study by Harvard researchers may provide another reason to skip the canned pumpkin and cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving. People who ate one serving of canned food daily over the course of five days, the study found, had significantly elevated levels — more than a tenfold increase — of bisphenol-A, or BPA, a substance that lines most food and drink cans.

Most of the research on BPA, a so-called endocrine disruptor that can mimic the body’s hormones, has focused on its use in plastic bottles. It has been linked in some studies to a higher risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity, and health officials in the United States have come under increasing pressure to regulate it. Some researchers, though, counter that its reputation as a health threat to people is exaggerated.

The new study, which was published Tuesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association, is the first to measure the amounts that are ingested when people eat food that comes directly out of a can, in this case soup. The spike in BPA levels that the researchers recorded is one of the highest seen in any study.

“We cannot say from our research what the consequences are,” said Karin Michels, an associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard Medical School and an author of the study. “But the very high levels that we found are very surprising. We would have never expected a thousand-percent increase in their levels of BPA.”

As part of the study, Dr. Michels and her colleagues recruited a group of 75 staff members and students at the Harvard School of Public Health, split them into two groups, and then followed them for two weeks. During the first week, one group ate a 12-ounce serving of vegetarian soup from a common brand of canned soup every day for five days; the other group, meanwhile, ate 12 ounces of vegetarian soup made from fresh ingredients each day. Then, after a two-day soup-free “wash out” period, the groups switched roles and were followed for five more days. At the end of each five-day period, the subjects provided urine samples.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Three-Bean Mash

1 cup cooked black beans
1 cup cooked kidney beans
1 cup cooked red beans
Warm vegetable broth
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small green chili pepper
Handful fresh parsley or cilantro
Sea salt and black pepper

Add beans, onions, garlic, chili pepper, and parsley or cilantro to a blender. With the motor running, drizzle in extra virgin olive oil followed by vegetable broth until you've reached the consistency you desire. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Serve warm as a side dish or as a dip.

Cereal Bars: Nutrition Information Isn't What It Seems - August 22nd, 2012
Which?, the U.K. consumer advocacy organization, just released a report in which they explored the healthfulness of cereal bars. You know the ones -- meal and snack bars from popular cereal brands that are meant to be healthy, and often include whole grains, nuts and dried fruit.

But as the research team found, many of these bars were full of sugar, fat and calories. In fact, one bar -- the Nutri-grain Elevenses Raisin Bake -- had 18 grams of sugar, which is almost four teaspoons, or about the same as a small can of Coca-Cola.

"People often choose cereal bars in the belief they're healthier than chocolate or biscuits, but our research shows this can be a myth," Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said in a statement.

The researchers looked at 30 different best-selling bars, choosing ones that were meant to appear healthiest. They found surprisingly that 16 of those bars had at least 30 percent sugar and had calorie counts akin to cookies. Perhaps most shocking, a third of the bars were high in saturated fat.

Though the study was based in the U.K. market, there are several lessons that apply to American bars too. So what should you be aware of? 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Grass Fed Beef Brisket Roast

I 4 lb lean grass fed beef brisket
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon fresh garlic garlic
1 tablespoon fresh minced red onion
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
3 tablespoons extra olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin

Preheat oven to 300 F

Combine all the ingredients except brisket. Add beef brisket, making sure to coat the beef generously.  Leave to sit in room temperature for 1 hour. Put meat on a rack in a roasting pan and cover the top of the beef loosely with foil. Roast for 7 hours. Turn heat off and leave to sit in the oven until serving time.

Calories: What You Really Need To Know - August 27th, 2012
Odds are you sometimes think about calories. They are among the most often counted things in the universe. When the calorie was originally conceived it was in the context of human work. More calories meant more capacity for work, more chemical fire with which to get the job done, coal in the human stove. Fat, it has been estimated, has nine calories per gram, whereas carbohydrates and proteins have just four; fiber is sometimes counted separately and gets awarded a piddling two. Every box of every food you have ever bought is labeled based on these estimates; too bad then that they are so often wrong.

A Food is Not a Food—Estimates of the number of calories in different kinds of foods measure the average number of calories we could get from those foods based only on the proportions of fat, carbohydrates, protein and sometimes fiber they contain (In essence, calories ingested minus calories egested). A variety of standard systems exist, all of which derive from the original developed by Wilbur Atwater more than a hundred years ago. They are all systems of averages. No food is average.

Differences exist even within a given kind of food. Take, for example, cooked vegetables. Cell walls in some plants are tougher to break down than those in others; nature, of course, varies in everything. If the plant material we eat has more of its cell walls broken down we get more calories from it. In some plants, cooking ruptures most cell walls; in others, such as cassava, cell walls hold strong and hoard their precious calories in such a way that many of them pass through our bodies intact.

It is not just cooked vegetables though. Nuts flagrantly do their own thing, which might be expected given that nuts are really seeds whose mothers are invested in having them escape digestion. Peanuts, pistachios and almonds all seem to be less completely digested than their levels of protein, fat, carbohydrates and fiber would suggest. How much? Just this month, a new study by Janet Novotny and colleagues at the USDA found that when the “average” person eats almonds she receives just 128 calories per serving rather than the 170 calories “on the label.”

It is not totally clear why nuts such as almonds or pistachios yield fewer calories than they “should.” Tough cell walls? Maybe. But there are other options too, if not for the nuts themselves then for other foods.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Gluten Free Avocado Pesto Pasta Salad

1 packet rice penne pasta 
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half 
1 large ripe avocado, peel and dice 
1/2 small red onion, chopped 
1 large lemon, juiced 
1/4 cup sliced almonds 
4 tablespoons fresh pesto 
Sea salt and black pepper

Cook pasta according to the instructions on the packet.

Drain the pasta and add to the rest of the ingredients. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Mix well to combine and serve at room temperature.

Beans: The Undervalued Superfood - August 20th, 2012
We've all heard the expression "shop the perimeter of the store." But if you skip the middle, you're missing out on a wealth of wholesome, delicious food choices. Your supermarket shelves are filled with hidden treasures that you shouldn't pass up. Like beans, one of the most neglected and under-valued items.

Beans provide myriad health benefits, and they fit into several different food groups: Although they are rich in complex carbs like breads and starches, as a plant-based food, they feel right at home in the vegetable group, offering an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, like their veggie companions. They can also hold their own in the protein group, supplying protein aplenty. Unlike some other members of this group, beans provide little to no fat and are cholesterol-free. In fact, beans actually lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels instead of potentially causing them to increase, as some animal proteins have been shown to do.

Though they've been around for centuries, beans are a modern-day superfood. Why? Let's count the ways.

Beans are "heart healthy" because they contain an abundance of soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.If you prefer canned beans, you can ditch up to 40 percent of the sodium by rinsing them in water.

They Are Heart-Helpers

Beans are "heart healthy" because they contain an abundance of soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If you prefer canned beans, you can ditch up to 40 percent of the sodium by rinsing them in water.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lemon Glazed Cinnamon Rolls (gluten-free)

1 16 oz bag Bob's Red Mill Pizza Crust Whole Grain Mix
2/3 cups room temperature milk
1 large egg, room temperature
3 egg whites (only the whites!)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 F

Empty the bag into a mixer. You will find a small packet of yeast inside.  Open and add to the mixer. Combine all the wet ingredients in a separate container and add to the mixer on medium speed. Use regular beaters not a dough hook and beat for 5 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides as necessary.

1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon


Turn dough onto a parchment paper-lined flat working surface. Place another piece of parchment paper on top, covering the dough to prevent sticking. Roll out to a square (about 1/2 inch thickness) and spread the cinnamon mixture over the top.

Roll up tightly like a Swiss roll folding back the parchment paper as you roll.  When you get to the end, remove parchment paper. You will need to wet a knife with hot water and cut 8 even rolls, dipping the knife in hot water after each cut. Place rolls on a prepared 12" by 12" round tart pan and brush the top generously with melted butter.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until rolls are baked and golden brown.

1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/4 softened cream cheese
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Whisk until smooth and creamy. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

8 Ingredients You Never Want to See on Your Nutrition Label - August 23rd, 2012
The year was 1950, and The Magic 8-Ball had just arrived in stores. It looked like a toy, but it wasn't. It was a future-telling device, powered by the unknown superpowers that lived inside its cheap plastic shell. Despite a bit of an attitude—"Don't count on it," "My reply is no"—it was a huge success. Americans, apparently, want to see their futures.

A few decades later, Congress passed the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act that, among other things, turned the 45,000 food products in the average supermarket into fortune-telling devices. Americans inexplicably yawned. I'm trying to change that. Why? The nutrition label can predict the future size of your pants and health care bills.

Unfortunately, these labels aren't as clear and direct as the Magic 8-Ball. Consider the list of ingredients: The Food and Drug Administration has approved more than 3,000 additives, most of which you've never heard of. But the truth is, you don't have to know them all. You just need to be able to parse out the bad stuff. Do that and you'll have a pretty good idea how your future will shape up—whether you'll end up overweight and unhealthy or turn out to be fit, happy, and energized.

While researching the new Eat This, Not That! 2013: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution, I identified 8 ingredients you never want to see on the nutrition label. Should you put down products that contain them? As the Magic 8-Ball would say: Signs point to yes.


This preservative is used to prevent rancidity in foods that contain oils. Unfortunately, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) has been shown to cause cancer in rats, mice, and hamsters. The reason the FDA hasn’t banned it is largely technical—the cancers all occurred in the rodents’ forestomachs, an organ that humans don’t have. Nevertheless, the study, published in theJapanese Journal of Cancer Research, concluded that BHA was “reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen,” and as far as I’m concerned, that’s reason enough to eliminate it from your diet.

You’ll find it in: Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Berry Greek Yogurt Smoothie

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup fresh strawberries1/2 cup fresh honeydue
1 cup ice
1 cup fresh peaches
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (Bluebonnet Whey Isolate French Vanilla) 

Blend all the ingredients until smooth.  Enjoy!

Good Food on a Tight Budget: EWG’s New Easy-to-Use Guide - August 21st, 2012
In an era of rising food prices and economic strains that have put one in four people on federal nutrition assistance, nearly all Americans must search for foods that are nutritious and affordable. To ease the pressure, Environmental Working Group's researchers have created Good Food on a Tight Budget, a science-based shopping guide of the top 100 foods that are healthy, cheap, clean and green.

"Putting good food on your family's table on a $5-or-$6-dollar-a-day budget is tough, but it's possible," said co-author Dawn Undurraga, EWG nutritionist and registered dietitian. "When shoppers fill their grocery carts with the foods on EWG's lists, they'll be doing something good for their health and the environment, meanwhile lowering their grocery bills and exposures to the worst chemicals."

Inside the easy-to-use guide, shoppers will find lists of foods that give consumers the biggest nutritional bang for their buck, simple tips for eating well, tasty recipes for meals and snacks, and easy tools for tracking food prices and preparing and planning meals at home. In collaboration with Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters and chef Ann Cooper, the guide provides 15 delicious low-cost recipes that average less than $1 a serving.

"Eight in ten low-income families cook dinner at home most nights, but many are struggling to afford the ingredients to make healthy meals," said Laura Seman, senior manager of program development and evaluation for Cooking Matters, a national program that helps families at risk of hunger get the most from their food resources. "Practical tools like Good Food on a Tight Budget can help families stretch their food dollar in a healthy way."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Slow Roasted Pork Roast with Prune Glaze

4 lbs (approx) pork shoulder roast
1 cup fresh prune juice
3 large crushed garlic cloves
12 fresh prunes
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F

Combine prune juice, garlic, molasses, and honey.  Rub pork roast with sea salt, black pepper, oregano, and olive oil. Add to a covered roasting pan. Roast for 3 hours, basting intermittently with the marinade. 

Remove cover during the last hour of cooking and add prunes and veggies or your choice.


Your Extra-Virgin Olive Oil is Fake - August 22nd, 2012
Did you know that the Mob makes money hand over fist by selling you fake olive oil? Olive oil is a $1.5 billion industry in the United States alone. According to Tom Mueller, an intrepid journalist who wrote a scandalously revealing book on the subject, 70% of the extra virgin olive oil sold is adulterated — cut with cheaper oils. Apparently, the mob’s been at it so long, that even most so-called “experts” can’t tell a real olive oil from a fake olive oil based on taste alone.

If you were a producer of one of these fake oils, 2008 was a bad year for you. That’s the year that more than 400 Italian police officers conducted a lengthy investigation dubbed “Operation Golden Oil” which led to the arrest of 23 people and the confiscation of 85 farms. It was quickly followed up by another investigation in which more than 40 additional people were arrested for for adding chlorophyll to sunflower and soybean oil and selling it as extra virgin olive oil, both in Italy and abroad.

The prevalence of these and other similar raids actually prompted the Australian government’s standards agency to allow olive oil brands to voluntarily submit their oils for lab tests. These authentication tests allow oils to be certified pure “extra-virgin olive oil.” Thus far in 2012, every imported brand of extra-virgin olive oil has failed the test to gain certification!

Last year, researchers at UC Davis tested 124 different samples from eight major brands of extra-virgin olive oil. More than seventy percent of the imported oils failed.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Three Cheese Biscotti

2 cups all purpose flour
5 tablespoons cold butter
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups grated three cheese mix
1 tablespoon sucanat
1 large room temperature egg
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 F

Whisk egg and milk to combine. Set aside. Pulse butter and all the dry ingredients (including cheese) in a food processor until it binds together. Add liquid mix to form a soft dough.

Drop large scoopfuls of the dough onto a lined baking sheet, leaving room in between. Bake for roughly 40 minutes (more or less) or until a stick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Using a serrated knife, cut diagonally into 3/4-inch thick slices. Place the slices, cut side down onto the baking sheets.

Lower temperature to 325 F

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until it's dry and crispy.

Dangers of Soy - August 20th, 2012
Are you convinced yet about the dangers of soy? Many aren’t. “Is soy bad for you? …Really?” I hear the question so often I want to scream.

After decades of hearing marketing spin about how soy is a wonder food, a protein-rich legume able to rescue us from our dependence on meat, I suppose it’s understandable why so many people have yet to understand fully the dangers of soy. Really, you’re not going to get the full story unless you research it on your own. And why would you, when soy is “universally” touted as a health food? Well, it isn’t.

Thankfully, more and more independent research has been done regarding the dangers of soy, and what it’s revealed should scare you.


Soy is higher in phytoestrogens than just about any other food source. Phytoestrogens are plant-based estrogens that mimic estrogen in our bodies. In recent years, you may have read about studies which indicate phytoestrogens are good for you. But ask yourself, who funded those studies? The soy industry, that’s who. Independent research has clearly shown that consuming phytoestrogens is downright dangerous for the human body.

It’s only common sense. No one argues, for example, that a leading cause of breast cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, infertility, and low libido is unopposed estrogen, or estrogen dominance. Why, then, would anyone argue that we should consume more of a food high in estrogen?

An infant taking the recommended amount of soy formula is consuming a hormone load equivalent of 4 birth control pills a day! Is it any wonder we’ve seen such a dramatic rise in precocious puberty with young girls starting their periods at 6 and 7?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gluten Free Blueberry Cinnamon Pancakes

I enjoy pancakes for brunch. The combination of blueberries and cinnamon is one of my favorites. Easy and delicious!

1/2 cup white sorghum flour
1/2 rice flour
1 tablespoon stevia
2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
3 tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large egg, room temperature
3 tablespoons melted butter

Combine the dry ingredients. Blend milk, lemon juice, zest, egg, and melted butter. Add to the dry. Fold in fresh blueberries. Add more milk to the batter if the consistency is too thick for you.

Heat a lightly buttered griddle or frying pan over medium heat. When griddle or pan is hot, pour 4 1/4 cup of the batter into the griddle, cook until bubbles appear on the surface (about 1 to 1.5 minutes). Flip over and cook a further 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and keep warm. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Serve with warm maple syrup and fruit.

Eat For Happiness: 5 Rules - August 17th, 2012
In my practice of psychiatric medicine, I spend every day treating patients so that their master mood regulator -- the brain -- will get more of what it needs to be strong, healthy, and happy.

But when I meet new patients, I know that the way most of them eat -- the typical American diet of sugars, refined carbohydrates and industrial vegetable fats -- does no favors for their mental health. The nation's epidemic levels of obesity and diabetes have received plenty of news coverage, but rates of brain disorders like depression and dementia are also skyrocketing, and the American diet is partly to blame.

Why? Because so many of the nutrients that the human brain relies upon for its growth, healing and healthy functioning have been stripped from the food supply by modern food processing and factory farming. As a result, we as a nation are overfed and undernourished. We're also being poisoned. Preservatives, pesticides and plastic packaging have introduced a slew of new chemicals into our systems, which pose additional threats to our brain functions.

Emerging research in the fields of neuroscience and nutrition show that people who eat a diet of modern processed foods have increased levels of depression, anxiety, mood swings, hyperactivity, and a wide variety of other mental and emotional problems. One study found that adolescents with low-quality junk food diets are 79 percent more likely to suffer from depression. Another found that diets high in trans fats found in processed foods raised the risk of depression by 42 percent among adults over the course of approximately six years. And a huge study of women's diets by the Harvard School of Public health concluded that those whose diets contained the greatest number of healthy omega-3 fats (and the lowest levels of unhealthy omega-6s) were significantly less likely to suffer from depression.

So what to do? Extreme diet recommendations these days run the gamut from veganism to low-fat to low-carb. Without even debating their individual merits, they all share the common problem that they are very restrictive and very hard to stick to. As a physician, I know all too well that strict regimens of any kind are almost always doomed to failure and then often leave people feeling worse off than before. That's why the best prescriptions are often those that are simple and easiest to follow. With that thought in mind, here are the five basic rules I give to patients, friends, and family who want to simplify their choices at mealtime and maximize their brain health.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fig Salad

8 cups mixed salad greens
1/2 small red onion chopped
5 ripe figs, cut into quarters
8 slices goat cheese
1 large lemon, juiced
Balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt salt and black pepper

Arrange salad ingredients on a large serving platter (refer to picture). Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice over the top. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

Serve chilled.

8 Chemical Food Additives You Should Avoid - August 17th, 2012
We all know our food ingredient labels are riddled with words that require an advanced degree to understand. Most of us bypass reading them because it’s easier. However, buried in those multi-syllabic words are chemical additives that can have an adverse effect on our health and how are bodies absorb nutrients. These chemical ingredients increase a food’s shelf life, enhance their flavor and color, and make them all-around more appealing to consumers. Packaged food manufacturers and fast food or dine-in restaurants use them (consider this 5-month-old hamburger from McDonald’s that has not varied in appearance at all). Use this list as a guide of eight chemical additives you should avoid.

Remember, as our pal Chef Rocco from Biggest Loser advises- shop the perimeter of your grocery store because that’s where all the unprocessed foods are stocked. Eat a diet rich in fresh produce, whole grains, lean proteins and fish and low-fat dairy and your body will thank you.

1. Trans Fat
This additive has garnered much attention recently, and popular trainer Jillian Michaels noted that its the one thing she’d completely remove from grocery stores if she could. Noted on food ingredient labels as “Partially Hydrogenated Oil or Vegetable Oil,” consuming this can be detrimental to your health by promoting poor cardiovascular health and premature heart attacks. Read your labels closely, a food containing <.5g of trans fat per serving is permitted to list zero grams on its label (like Special K Bars).
Culprits: Fried Food, Restaurant Food, Microwave Popcorn, Margarine, Crackers, Chips, Packaged Cookies and Cakes.

2. Salt/Sodium
It’s possibly one of the most dangerous additives in our food supply. Everyone from food manufacturers, restaurant chefs and dear old mom use it in nearly everything we eat and drink. Whether used as a preservative or to enhance or better the flavor, foods high in salt/sodium pose a great risk to our cardiovascular health. The recommended daily allowance for sodium is 2,400 mg, or 1 tsp. of table salt, per day. Fast food meals like McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Ranch BLT combo (~1785 mg Sodium), can contain close to, if not more, than an entire day’s worth of sodium.
Culprits: Fast Food, Deli Meats, Canned Goods, Crackers, Chips, Processed/Packaged Foods

3. Artificial Coloring
Typically found in foods that are already not providing any nutrition, it’s best to just stay away from anything with artificial colors. The dyes are just a chemical- so they contain no vitamins, minerals or other nutrients. Read food labels closely, and be especially cautious of those listing Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 3, Yellow 6- all of which have been linked with various tumors and cancers.
Culprits: Soda, Candy, Juice, Packaged Baked Goods, Frosting, Gelatin, Fruit Cocktail, Sausage

4. Saccharin
Much sweeter than sugar, this artificial sweetener made it possible for dieters to enjoy the foods they love. In recent years, aspartame has taken its place and hasn’t been looked at as negatively. Saccharin has been considered for ban by the FDA, and is linked with multiple types of cancers in many studies. It’s a man-made chemical and again, promotes nothing nutritious within your body. It should be avoided wherever possible.
Culprit: Diet Soda, Sweetener Packets, Sugar-Free Food Product.

5. Diacetyl
That buttery flavor you love can usually be attributed to this chemical ingredient. In 2007 it caught much publicity for being the responsible party behind “popcorn lung,” causing lung disease in the workers at microwave popcorn factories. That publicity fortunately caused it to be removed from most foods, but still worth examining your food labels to see if its lurking.

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