One of my favorite health and wellness quotes is this one by Heather Morgan: “every time you eat and drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.”
And I never get tired of briefly meditating on this truth. Some foods we consider healthy, actually are toxic to our bodies either because we don’t really understand the chemical structure of that food, or the way the food is processed makes it immediately or gradually toxic to our body systems. In this context, a food is considered toxic if it causes inflammation in the body. With an inflammatory environment, vitamins and nutrients from foods you consume, are not effectively absorbed. This means that the core of your body cells do not get the nutrients they need to speed up your metabolism which in turn improves your health to help you lose unnecessary fat and build much needed muscles. Many foods that are recommended as healthy foods can actually be toxic to your body and promote inflammation. Today, I want to talk about three of them that we definitely need to watch out for.
#1 PEANUTS/PEANUT BUTTER
Yes. This one is very controversial. It shouldn’t be though. Let me explain. Peanuts are contain healthy fats and other important nutrients that the body needs. They are almost the number one recommended source of plant protein. But why would we consider peanuts toxic even for a second?
Peanuts are sometimes called groundnuts because they are the only kind of nuts (some people think they are a bean and not a nut) that grow in the moisture of the ground. This means that they are very susceptible to certain molds growing in them. A lot of us are extremely allergic to molds even if we do not know it.
Also consider the fact that peanuts are way higher in Omega-6 fatty acids than Omega-3 fatty acids. Our bodies need more Omega-3 fatty acids because they are far more anti-inflammatory than Omega-6. If we are taking a lot of Omega-3 in the form of fish or krill oil, fatty fish, etc, this may help balance that ratio out and make it ok to eat the peanuts or peanut butter. But honestly why go through all of that when you can eat walnuts or other nuts which grow on trees instead of in the ground.
If you live in the United States, you notice that most daycares and elementary schools have strict rules when it comes to peanut butter. Why only peanut butter? Well, wonder no more. Peanuts or groundnuts, if not handled properly, can be deadly. Personally, I choose to stay as far away from it as I possibly can.
Yes I know, I know. Wheat too? Yes wheat. Compared to peanut butter, this wheat issue is way more controversial. Wheat contains a lot of healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals. If you are not sensitive to wheat, you will benefit from whole grain wheat. Personally whenever I eat wheat, I immediately get bloated,my stomach begins to cramp up, and I get more hungry. This is how I know I am allergic to wheat.
The rise of gluten free products has been a result of people being more aware that their autoimmune diseases or other minor insensitivity symptoms, might be coming from the protein called ‘gluten’ found in wheat.
You have to understand that the kind of wheat we eat today is not the kind of wheat our ancestors consumed. Wheat today has gone through a lot of hybridization, thus introducing new proteins into the food. I encourage you to do your own research regarding this. You can read the book “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis. He clearly shows us that wheat is an appetite-stimulator. This is why most of us don’t get full when we eat wheat pasta, for example.
“Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis: https://amzn.to/2Wdyog2
#3 VEGETABLE OIL
No vegetable oil is not made from vegetables. I wish it were. How many of you grew up using vegetable oil as your main household cooking oil? Many I suppose. This is how this type of oil was advertised; and very misleading if I may add. We were advised to avoid saturated oils we now know are heart healthy like coconut oils because they will cause you to have a heart attack. We were convinced to go for the highly refined, inflammatory, toxic and tasteless be oils like canola or corn oil. These vegetable oils are full of Omega-6 fatty acids which we have seen to be highly inflammatory to our cells.
Dr. Joseph Hibbeln from the National Institutes of Health has done some extensive research on the impact of omega-6 and omega-3 fats on our health. He explains that over-consuming omega-6 fats and under-consuming omega-3 fats significantly increases diseases like Type 2 diabetes, Obesity, Metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes, Irritable bowel syndrome, Inflammatory bowel syndrome, macular degeneration (eye damage and blindness), rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, cancer, and autoimmune disease among many others.
There are so many other foods that can be added to this list above for both obvious and not so obvious reasons. For now, do more research on these and make sure you discuss this with your doctor because these are still very controversial topics. If you can eat wheat and your doctor finds nothing wrong with that, I would say go for it. Personally, I avoid these foods as soon as I notice adverse effects when I consume them. Good luck on your health and wellness journey.
WLS, FNS (NASM)