Top 3 Culprits In The Modern Diet & Why You Should Not Lose The Importance of Food
Avoiding the following food ingredients will go a long way in improving your health.
An acronym for Monosodium glutamate, MSG is a flavor enhancer. Chinese foods, canned vegetables, and processed meats contain permitted amounts of MSG. Though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) categorizes MSG as a “generally recognized safe” food ingredient, there have been reports of adverse reactions in those who take it.
The symptoms are collectively known as Chinese Restaurant Syndrome (CRS) or MSG symptom complex. People with CRS have reported one or more of the following symptoms:
- Headache. Keep in mind that the International Classification of Headache Disorders 3rd edition (ICHD-III beta) classifies MSG as a causative substance of headache.
- Facial tightness
- Numbness, tingling or burning in the face, neck and other areas
- Rapid and irregular heartbeats
- Chest pain
- Physical weakness
This common artificial sweetener has been linked to blood-related cancers (leukemias and lymphomas) in animal studies. Allegedly, Aspartame has links with headache, dizziness, digestive issues, and mood swings. Moreover, there have been claims that it could lead to Alzheimer disease, birth defects, diabetes, Gulf War syndrome, attention deficit disorders, Parkinson disease, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and seizures.
While conclusive results are yet to emerge, it is wise to avoid artificial sweeteners as much as possible. Most importantly, individuals with a rare genetic disorder called Phenylketonuria (PKU) should avoid taking Aspartame. PKU patients cannot break down phenylalanine, a component of Aspartame. As a result, the blood level of phenylalanine rises and can lead to abnormal brain development in kids with PKU. For this reason, any product containing Aspartame must state, on its label, a warning that reads “Phenylketonurics: contains phenylalanine.”
Chemically, all fats contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Trans fats are those that contain hydrogen atoms on the opposite sides of the double bond. A lot of chemistry, huh! Simply put, trans fats are formed when liquid vegetable oils are solidified through a process called hydrogenation.
Processed foods such as doughnuts, cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, frozen pizza, cookies, crackers, and stick margarine are rich in trans fats. Studies suggest taking high amounts of trans fats could increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
Even worse, these unhealthy fats promote chronic inflammation, the root cause of most lifestyle diseases in the modern times. Some studies also add that taking trans fats could increase the risk of colon cancer, especially in women. For this reason, the FDA requires the manufacturers to state the amount of Trans fat on the label. However, the manufacturers are quick in hiding the actual fat content by stating “0” Trans fats. Note that “0” does not mean the product is safe for consumption.
Here is how the plot goes: The US FDA allows the label “0” if the content is less than 0.5 gram per serving. If the manufacturer decides to keep the amount per serving low so as to contain less than 0.5 grams per serving, you can be falsely led to believe that the food is safe.