The Fine Print

Do you read food labels? If not, you are not alone! Many people get drawn in by the claims the large print says on the package: 100% whole wheat! Contains 20% of the recommended daily intake of fibre! All Natural Ingredients!
 
But what is really inside some of the most commonly consumed foods? Let’s take a closer look at one of the most common staples for lunch – sandwich bread. We’ve all had sandwiches. And most likely many of us have made sandwiches for our own kids using this very brand of bread I’m talking about today. What I found in the ingredients is exactly why we need to be reading the fine print on everything we eat.
 
Aside from the gut irritating gluten, the added sugar/glucose-frutose and the soybean and/or canola oil (the fact that they can’t definitively say which one was used is in itself concerning) there are two ingredients that stood out to me and should be avoided.
 
1) AZODICARBONAMIDE: This is an industrial chemical used to make yoga mats, shoe rubber and synthetic leather. And yet it is in our BREAD. It is used as a dough conditioner in bread and other baked goods.
 
This chemical has been banned in Europe, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand and has been found to cause hyperactivity, asthma, insomnia, food allergies and other adverse reactions.
 
2) CALCIUM PROPIONATE: This is an anti fungal that is added to bread and other baked goods to prevent mould growth. It is claimed that small amounts seem to be okay however, chronic exposure, especially in children eating it daily in sandwiches, etc, has been linked to irritability, restlessness, inattention, sleep disturbances, behaviour and learning problems, skin irritations, migraines and food intolerances.
 
The bottom line is that commercial bread is adding all kinds of things to the bread that is unnecessary and can cause some scary health issues.
 
This post is not to say that bread is bad. It is only to bring awareness to what we are putting in our own mouths and the mouths of our children and to get back to eating real, whole foods. Traditional bread that our grandma’s made contained 4 things: flour, water, yeast and salt, not this long list of additives and chemicals.
 
Have a great homemade bread recipe you’d like to share? I’d love to see it – please post it in comments!

You Are What You Eat – or ARE You?

 

You’ve all heard the expression you are what you eat.  But I like to say you are what you absorb.  The vast majority of people have issues with their gut.  Years of eating processed foods, foods exposed to toxins from pesticides and pollution, or eating allergen containing foods can all lead to problems with the gut making it difficult for your body to digest and breakdown foods and absorb the required nutrients.

What exactly is digestion and absorption?  Digestion is the process in which your body breaks down the food you eat into smaller components that can be absorbed.  Absorption is the transferring of the food components into the bloodstream to be circulated to all parts of the body.

 

Causes of Poor Absorption

 

  • Low stomach acid – low stomach acid is caused by stress, diet that is high in meat and refined grains, chlorinated water, antacids, coffee and nicotine.
  • Dysbiosis – an imbalance of the “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gut. Dysbiosis is caused by a high sugar diet, antibiotic usage, birth control pill, steroid medications.
  • Dehydration – water is a necessary component of breaking down food particles.

 

What You Can Do

 

Luckily, the body wants to repair itself and we can help our bodies become better at digesting and absorbing foods again.  Here’s what you do:

 

Foods to Eat:

-fresh squeezed lemon juice and water first thing in the morning

-whole foods as much as possible

-lots of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables

-probiotic foods daily

-protein at all 3 meals

-water!

 

Foods to Avoid/Decrease:

-wheat and wheat containing products

-dairy products

-sugar and products containing sugar (high fructose corn syrup etc)

-processed foods

-additives, preservatives, dyes, artificial ingredients

-caffeine

-alcohol

 

Also, avoid eating when you are rushed, stressed or upset and try not to eat too close to bedtime.  Taking these steps can ensure that you are making the most of the food that you put into your body and can set yourself up for optimal health.