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Top 4 Hidden Health Hazards Lurking In Your Kitchen3 minutes to read

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Nutrient labels can be deceptive, making it hard for you to choose foods that will truly support your health. Even if you are shopping in a “health food” store, there are offenders on the shelves that could have a negative impact on your body. Keep in mind that food labels are meant to be misleading. Marketing is the purpose of these designs, and sometimes they are worded in a way that confuses consumers.

The best way to avoid these products is by learning about the common health hazards so that you can read the labels and avoid these ingredients:

Health Hazard #1: Soy

For many years, soy was considered a “sacred grain” that was unfit to consume in Asia and around the world. Then, the discovery of fermentation brought soy products into Asian diets, including soy sauce, miso, and tempeh. But, there are many compounds in soy that can be potentially harmful to health. For example, It may come as a surprise to many that soy contains antinutrient inhibitors that block digestive functions.

To make matters worse, 99% of the soy in the industry comes from genetically modified seeds. Not only do these plants contain high levels of pesticide contamination, but researchers have suggested that serious genetic problems could result from the consumption of GMOs.

Health Hazard #2: Lectins

There is an argument that lectins might have the most dangerous impact on your body. Lectins are the proteins found in grains that keep the sugars and carbs together. So, some people refer to lectins as “sticky proteins.”

When lectins are eaten, they find sugars in the body to latch onto. Usually, lectins seek out sialic acid, commonly found in the gut, brain, and nervous tissue. This latching phenomenon interferes with cell communication, which leads to an inflammatory response in the body. The consumption of lectins can cause many health issues, including diarrhea, gas, nausea, bloating, leaky gut, and other digestive issues.

If you want to avoid lectins, minimize the consumption of these foods:

  • Beans: Kidney, navy, peas, pinto, lentils, mung beans
  • Grains: Wheat, rice, corn, barley
  • Vegetables and Fruit: Potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, citrus fruits
  • Other: Most nuts and seeds have lectin, as well as some spices, coffee, and chocolate

Health Hazard #3: Gluten

Gluten is a type of lectin, but it deserves a category of its own since it is a popular topic. Some people suffer from severe allergies or Celiac disease, while others might be suffering from a combination of food sensitivities. Gluten interferes with digestion which causes problems with nutrient breakdown and absorption.

Consuming gluten can lead to damage in the small intestine. The undigested foods cause the immune system to attack the villi in the small intestine. Inflammation and damage occurs, leading to numerous health problems that could have been avoided. Not only does gluten cause digestive problems, but it is also connected with other diseases such as problems with the nervous system, joints, liver, skin and neurological systems.

Health Hazard #4: Sugar

Even though sugar is an acceptable form of indulgence in our society, these sweet treats are the foundation of many health problems. Too much sugar consumption spikes blood sugar levels and causes a domino effect in the body:

  • Liver Damage: The liver is overloaded and taxed trying to keep up with the management of sugar.
    Eventually, too much sugar can lead to liver damage.
  • Weight Gain: Insulin levels are affected by sugar consumption, which results in weight gain. Ongoing
    consumption of sugar causes a person to develop insulin resistance.
  • Uric Acid: Too much sugar contributes to high uric acid levels and can cause gout, kidney, and heart disease.
  • Metabolic Syndrome: This dysfunction affects cholesterol levels, obesity, blood pressure, blood sugar
    and more.

The problem is that sugar is hidden in most processed foods. Even if you don’t see “sugar” on the ingredient label, there are many other names for processed sweeteners: high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), fructose, honey, lactose, syrup, dextrin, dextrose, sorbitol, and more. The best thing that you can do is stick with naturally-sweetened whole foods, such as fruit.

Transform Your Pantry

It might seem overwhelming to make these changes to your diet, but a few small habits go a long way to protect your health. Start by increasing your awareness of the ingredients that are included in common foods. Read the ingredient labels, and try to decrease your consumption of processed foods that contain these four health hazards.

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