The 7 Deadly Foods Sabotaging Your Glow? How These 7 Everyday Foods Affect Your Skin + Overall Health
"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art" - La Rochefoucald
Have you ever considered that what you eat becomes part of you? Food is more than just an energy resource for the body, it has the power to be a miraculous medicine or a destruction of health.
What we put into our body will have an impact on our wellness, immune system, brain function, energy levels, skin condition, and overall appearance.
Forget the popular belief that slim is healthy, sure being obese isn't healthy either, however health goes much deeper than the size of a body. The truth is no amount of gym sessions can make you healthy if you are eating the standard western diet of coffee, bread, cereals, dairy products, refined sugars and so on.
Now, before we continue I want to make very clear that whilst these foods are not healthy for you, it is also not healthy to obsess and stress over them. Currently we live in a culture where wellness companies, bloggers and influencers dominate and "sell" us wellness. Whilst I believe this "trendy wellness culture" it is most definitely a step in the right direction it can also lead us down a path of unrealistic expectations and unhealthy obsession.
Our body is amazing - it has the capacity to break down what doesn't belong in it - however we need to do our best to reduce its work load by making healthier choices but not obsessive over them either.
To be healthy you don't have to give up bread or your cup of coffee, you just have to be mindful of how it is reacting in your body and do your best to reduce your intake. I like to think of it as the "flexitarian approach" or as Dr Libby Weaver puts it in her book the "Zig Zag" approach.
A zig is eating an abundance of fruits, vegetables + healthy fats everyday [at least 85% of your daily food intake] with the mindfulness that it is healing your body
A zag is when you want to let your hair down and meet a friend for a glass of wine and a rich decadent restaurant meal once every three weeks
Your body is made up of 50 trillion cells that change and renew constantly, and how they react in your body all comes down to what chemicals your body is releasing. The chemical reaction is different in absolutely every body - it all depends on what you are eating, what you are not eating and how you treat your body.
Every second there is a bio-chemical reaction going on in your body. What this means is that substance Z is going to be converted into substance X, however it can't do the conversion that the body needs if substance Y is in the body.
When the chemical reactions don't happen optimally, our health, energy levels, skin conditions and mind functioning gets affected. Ways this can show up is through acne, premature ageing, disease, anxiety, weight gain, thyroid issues and pretty much all those common health problems that so many people seem to have.
It is also important to note that the toxins in beauty products, chemicals in household cleaners, the pollutants we breathe in and emotions of stress all have an adverse effect on our bodies bio-chemical reaction.
When you look at the body like this, it certainly gives you a new appreciation for its marvellous capacity. For most of you, hopefully it inspires you to take a little better care of it.
I hear all to often "I don't have time to cook healthy meals". What I hear in my head when I hear this excuse is "I don't prioritise my health".
Let's be frank, it takes less time to chop up a few veggies to put in a green smoothie or nutritious soup than it does to quickly run down to the grocery shop to get a roast chicken, bread rolls and coleslaw salad.
Eating healthy is simple, cheap and quick.
The problem why most people find healthy "too hard and boring" stems from the fact that:
- Food companies put in addictive substances like salt and sugar to get us addicted to processed food from a very young age
- Modern culture looks at food as celebration or reward
- To boost profits companies "sell" us a lifestyle that revolves around excess and decadence in all facets of our life, especially when it comes to our food.
The love for food is everywhere, just look at all those cooking shows, foodie magazines and the constant rise of "the foodie trend".
We have forgotten about the beauty of simplicity, and have learnt to perceive the simple cooked healthy meal as boring.
Personally, I find excess and decadence repulsive on a daily basis, sure its nice every now and then, however when so much of the world is doing without I prefer to only take what I need. This is how I look at food also.
This shift in perspective on food has reduced my portion sizes, made healthy food exciting as opposed to "boring" and made me so much more healthy. Now a days; I mostly have zig days where I only choose food that will fuel and nourish me positively - even if it just a "so -called boring" carrot and beetroot salad for dinner.
When you adopt this mindfulness to eating, healthy vegetables and fruits become no longer boring, and become something to truly give thanks for.
Today I gently urge you to grow a deep appreciation for what your body does for you, and start honouring it by looking after yourself better.
The first step to getting back control of your health is bringing your awareness to how we have been taught to have an emotional connection to food. Look at all the ways we celebrate life with food - from christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, weekend dine-outs, end of workday drink to that afternoon reward of coffee and a muffin.
This emotional way of interacting with food combined with the addictive additives in our food, have caused our habits and tastebuds to adjust to a certain way of eating, making it impossible to switch over-night. The key is to change slowly over time - most people take 2-3 years to change their entire diet.
Don't do your food changes all at once, just small steps, remembering that every time you choose a healthy meal over a not-so-good meal you are one step closer to a more optimal functioning body. To get you on the wellness train I have listed the top foods that wreak havoc with our health, and unfortunately they are things that make up a big part of the standard western diet. Even if you make an effort to reduce them you will see a drastic improvement in your health.
The seven deadly foods you need to stop or drastically reduce today are:
- Refined Carbs + Processed Foods
- Refined Sugars
- Dairy Products
- Excess Salt
- Chemically Treated Meats
I know at first glance it looks almost impossible to stop them as they make up our everyday foods. Knowledge is power and learning about how they affect your health is often enough ammunition for most people to stop or at least reduce their consumption. Take the time to research and learn about how they have adverse effects on the bio chemical functioning of your body. I have spent a little time combining the major concerns.
To be honest the health effects come down to one thing - these substances are foreign to the body and the body simply does not know how to metabolise them, this results in releasing disruptive chemicals and hormones which then cause inflammation in the body. Where there is inflammation in the body there is always disease and disruption.
Sorry, despite the reports that coffee is good for your heart and metabolism, it actually disrupts the chemical disruption in your body, causing it to do more harm than good.
So what happens when you drink coffee or caffeinated beverages? Basically, when you drink caffeine it releases the stress hormone cortisol into your body. Your heartbeat increases and your body thinks it is in danger, therefore if feels a need to preserve itself by holding on to fat storage, slowing down reproductive organs and forcing you into fight or flight mode. This is why you get a temporary "fired up and energised feel" after caffeine.
Because your body is putting so much energy into saving your life it is not going about its daily duty of nourishing your organs, skin, nails, hair and so forth.
If you are wanting to lose weight - caffeine is one of the worst things you can do as it causes insulin to rise in the body which will block all fat burning.
Caffeine lasts about 4-6 hours in the body, however the adverse bio-chemical reaction can go on for much longer.
Here are just a few of the effects of caffeine:
- Fertility issues: A study from The University of Nevada School of Medicine showed that caffeine can reduce a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant by about 27%. Src.
- Miscarriage risks: In a recent study, both men and women who consumed at least two caffeinated beverages a day during the weeks prior to conception slightly increased the risks of a miscarriage. Src.
- Every cup affects the heart: A recent study showed that immediately after energy drink consumption the heart produced more forceful contractions. It is unclear if this has any long-term health implications except for those with known health conditions. Src.
- Sleep disruption: Caffeine in the body can cause insomnia. Src.
- Increases menopause symptoms: A recent study published in The Journal of The North American Menopause Society showed that menopausal women who consumed caffeine had a greater degree of vasomotor symptoms. Src.
- Increased risk of anxiety + depression: Caffeine consumption can lead to increased anxiety, depression and the need for anxiety medication. Src and Src. Read this article as to why caffeine causes anxiety and panic attacks.
- Sugar Cravings: Caffeine often brings on sugar cravings, which contributes to obesity and diabetes. Src.
- Dehydration: Like salt and alcohol, caffeine dehydrates our bodies. While we can sing coffee’s praises as a laxative, it is a diuretic, which means it causes you to lose hydration, which has a direct effect on your skin. Dehydrated skin not only looses its plumpness and dewy glow, it has long term effects such as causing inflammation (redness) and premature aging (collagen loss). Additionally, without enough water flushing your system, toxic buildup in the skin can also cause acne.
- Toxic build up: It makes our liver work overtime, which causes toxic build up in the body. When our bodies are in toxic overload, the presence of low-level toxins make their way through our bodies, cause inflammation and wreak havoc with the normal functioning of our entire body -this shows up in our bodies as disease, skin conditions, premature ageing, tiredness, moodiness, anxiety and brain fog.
- Slows down collagen production: Skip the coffee and you can drop the botox and dermal fillers. Caffeine inhibits collagen production in the skin. Read The study.
While most people don't want to give up their daily coffee or can of coke - choose to just have 1 beverage instead of 2 or 3. If you are already just a once-a-dayer then see if you can reduce your intake further by drinking it just 3 days a week.
So many of us are in the habit of having a daily glass of wine or one beer after we have finished a day in the office. So the big question most of us don't want to know, does a daily alcoholic beverage light you up or dull your shine? I guess you already know the answer since it has made the list of what foods to drop.
The truth is that most people are actually addicted to this substance, hard to believe that a daily drink can become addictive. If you don't believe me then try to give up your daily drink of poison and see how hard you find it. Alcohol is a drug and therefore it sends those little bio chemical reactors berserk and has an adverse effect on your health .
A recent study concludes there’s no amount of alcohol consumption that’s safe for overall health — a finding that’s likely to surprise even the moderate drinkers.
For years, it has been said that moderate drinking (defined as up to a drink per day for women and up to two per day for men) probably won’t hurt anyone. However, the research is starting to show that all alcohol consumption has an adverse affect on our health.
As fun as alcohol can be at times it will rob you of your clarity and purpose, whilst slowly stripping you of health, energy and vitality.
Some of the common ways our body reacts to alcohol:
Excess weight: Not only does alcohol have excess calories [huge calories infact], it is brimming with fructose sugar. The body cannot metabolise fructose sugar and to give it a hand the pancreas releases a hormone called insulin. The insulin's job is to metabolise the insulin. Chemically it is quite complex how it all works - but in a nutshell it slows down your metabolism, slows down the burning of fat and more importantly, it starts the synthesis of new fat. Yes, you read it correct, sugar actually builds fat cells.
Dehydration: Any consumption of alcohol is a diuretic which leads to dehydration. Dehydration causes wrinkles, muscle cramps, over-eating, kidney stones, head aches, brain fog and fatigue.
Cellulite: Due to the toxic build up cellulite is formed.
Promotes premature ageing: The body metabolises alcohol with an enzyme produced in the liver, which in turn releases a byproduct called acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is toxic to the body causing it to become dehydrated, which is one of the lead causes of premature aging of the skin (like wrinkles).
Rosacea: Notice how your face goes red when you consume alcohol? When any amount of alcohol is consumed it causes inflammation in the body which in turn releases a histamine that dilates the blood’s capillaries, ultimately causing redness of the skin. Over time this redness can become permanent.
Less energy: Chemically the body is not built to metabolise alcohol therefore the body has to slow down so that the liver can kick into overdrive to break down the alcohol. This results in toxic build-up in the body which causes us to feel tired, foggy and not so mentally clear.
Increase risk of breast cancer: It has been shown that any consumption of alcohol increases risk of breast cancer, however women who drank 14 or more alcohol beverages weekly had a 33% higher chance of developing breast cancer than women who drank four or fewer beverages a week. Researchers believe alcohol can boost estrogen levels, which then feed certain types of breast cancer. In some cases, alcohol may also damage DNA in breast cells, causing them to grow abnormally.Src
Cancer: Three decades ago, the World Health Organisation identified alcohol as a group one carcinogen, in the same category as tobacco. But many health professionals and others still don’t connect alcohol and cancer. It has been estimated that alcohol is a leading cause of cancer worldwide, contributing to 770,000 cases.
Fatty liver disease: Fatty liver disease is to much fat in the liver which is then linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes and other disorders characterized by insulin resistance. Fatty liver gradually develops in 90% of those who drink more than 1/2 ounce (15 ml) of alcohol per day and usually comes with zero symptoms.
Heart issues: For many years alcohol, especially red wine has been touted to be great for the heart when drunk in moderation. There is evidence alcohol is associated with high blood pressure, ischaemic heart disease and stroke. Heart diseases attributed to alcohol are major contributors to death and hospitalisations in Australia.
Induce moodiness, anxiety and depression: While alcohol can make you feel temporally good after a stressful day the way it bio chemically reacts in your brain can actually bring on mood swings, anxiety, depression and for those already experiencing depression it will deepen it. Alcohol lowers serotonin and norepinephrine levels, which help regulate our mood. To get these chemicals firing back to complete normal can take several days, and with consistent alcoholic consumption the good chemicals will gradually reduce leading to greater depression, anxiety and mood swings.
While I am not suggesting to stop the alcohol completely, I do gently urge you to review your consumption and aim for no more than 3 drinks per week if possible. For majority of people alcohol is an emotional habit rather than an addiction. Instead of pouring yourself a glass of wine when cooking dinner try drinking sparkling mineral water or kombucha instead. I like to brew herbal teas and put them in my fridge and at the end of the day I will put in ice and some fresh fruit .
Processed foods + refined carbohydrates
Almost everyone has some kind of refined carbs or processed food in their diet. On average most people consume cereal or toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, a muesli bar or rice crackers for afternoon snack, some kind of pasta dish for dinner a few nights of the week and often a cookie or two for a sweet treat.
This is what many would consider a healthy diet. Look at how processed and refined all those foods are we haven't even got into all the other bits and pieces such as the every so often treat of pizza, garlic bread, burgers, chocolate or potato crisps.
Fatty Liver: Frequent intake of refined carbs promotes liver fat storage, especially when high amounts are consumed and this leads obesity and diabetes.
Engineered for overconsumption: Food manufacturers spend massive amounts of resources on making their foods as "rewarding" as possible to the brain, which leads to overconsumption.
Inflammation: Processed foods and carbs are loaded with artificial chemicals, including flavorants, texturants, colorants and preservatives. These are foreign ingredients for the body to break down which leads to inflammation in the body - which by now we know that is the root cause of all disease and conditions.
Weight Gain: The hidden sugars (especially corn syrup) in many processed foods are responsible for the influx of obesity and diabetes in our population. In the short term, high sugar consumption causes insulin resistance in the body, which is when the body must create more and more insulin in order to affect cells. Insulin resistance is at the root of many modern diseases, including Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, diabetes and heart disease. Processed foods are often highly refined and have very high GIs, which contributes to insulin resistance.
High in carbs: Yes, we need carbs for energy, however only in the form of whole foods such as potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes, beans, legumes and so forth. Do NOT be fooled by labels like "whole grains" that are often plastered on processed food packages, including breakfast cereals, breads, muesli bars and crackers.The carbohydrates you find in processed foods are usually refined, "simple" carbohydrates. These lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels and cause negative health effects.
Gluten: Due to wheat products being heavily Genetically Modified this causes adverse reactions to our human body. The chemical structure of GM foods have been altered, therefore they become a foreign substance in our body causing toxicity and inflammation. Everyone should reduce gluten, and if you get severe bloating, leaky gut, fatigue, skin rashes and so forth then you should definitely stop all together.
Premature Ageing: Refined carbs + grains convert to sugar in the body, this then causes the degradation of collagen and elastin in your skin. This leads to a loss of firmness, loss of elasticity and an onslaught of premature sagging and wrinkles. On top of that, the inflammation that sugar causes in the body can aggravate conditions like acne and rosacea.
Nutrient Poor: These foods contain little to no nutrients. For optimal health and glowing skin we need food to be both an energy exchange and nutrient exchange with our body. If our body doesn't get its nutrients it can not do its job of healing us. Don't be fooled by labels boasting "iron, protein, vitamin c, niacin, b-complex rich and so forth". The truth is that like green washing in beauty products they are just taking the benefit of one ingredient [which is usually a low dosage] and plastering it on the packet. Vitamins oxidise with heat and light exposure - so generally any vitamin that was present has been killed off in the processing of the product. There are loopholes in food labelling that allow companies to boast the vitamin content of their packaged food falsely. How this works, companies are allowed to use the vitamin content of the actual whole food in its raw state on their label - despite that the making of the product kills pretty much all nutrients. Bottom line: don't believe the nutrient value of food labels
When we replace real foods like nuts, fruit and vegetables with processed junk foods, we increase our risk of illness and poor health. If you want crackers, bread or muesli bars start making your own - while this is not a complete whole food it is a lot better than store bought.
When we talk about sugar we are not talking about whole foods such as fruits or maple syrup. Refined sugar or fructose is the killer. The reason it is so bad is they take the carbohydrates and sugar from fruits and vegetables such as corn or sugar cane and process it into a highly concentrated formula that the body can not metabolise correctly.
Here are some ways it reacts with our body and health:
Weight Gain: Sugar is a carbohydrate, which will eventually turn into fat in the body. Sugar affects insulin resistance and blood sugar levels in the blood, in turn spiking hunger, causing you to crave more sugary/carbohydrate foods PLUS inhibiting the body in burning fat cells.
Causes cravings and false hunger: Sugar is actually an addictive drug so when your brain thinks it wants more it will give you food cravings and a false sense of hunger in hope that you will feed it more sugar. To determine whether you are truly hungry - go to your fridge and pick up an apple - if you don't want the apple then you are not hungry.
Overconsumption: Fructose consumption often causes resistance to leptin, a hormone that regulates hunger and tells your body to stop eating
Causes collagen breakdown + accelerates ageing: Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are compounds formed by reactions between sugar and protein in your body, and are suspected to cause collagen breakdown.
Consuming a diet high in refined carbs and sugar leads to the production of AGEs, which may cause your skin to age prematurely , by damaging collagen and elastin, which are proteins that help the skin stretch and keep its youthful appearance.
Acne: High-sugar diets can increase androgen secretion, oil production and inflammation, all of which can raise your risk of developing acne.
Diabetes: A high-sugar diet may lead to obesity and insulin resistance, both of which are risk factors for diabetes.
Dairy is marketed as natures best food. Well only if you are a baby cow. Milk is filled with so many growth hormones designed to do one thing - make a baby cow grow big and fat as fast as possible.
If that sounds shocking to you, it’s because very few people are willing to tell the truth about dairy . In fact, criticising milk is like taking on motherhood, gay marriage, or Donald Trump. But that’s just what I’m about to do.
Before I go into the reasons why you should avoid dairy products I want to bring forward the fact that the only reason that dairy is on the food pyramid for the western diet is because
- the dairy industry pays big money to certain health bodies to recommend dairy
- a few of the scientists used to design the food pyramid actually were employed by the dairy industry, Dr Willet was one of them.
Here are some reasons you should ditch dairy:
The calcium myth has long been debunked: There’s no evidence that dairy is good for your bones or prevents osteoporosis — in fact, the animal protein it contains may help cause bone loss!
According to the Nurses’ Health Study dairy may increase risk of fractures by 50 percent!
Studies of calcium supplementation have shown no benefit in reducing fracture risk, and in fact vitamin D appears to be much more important than calcium in preventing fractures.
Less dairy then the better our bones. Countries with lowest rates of dairy and calcium consumption (like those in Africa and Asia) have the lowest rates of osteoporosis.
Dairy is linked to prostate cancer: Research shows that higher intakes of both calcium and dairy products may increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer by 30 to 50 percent. Plus, dairy consumption increases the body’s level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) — a known cancer promoter.
Our body doesn't have the enzymes needed to break down dairy: About 75 percent of the world’s population is genetically unable to properly digest milk and other dairy products — a problem called lactose intolerance. Makes sense right! The chemicals in our body are designed to convert human mothers milk to energy and nutrients not steal the milk from a sweet innocent baby cow.
Full of hormones: Like humans, cows only produce milk after they have given birth, and dairy cows must give birth to one calf per year in order to continue producing milk. To be able to maintain this the cows are constantly injected with hormones and then artificially inseminated within three months of giving birth. Dairy comes with a whole heap of hormones in it that disrupt the chemical balance in our body. Research indicates that the presence of steroid hormones in dairy products could be counted as an important risk factor for various cancers in humans.
Acne: In multiple studies, the consumption of all types of dairy “products” was linked to an increased prevalence and severity of acne in both young men and women.
Dr. Daniel Glass, consultant dermatologist, says that acne is ‘associated with the western diet—defined as high intake of milk, high glycemic load and high calorie intake.
‘This type of diet appears to influence your cell signalling, which increases levels of insulin/insulin growth factor 1 in your blood. This, together with other cell signalling molecules, can eventually lead to aggravation of acne.’
Dr. Glass adds that in western society, ‘almost all adolescents get some degree of acne’. But in certain non-westernised populations, ‘no acne is seen at all’.
Cholesterol: A single serving dairy can contain as much as 24 mg of animal fat which is a heart-harming cholesterol. Leading heart surgeon
Turns on cancer cells: A 20 year study called The China Studied funded by Dr T Colin Campbell has proven that when dairy makes up more than 5% of our diet it turns on our cancer cells. Watch here.
Antibiotics in dairy: In order to keep cows healthy in over-crowded and unsanitary farm environments both dairy and beef cattle are injected with antibiotics. Antibiotics are present in the dairy we consume and increases our chance of antibiotic resistance - this can be very dangerous especially since there are so many super viruses around and the only protection we have is antibiotic treatment.
When it comes to dairy, if you are lactose intolerant then you should definitely ditch the dairy as you will feel so much better. If you can tolerate dairy then just consume organic dairy in small amounts
Not all salt is created equal, infact salt is full of essential minerals and is actually good for you if it the right type of salt is consumed and in balanced quantities.
However, where it has all gone wrong is processed foods along with your favourite restaurant or café food uses excessive amounts of both salt and sugar to flavour food. And the salt they use to flavour food is generally table salt which is actually bad for us.
Table salt is a refined salt that has been stripped of most its minerals and has anti-caking agents added to prevent clumping.
We want to be consuming sea salt, pink salt or Celtic salt – all of which still have their natural minerals.
To much of the wrong salt can:
Cause many lifestyle diseases: Salt makes your body hold on to water. If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure. So, the more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure.
The higher your blood pressure, the greater the strain on your heart, arteries, kidneys and brain. This can lead to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease.
Oedema: Swelling of the knees or feet and even your hands can be caused by oedema. An article published in Livestrong.com claims that a high sodium diet causes your body to retain water. Depending on the severity, it may be treated with either a change in diet or prescription medication.
Increased salt cravings: Consuming too much salt over a long period of time can make your taste buds accustomed to the taste, this then leads to increased salt cravings and over consumption of processed food.
Toxic on the kidneys: Your kidneys help to remove waste products, balance fluid levels and control the production of red blood cells in your body. But with a high salt intake and high blood pressure combined, this can be lethal to your kidneys. According to an article published in Blood Pressure UK, this reduces your kidneys' ability to filter out unwanted toxins.
Causes premature ageing: Short of surgery, not many treatments can get rid of under eye bags — but changing your diet could help. “Foods that are high in salt are very bad for the skin, because salt can cause us to retain water, which results in swelling,” says Dr. Chasin. “This usually affects the skin around the eyes, giving us a puffy look. Salt can also lead to high blood pressure, which affects collagen.”
Definitely don’t ditch your salt shaker at home, just fill it up with the right kind of salt. Truth is, there is no harm in sprinkling salt on your avo toast and bowl of veggies – cooking meals at home with your own salt will do no harm to your health.
It’s about monitoring and reducing our consumption of processed foods, eating out at restaurants and buying takeaway.
Chemically Treated Meats
Did you know that the meat you buy is full of chemicals? That’s right! Big agriculture loves to inject animals with chemicals to reduce their farming costs whilst increasing their profits – all at the expense of your health.
Sadly, we have become a society where profits come before health.
And the chemicals don’t stop at the farming stage. Foods get chemically treated to remove bacteria growth, give them a longer shelf life and to give them a more appealing texture and colour.
Here are just a few ways big agriculture pumps chemicals into our meats:
Chlorine baths: After slaughter and defeathering, chickens get dipped in chlorine baths to reduce odours and bacterial count. Red meat also gets treated with chlorine gas, and if that hasn’t turned you off yet – they also use chlorine gas for reprocessing contaminated poultry carcasses. Bon appetite!
Carbon Monoxide: After about 4 hours meat starts to turn a slight brown colour, which is no more harmful than an apple turning slightly brown once cut. However, consumers have the mindset that red meat looks fresher, therefore carbon monoxide is used to colour meat an unnatural red to keep it looking fresh as it ages on the supermarket shelf.
Nitrates: Nitrates are used to cure, colour and preserve processed meats and are deadly to the human body when consumed. The World Health Organization has classified processed meats including ham, bacon, salami and frankfurts as a Group 1 carcinogen (known to cause cancer) which means that there’s strong evidence that processed meats cause cancer.
Hormones: Sex hormones, such as oestrogen and testosterone, are used in cattle and chickens to accelerate weight gain so they can be sent to market earlier, and have been widely used in the Australian beef industry for over 30 years.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics are drugs that kill bacteria. They are used in animal farming to keep animals healthy, promote growth and cut down the amount of feed required. The over-use of antibiotics increases the possibility of breeding antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Also by consuming meat that has been feed antibiotics it reduces our resistance to antibiotics. Today, with all the superflu’s and super viruses we certainly want to safeguard our own health by ensuring antibiotics will work in our body, considering the only treatment for these deadly super viruses is antibiotics.
These are just a handful of the chemicals used in the processing and farming of meat. In regards to how it affects our bodies is pretty much the same as all the other deadly foods. Bottom line – anything that is foreign in our body will change the chemical and cellular structure of our body which causes inflammation. Where there is inflammation there is always disease.
Even the cancer council are now advising to ditch or heavily reduce the consumption of red meat.
The biggest risk with consuming these chemically treated meat is cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), cancer is caused by changes in a cell’s DNA—its genetic “blueprint.” And as we now know – chemicals in the body do just this.
To completely avoid the dangers of meat go plant-based. Alternatively farm your own meat or buy from a small scale farmer that produces meat ethically, sustainably and naturally. However, if this is something that is hard for you or not a priority then at the very least buy organic meat.