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You Are What You (Don’t) Eat

We all try to be good and follow the guidelines of a healthy diet, but unhealthy stuff may be sneaking into your diet without your knowledge.

woman_choice_food_healthy_unhealthy_burger_veggies_fruit_picIf you’re like a lot of health-interested people, you’re aware that some things are simply better for you than others. You may track what you consume, making careful note of everything you put into your body. You try to take in plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, protein to keep you full and H2O to keep you hydrated. You might even take vitamins to help stay balanced. But with all of this focus on what you do consume, how often do you keep stock of what you don’t?

There are plenty of diet plans that outline what to eat, but you should also be careful to note what to keep out of your cupboards.

Refined Grains

If you’re feeling constipated, nauseous, or bloated, it’s probably time to up your fiber intake. Manufacturers strip grains of their fiber content when they refine them, turning them into slow-moving tenants in your digestive tract. Processing carbohydrates also greatly increases their glycemic index, which could give your blood sugar an unwelcome spike. Nixing refined, bleached flour products such as commercial breakfast cereals, pastas, and white rice could help steer you around common tummy troubles.

Table Salt

No, we’re not saying to cut salt entirely from your diet. However, the type of salt you add to your food matters far more than you might think. Refined table salt is devoid of minerals, and may be as much as 97 to 99 percent sodium chloride. Other ingredients typically include bleach and anti-caking agents—chemical additives added to keep salt from clumping. By switching to a natural Himalayan or sea salt you will realize a variety of health benefits, including reducing your risk of osteoporosis and helping to keep blood pressure and fluid retention low. Most people find unrefined salt has a more satisfying flavor, too.

Refined Sugar

sugar_cube_brown_white_spoon_wood_sweet_picRefined sugar comes in many forms. Agave, brown sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, and even molasses all suppress the immune system and deter your body’s ability to fight germs, viruses, and bacteria. Plus, refined sugar—found buried in your pantry as salad dressing, baby food, cough syrup, barbecue sauce, and spaghetti sauce—can actually deplete your body of vitamins and minerals.

Dairy Products

Asthma, bronchitis, hay fever, sinusitis—as well as runny noses and ear infections—are all respiratory problems that could be caused or aggravated by the consumption of cow’s milk. Dairy could also trigger autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, and migraines. Aside from the obvious, dairy is found in baked goods, flavored snack foods, chips, and even some surprising places such as chewing gum and medications.

Synthetic Vitamin Supplements

If you’re trying to be more health-conscious, perhaps you’ve started implementing supplements into your daily routine. But since when are petroleum extracts, coal tar derivatives, formaldehyde, and sugar considered healthy? The simple answer—they’re not. That label may need a closer reading before you begin popping miracle pills that could do more harm than good.

While you’re taking stock of what you include in your everyday diet, make sure you consider the things that are better left out. What you don’t eat is sometimes even more important than what you do.

See the difference between natural and synthetic vitamins!

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