Diet

7 Foods Sold and Served in America that are Banned in Other Countries

It is no surprise that some of the foods that are sold and served in America are banned from other countries. With the excess artificial coloring, flavoring, and preservatives in these foods, the list of toxic foods is growing rapidly. If you’re wondering about how to be more mindful of what you’re putting into your body, check out this list of foods that are sold in America but are banned in other countries because of health concerns.

Chicken Laced with Arsenic

Animal feed in the United States contains arsenic-based drugs because these drugs make the animals grow faster and make their meat look pinker. The FDA says that the drugs are safe because they are less toxic in their inorganic form of carcinogen.

Some studies suggest that organic arsenic can transform into inorganic arsenic and then have harmful effects on the human body. This is why the European Union does not allow arsenic-based drugs to be given to animals that will be used for food.

Farm-Raised Salmon

These salmon are raised on a diet that consists of grains, antibiotics, and other drugs. This will cause their flesh to turn gray. To rid the salmon of this unappetizing color, they are fed synthetic astaxanthin made out of petrochemicals. These have not been approved for human consumption, and farm-raised salmon that are fed these chemicals are banned in New Zealand and Australia.

Ractopamine-tainted Meat

Ractopamine increases protein synthesis which produces more meat. This is the drug that is used to make animals more muscular. It is used in around 45% of pigs in the United States, 30% of grass-fed cows, and even turkeys. 160 countries across Europe, mainland China, Russia, and the Republic of China have banned this.

Flame Retardant Drinks

Sports drinks and citrus-flavored sodas that are common in the United States many times contain brominated vegetable oil or BVO. This is a synthetic chemical originally brought to chemical companies as a flame retardant. Bromine is a depressant for the central nervous system and is banned in Europe and Japan.

Genetically Engineered Papaya

The majority of Hawaiian papayas are now genetically engineered to be resistant to the ringspot virus. Many people have already heard about the commotion regarding genetically engineered foods and when used in animals, this will cause intestinal damage, tumors, organ damage, premature death, and birth defects. The European Union has banned this food.

Olestra and Olean

These names are interchangeable and the chemical was created by Procter & Gamble as a cholesterol-free and calorie-free fat substitute mostly used in fat-free snacks. French fries and Chips may contain Olestra, causing problems like diarrhea, leaky bowels, and cramps. Olestra and Olean have been banned in the United Kingdom and Canada.

Potassium Bromate in Baked Goods

This is used as an additive in bread and other baked goods. It has been linked to nervous system and thyroid problems, gastrointestinal discomfort, kidney damage, and sometimes even cancer. The European Union, China, and Canada have all banned this substance.

Is Grass-fed Beef Healthier than the Ordinary?

There is a lot of talks these days about grass-fed beef vs your traditional supermarket beef. With grass-fed beef often being more expensive than your traditional options, you might be wondering if the craze has any truth to it, or if those grass-fed beef-buyers are just being taken for fools. This article will explore the merits of grass-fed beef versus non-grass-fed beef, and you will be able to make a well-informed decision for yourself.

The Facts

Mounting evidence is being revealed that highlights the benefits of grass-fed beef over any other choice. First of all, if it is not grass-fed, then it is likely corn-fed (or fed some sort of grain or grain mixture). The truth that nobody can get around, however, is that cows are ruminants, meaning their stomachs are built to digest mainly grass. Most cows, however, are fed a cheap mixture of grains, and these grains are not only difficult for them to digest but are usually genetically modified to some extent or another.

This food mixture is easier to obtain quickly (as opposed to waiting for a field of grass to grow again) and can maximize space in a way that open pasture can’t. For these two main reasons, cows are forced to eat grain so that they take up less space for a shorter period of time.

Because it is all about saving money, and thus time, feedlot cows are also given hormones, to help them grow quickly, and antibiotics, to prevent them from getting sick due to either contaminated feed or the close quarters of a feedlot. Although the corn-laden feed gives feedlot beef the marbled texture that many people crave, it also inserts into the beef pesticides, herbicides, GMOs, antibiotics, and hormones.

So how is grass-fed beef different? Obviously, these cows are fed grass and allowed to roam on pasture where grass grows. Not only is the life of a grass-fed cow much better than its feedlot brethren, but the meat that it produces is also healthier for the humans that eat it. Beef from grass-fed cows is leaner, richer in omega-3s, and void of many of the antibiotics and hormones found in feedlot beef.

Conclusion

So this brings us back to our original question: is grass-fed beef healthier than ordinary beef? The answer, plain and simple, is yes. Not only is grass-fed beef missing many of the harmful ingredients already mentioned above, but the omega-3 content of grass-fed beef provides additional health benefits. For example, foods high in omega-3s can help treat and prevent coronary artery disease, hypertension, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and possibly even cancer.

Although that grass-fed beef in your grocery store will often have a higher price tag, it truly is worth it, as can be seen from all the evidence mentioned above. However, since grass-fed can entail cows feeding on grass that is treated with herbicides and synthetic fertilizers, the best option is to go for organic and grass-fed beef, as this completely eliminates any risk of GMOs, antibiotics, hormones, herbicides, or pesticides in your meat.

5 Reasons You Should Avoid Products Containing High Fructose Corn Syrup

Not long ago, there was a major ad campaign launched by corn manufacturers touting the innocence of high fructose corn syrup. “It’s just like sugar,” the ads claimed. “Just another natural sweetener,” they insisted. This, however, is blatantly false. High-fructose corn syrup is not natural nor is it harmless.

In fact, there is mounting evidence that high fructose corn syrup seriously messes with the human body, from inducing food allergies to instigating hormonal imbalances. Read on below for some solid evidence as to why you should avoid all foods that contain high fructose corn syrup.

1. Increased Risk of Obesity and Diseases

Just as cane sugar is dangerous in high doses, so is high fructose corn syrup. The scariest part, however, is that many of us consume way more HFCS than we think because it is hiding in everything from our sandwich bread to our favorite snacks and drinks. This consumption of HFCS leads to weight gain, increased appetite, diabetes, and possibly even cancer.

2. HFCS is NOT the Same as Cane Sugar

While both are dangerous in high amounts, high fructose corn syrup poses more threats to the human body, no matter how big or small the amount. HFCS is a heavily-processed, chemical compound, whose creation process is known by only a few. The process results in a sweeter, cheaper product than pure cane sugar, with a higher fructose-glucose ratio.

This higher concentration of fructose in the body results in liver damage and huge spikes in insulin. Thus, high fructose corn syrup ends up messing with your entire metabolism and increasing your appetite, cravings for sweet foods, and risk of diabetes along with other diseases. When eaten in its natural form and in moderation, pure cane sugar does not wreak havoc on the body as high fructose corn syrup does.

3. HFCS Can Contain Harmful Ingredients

One study by a self-claimed FDA researcher found that a test barrel of high fructose corn syrup contained high amounts of mercury. Others have noticed that when samples of HFCS were run through a chemical analyzer, odd spikes of chemicals became apparent. Because the production of high fructose corn syrup is so secretive, it’s nearly impossible to know exactly what goes into making this product, and it’s just another reason to avoid HFCS as much as possible.

4. Health Professionals Warn Against Consuming HFCS

Barry M. Popkin, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has written about the threats posed by high fructose corn syrup. According to Dr. Popkin, fructose can mess with the body’s metabolism and lead to issues such as increased weight gain. It is difficult to find a health professional that advocates for the use of high fructose corn syrup.

5. High Fructose Corn Syrup Masks Poor Food Quality

Because it is so sweet, HFCS is often used to add flavor to nutrient-depleted foods and make them more appealing. If you see high fructose corn syrup on the list of ingredients, it is almost a sure bet that the food item in question does not contain many beneficial ingredients, such as fiber or vitamins and minerals.

Conclusion

Clearly, high fructose corn syrup is not the same as real sugar and should be avoided as much as possible. For as much as we do know about the harm of HFCS, we still have that much more to learn about it. It is quite likely that as the earliest generations raised on HFCS age, they will develop new and unique health issues that are difficult to overcome. For the health of you and your family, avoid consuming high fructose corn syrup as much as possible.

9 Common Lies About Weight Loss

There are so many different tips and tricks for weight loss that it’s sometimes overwhelming. It’s hard to tell the fact from fiction. Your friends and family all swear they know the best ways to lose weight. Hundreds of magazines offer the same, sometimes totally wrong but sometimes helpful advice. Eventually, you’ll just have to find which techniques work best for you. Here are the nine most common lies about weight loss.

1. Don’t eat more than 1200 calories

It sounds pretty sensible. You want to weigh less, so eat less. However, everyone’s body is different and how many calories your body needs will be different from someone else. For whatever reason, 1200 has become the go-to number for how many calories you should have daily but it doesn’t really apply to everyone.

2. Drink a ton of water

The idea behind this is that if your stomach is full of water, you won’t feel a need to eat. This doesn’t work because your body will not retain the water. You’re just more likely to go to the bathroom more often than to curb your appetite. If you really want to feel full with less eating, choose foods that are high in both water and fiber.

3. Take various supplements

While taking vitamins can definitely help with your health, weight loss supplements cannot. Despite the fact that there is no hard science backing them, supplements get recommended time and again. It seems like a really easy way to get you closer to your goals but there are no magic pills for weight loss.

4. Try a popular diet fad

With the variety of dieting trends available, it’s easy to start to believe all the ads. However, just following a restricted-calorie diet or cutting out gluten won’t get rid of the extra weight. While you might get some other health benefits, you still need to make an overall lifestyle change if you want to not only lose the weight but keep it off, too. If you’re still wanting to try a diet program, make sure to research where and how you’ll get all the nutrients your body needs.

5. You can eat anything if you exercise

This is a pretty common and outrageous lie. Some people will assure you that you can eat anything you want so long as you hit the gym and burn it off. While exercise is definitely important, what you eat is also a crucial part of your weight loss routine.

6. Your health is determined by your size

A thin person is obviously healthy, while a larger person is not. While obesity is a marker for some health conditions, simply being thin does not give you a pass against disease. Despite outward appearances, your health is really determined by the things you can’t see. There is fat inside all types of bodies, no matter the size but what tends to matter is what type of fat and where it is.

7. Just skip meals

If you want to avoid putting any bad foods in your body, just don’t eat anything. Skipping meals is an extremely bad idea. You want to find the balance between nutrition and exercise. Simply not eating is not the way to do this. Skipping meals has harmful effects like fatigue, a drop in your blood sugar, loss of nutrients and incidentally, weight gain.

8. You won’t lose weight without cardio

When it comes to exercise, cardio is a great option because it will increase your blood flow and heart rate, which leads to fat burning. However, cardio alone isn’t the only way to lose weight nor should it be done alone. Strength training is also important because it will help build muscles and create a more toned look. It will also improve your bone strength and density.

9. Eating late at night cause weight gain

While late-night snacking doesn’t help, there really isn’t a correlation between when you eat and how much weight you gain. A greasy cheeseburger at 3 in the afternoon is going to have the same harmful effects as it would at 3 in the morning. What’s really detrimental about late-night eating is not the time, but how much you eat. If you starve yourself during the day, there’s a bigger chance you’ll overeat during the night.

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