The only thing is if you’re not fully educated on what foods are good for you, how do you really know that what you’re putting in your mouth on a daily basis is going to be harmful or not?
Well that is where I come in
Through my own research I aim to lay it out to you, ‘warts and all’ so to speak so you know exactly what not to eat to achieve easier weight loss and more importantly optimal health.
Some of these may come as no surprise to you but then some may leave you wondering why you have been consuming them for years, especially as many of us have been hoodwinked into thinking these foods are actually good for us through some very clever marketing and some even cleverer myths and lies.
So here goes, the 7 deadly food sins are
Drum roll please….
1. Processed foods
A processed food is any food that has been altered from the state it was originally grown in.
For example a cranberry is unprocessed in its natural state but as soon as it has been turned into a juice or a sauce it has become processed, altered, added to and in my view, compromised. The same can be said of fish, fish is a great source of protein, full of healthy fats and essential minerals but as soon as it has been processed to make fish fingers, most, if not all the goodness has been removed! Same goes with beef, and beef burgers, strawberries and jam, chicken and nuggets…the list goes on and on and on!
You see, when a food has undergone these processes they are no longer the healthy, whole food they started out as, they are added to by salts, sugars, preservatives, colours and other ingredients and enhancers that literally change the biochemical make up of that particular food.
All of these additives can have negative effects on both your health and your waist line with 3 of them getting special attention in this first section.
First up is salt, now salt (sodium) is an essential mineral needed by the body but too much salt in the diet can lead to hypertension which can then lead to heart disease and strokes. A diet high in salt can also lead to osteoporosis, kidney disorders and dehydration and if you are like me you do not want any of these conditions in your life.
Second is a chemical compound known as MSG or monosodium glutamate. This is a flavour enhancer that comes under various disguises on food labels and is most famously found in Chinese takeaways but are also found in virtually every processed food from soups to sauces and snacks like crisps and scotch eggs.
Lastly is a substance that can only described as a monster and it goes by the name of Trans-fats! Trans-fats are an artificial unsaturated hydrogenated fat that can lead to coronary heart disease. Trans-fats are not recognised by the digestive system, therefore the body then stores them in fat cells to be dealt with later. Unfortunately, especially with poor diets these trans-fats are put to one side, forgotten than added to over time creating a much larger problem, heart disease, raised cholesterol levels as well as a greater risk of type 2 diabetes.
To see how much a food has been processed you simply have to look at the ingredients listed, if it contains any ingredients that are unpronounceable or contain numbers instead of letters then it is a food that is best avoided. A good rule to live by is to avoid anything that comes packed, tinned, wrapped or sealed, has more than 5 ingredients and has a sugar or enhancer in the first 3 listed items. Ingredients are listed from the most abundant to the least and one thing to note too is when purchasing a ‘well known’ dieters product, check out the ingredient list and see for yourself if you think its really a healthy option or not.
Your first step to improved health and a leaner waistline is to remove processed foods from your diet. I know that processed foods are quick, convenient, cheap and more often than not quite tasty but when they can cause so much life changing and even worse, life threatening conditions, is the time, effort and money saved really worth it putting your health at risk for??
2. Refined sugar
Yes, you love sugar, we all do, but so does inflammation, diabetes, cancer and arthritis!!
No wonder we are a nation that is growing fatter and fatter!
Sugar is everywhere!
And I mean EVERYWHERE!!!
We all know its in cakes, sweets and fizzy drinks, that’s hardly rocket science is it
But it is also hidden in our breads, burgers, processed meats and pies, abundant in our sauces, soups and dressings and its in our so called healthy fruit juices and cereals too. Basically it is in virtually every type of processed food that millions buy and consume on a daily basis
Now, unknown to many is that it is indeed sugar that makes us fat and not so much fat as were all earlier led to believe! You see, only so much sugar (glucose) can be stored within the liver and muscles of the body, any more than that, to save it from just floating around in the bloodstream being a nuisance, it gets removed and stored in fat cells by the fat storage hormone insulin. The more sugar we consume, the more gets stored and the fatter we become! But weight gain is just 1 problem brought on by sugar, like I said earlier there’s inflammation, diabetes, arthritis and cancer but there is also osteoporosis, asthma, depression, anxiety, hypertension, affected liver and kidney function, obesity and hormonal imbalances with a few more to add too.
For your second step to improved health and greater weight loss successes the removal of refined sugars from your diet is essential!
For a great way to reduce sugar loaded foods and lose weight whilst still eating tasty meals, why not download my FREE 7 Day Nutrition Plan today
3. wheat and gluten
I know, I know….how am I supposed to do that? I hear you say.
The problem though is that wheat, and especially gluten is a trigger food for many, but unfortunately not many are aware of the fact that they may have an allergy or intolerance to either until the have taken a step back from eating both for a period of time.
Wheat is not just present in our breads and pastas but they also rear there faces in cakes, biscuits, cereals, pastries, crackers, sauces, soups, sausages, burgers, dressings, ice-creams, gravies, crackers, rice cakes, oat cakes, grain based alcoholic drinks, powdered foods and any that contain ingredients such as starch or modified food starches.
The problem with wheat is that it is from a grain and grains are a rich source of carbohydrate aka sugar! The more wheat based products we consume the fatter we are going to become, unless you are of athletic build and train for hours a day, every day!
Did you know, you would have to run the equivalent of a marathon
That’s all of 26.2 miles to burn off the calories from a pizza….mad hey?! The second problem with wheat, and especially gluten is that it can lead to a host of digestive and intestinal problems such as IBS and celiac disease.
A healthier option to all wheat lovers is of course whole wheat but I’m sorry to say, it is still wheat and therefore can eventually lead you down the same path as its white grained equivalent!
My advice is to step completely away from any wheat and gluten product for 30 days, not only will you see impressive losses in weight but when you re-introduce these 2 back into you diets you can then assess fully how much they impact on your digestion as I have seen it time and time again with clients feeling bloated and feeling ‘yucky’ after bringing back wheat into there diet.
If you find that wheat and gluten causes you to bloat up as if you were in the latter stages of pregnancy or in more extreme cases of wheat/gluten intolerances to feel sick and lethargic then its time for you to make some serious decisions as to how often or if ever you are going to include those products in your diet.
You knew this one was coming didn’t you?
It’s the one we all say we CANNOT give up!
After all, its a poison!
Well that’s what it says when you look up intoxicate in the dictionary and that’s what we are doing with alcohol aren’t we, intoxicating ourselves?
You see, with alcohol, having it in moderation may not be too bad for you, I myself quite often enjoy sharing a bottle of Chardonnay with my partner but this doesn’t make it any good for you either, even if they do say that having a glass of red wine a day is.
All the benefits that alcohol could give are totally outweighed by the negative side effects and the toxic overload that has no doubt once caused you to empty your stomach whilst talking to the big white telephone…
Am I right?!
Alcohol is nothing more than liquid sugar
It wreaks havoc with hormonal balance, it lowers your inhibitions, leads you to say and do things that are totally out of character and initiates cravings leading to eating all the wrong foods
Another downside to alcohol is that it places the liver under extreme stress. The liver is the bodies detoxification plant and is already overworked producing hormones and bile and storing glycogen that when it under fire from the toxic load of alcohol consumption some of this vital organs other roles become dramatically reduced creating hormonal imbalances like raised cortisol, insulin and estrogen and lowered testosterone levels which I’m sorry to say is a one way trip to weight gain! The other negative side of an over worked liver is that it can meddle with the metabolism causing reduced digestion.
It is no wonder that alcoholics and binge drinkers suffer from liver failure after reading that isn’t it
Though the key to alcohol is moderation
But sometimes it is best to have it even less than moderated moderation if weight loss and improved health is your ultimate goal.
Try giving up alcohol for 28 days and see the difference in yourself, you will feel cleaner and healthier and no doubt slimmer for it too
I think its just me or is drinking the milk from another animal…just not right?
I mean, not only are we the only mammal on the planet that drinks milk out of infancy but we are also the only mammal to drink milk from another mammal too
But why? Because its what we are led to believe is right of course
After all, milk is natures perfect food isn’t it?
Well it is to a baby receiving it from its mum, but to us as grown ups or to children out of infancy growing up? hmmmm
Let me explain a little
Dairy milk isn’t the great source of nourishment it has been billed to be, and it sure isn’t the great calcium provider we’ve been told it is by our parents and there parents and so on
In fact, milk actually inhibits the absorption of calcium, go figure!!
No wonder there has been an increase in osteoporosis over the years with our diets being filled with foods that are slowly but surely doing us in!
How does the saying go?
“you are what you eat”
And if you eat crap, you’re going to feel crap too, pretty self explanatory don’t you think?
Anyways, I don’t want to be the scare monger here, I just want you to know the facts about what you eat, or better put,
What you should through choice now choose not to eat!
Dairy should be one of the first items you remove from your diet
Here are 2 further reasons why
First is the pasteurisation process that milk is put through in order to make it ‘so called’ safe for consumption. During the process of pasteurisation the milk is rapidly heated for around 20-30 seconds at temperatures of up to 170 degrees farenheit or boiled at temperatures of 140 degrees farenheit for 30 minutes in order to kill off any bacteria that may lead to the milk fermenting or spoiling. Now killing off the bacteria may sound a pretty good thing but as we have all been led to believe that all bacteria is bad, which is mostly true except for the good bacteria that we need for good health, you know the ones, they’re called lactic bacilli and are the very same bacteria that you buy those probiotic yogurts like Actimel for!
The other problem with pasteurisation is that it kills off some pretty important enzymes too which aid in the digestion of milk, enzymes such as lactase, galactase and phosphatase. Without these enzymes present in the milk and the fact that are bodies having stopped making these enzymes between the ages of 1 and a half and 4 years old, around the same time that most infants are weaned off of milk. Therefore nature has already staked its claim that milk is in fact not meant for our consumption after we have been weaned
And because we have a lack of these enzymes available to break down milk, we therefore have a hard time digesting it, often reacting to it through allergies and intolerances
Do you ever suffer with bloating , cramps, nausea, IBS, diarrhoea? Maybe you have skin complaints such as rashes, hives or eczema? or do you suffer more with constant colds, runny noses and mucus build up, coughing, sneezing and other asthma like symptoms? If this is so then maybe you have an undetected dairy allergy or intolerance
So why do we continue?
Before I tell you let me explain the second process milk goes through before it is bottled and placed on the shelves ready to be purchased by the unsuspecting..
The second process is called homogenisation.
Homogenisation is the process in which the 2 substances that make up milk oil (fat) and water are pushed through a sieve at very high pressures to be mixed together. But as you know though, oil and water are not meant to mix, you just have to remember how oil that lays upon water to know that. The problem with this process is that not only does it mix 2 substances that are not meant to mix, as nature dealt them that hand but as these newly altered fats enter the body it has been believed by some experts that the human body treat them as a foreign body, resulting in an immune response.
This process has also had links to heart disease and hardened arteries (arteriosclerosis) through changes and not for the better either to the enzyme xanthine oxidase. This enzyme has been shown to damage the cells in the walls of arteries through accumulation and activation of ‘free radicals’. these enzymes should never leave the digestive tract but through the homogenisation process they become so small that they leak through the intestinal walls and into the bloodstream where they then attach themselves to the lining of the arteries, harden and eventually cause the arteries to narrow.
Not really a convincing story to keep dairy in your diet is it?!
As you can guess I’m not really going to recommend any Dairy products though there are a few exceptions to name
Feta cheese, goats cheese, and to a lesser extent mozzarella and parmesan cheese. A rule of cheese is that the yellower it is, the more processed it is! So if you fancy some cheese then go white and only eat in moderation. preferably no more then 30 grams a day. Probiotic, natural organic live yogurts get my vote too, the healthy bacteria in them are great for gut health. Though like with cheese, moderation is the key. Yogurt is a good protein source, and if you were going to pick Greek yogurt over standard yogurt then you would only be increasing your protein intakes, happy days!
You can always opt for goats milk too, both yogurt and milk form as it has been found to be easier digested as it has a make up of more like human
To read more here are 2 articles I used to get my data.
I can hear the cries already from the caffeine heads reading this now…but fear not my caffeine addicted friend, all is not that bad!!!
Okay so not all is good either but let me explain the little ray of hope before you get all stressed about it all, hehe!
So here is the deal with caffeine, whichever way you look at it, its a drug!
Now you may think I am being a little harsh
But caffeine is the most used ‘legal’ drug on the planet
It has stimulating properties that results in what is known as the ‘fight or flight’ response. If you are unfamiliar with this term then here is a quick explanation. When faced with a situation of fear or danger, the liver secretes both cortisol (stress hormone) that suppresses the immune system and adrenaline that increases heart rate well above normal. Now this would be fine in the situation of being in a genuine situation where as you need to literally fight for your life or flee, but in general life it is a health condition just waiting to happen! Not so much if you are a 1 coffee a day, but if you rely heavily on caffeine, not just coffee but tea, energy drinks/bars, fizzy drinks and even chocolate to get you through a day then you could be in big trouble…
Da da dummmm!!!!
Caffeine has been linked to insomnia and anxiety and other mental health conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
It can contribute to rheumatoid arthritis, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and a greater risk of both strokes and heart disease. And if that wasn’t enough then it has also be linked to a greater risk of low birth weights and even miscarriages in pregnant women.
Not a convincing read is it
But there is some positives…
Caffeine for fitness and fat loss
Yes I really did say that
1 cup of coffee or black tea and up to 6 cups of green tea a day can kick start the metabolism and help you burn fat easier! The only thing is that the coffee and black tea should be drank black and the coffee should come from organically grown and freshly ground coffee beans and minus both of the dreaded white stuffs! Green and black tea is best drank from leaf form as it is less chemically effected than those that have been bagged.
Also, a cup of coffee can actually boost your workouts, so it is from my advice that if you are to drink coffee then it is best drank first thing in the morning to kick start the metabolism or 30-60 minutes before a workout.
Green tea on the other hand has been shown not to raise the metabolic rate enough to produce immediate weight loss, though a green tea extract containing polyphenols and caffeine has been shown to induce thermogenesis and stimulate fat oxidation, boosting the metabolism by 4% without increasing the heart rate through adrenaline secretion making green tea a better substitute when looking to increase health levels.
A point to note though, swapping your caffeine loaded tea or coffee for a decaffeinated version is not a wise idea as the chemicals used to remove the caffeine are, believe it or nor, far worse for you!
I know it will be tough decision for most but to give up caffeine would be the a great step towards winning the battle against bad health and weight gain. My advice is, go caffeine free for 30 days then re-introduce it but only at the recommended levels. Be warned though that if you are a self confessed coffee addict then it is best to wean yourself off of caffeine first as going cold turkey can leave you with quite severe withdrawal symptoms as caffeine, like I’ve already explained is a ‘drug’ and can be very reactive! Most common of side effects are migraine like headaches.
7. Low fat, no fat and sugar free
Okay, simply put 99% of them are shite and basically put they are a chemical shit storm!
Back in the 90’s the food industry wised up to the now, proven myth and lie that fat was actually bad for us!
So with that they came up with a clever, no fat/low fat product that was supposedly a BETTER, more healthier option for you!
I call BULLS**T on that though!!
Why? well simply put
The chemicals, sweeteners, enhancers, additives etc that are put in to replace the fat taken out are even more harmful to you!
Next time you’re in your local supermarket check the label on a full fat version to its low fat/no fat counterpart
When you look at the fat content it will make for a great read, but then compare the sugars
That’s when it gets scary!
Sugar as I said earlier is the main cause of weight gain, type 2 diabetes and obesity as well as having very strong links to chronic inflammation conditions such as asthma, cancer and heart disease along with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression and Alzheimer’s and so on
Not a good list at all hey?!
So take diet coke for instance, they remove the sugar and replace it with aspartame, an artificial sweetener that has a long list of side effects including headaches, weight gain, rashes, fatigue, irritability, heart palpitations, dizziness, insomnia and seizures. Birth defects and cancers have also been linked. Aspartame, along with monosodium glutamate (MSG), glutamate and hydrolyzed vegetable oil are excitotoxins that can exhaust, damage and even kill off brain neurons and nerve cells.
The same goes for low fat/no fat dairy products, cereals, crisps etc. etc.
As you can see, the no fat/low fat phenomenom is a health risk of epidemic proportion, especially for those that think by cutting their own fat intakes in this way in their quest to lose weight.
All these products are going to achieve is succeeding in making the consumer not only fatter but even more unhealthy!
And the real kick in the crutch here is that these products are available to buy by anyone and virtually anywhere! They get advertised on the tv, as if they were a cure for weight gain and obesity when actually they are more the cause!
My tip to you is to go with the full fat version but have less of it! This way you can still enjoy the product for what it is but you can also safeguard yourself by moderating it.
“Everything in moderation, including moderation” MARK TWAIN
Live by that saying and weight gain and poor health should be something you can easily side step.
Dedicated to your health and fitness
Simon ‘Saint not sinner’ Anderson
P.s it’s not all doom and gloom in the world of food though, even if I have just opened up your eyes to some major reasons to eliminate or severely cut back on what I class as the 7 Deadly Food Sins! Check out my 27 foods to fight fat blog post to see the many foods that can still be enjoyed when the rest is left for moderation! And don’t forget to download my FREE 7 Day Belly Blaster nutritional plan before you go…you can find the subscription link down the right hand column if you are on a PC or at the bottom of the page if on a mobile device. It might just be the 7 day plan that kick starts an EPIC journey for you 🙂
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