For many people the concept of “eating healthy” means sticking to a temporary diet for a short period of time. But when you truly understand what it means to eat healthy, you realize this is not just something cool to do for a little while and then quit–it’s something you need to do everyday. Eating healthy is a way of life. For most people this transition can be a little overwhelming at first. Many people are so afraid to change, they never do. Others make changes, but easily give up and go back to their old ways. Some jump in head first and change everything, but have no idea where to go from there. Sure, when it comes right down to it, most people want to be healthier, but just don’t really know how to make it happen.
If you want to be healthy, it makes sense to stop doing things that make you unhealthy!
This series will help you get started making the kitchen transition by getting rid of six ingredients that compromise your health. You’ll also learn why these foods should be eliminated from your diet and what foods to replace them with.
Pick a day for your kitchen makeover. Get out a big trash can and then open up the refrigerator and all your cupboards. Now you are ready to begin!
Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils
For many years the media have told us to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats, like those from vegetable oils. This is not very good advice considering that, in the process of producing vegetable oils, toxic chemicals and high temperatures are used to extract the oil from the seed or bean. In this process virtually all of the nutritional value has been destroyed, not to mention the fact that high temperatures turn the oil rancid before you even bring it home.
Even worse, most vegetable oils in processed foods have been hydrogenated, a process that rearranges the fatty acid molecules and creates trans fatty acids. Not only are trans fats difficult to digest, but they have also been implicated as a cause of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and sterility.
Trash It: Since most packaged food that contains sugar and white flour, also contains hydrogenated oil, you should have already eliminated those foods from your kitchen anyway. Hydrogenated oils are found in almost all processed foods, commercial salad dressings, sandwich spreads and, of course, margarine. Rather than just throw away these items, rinse out the containers and recycle them–at least it won’t be a total waste.
Stash It: A “must have” in your kitchen is real butter! Butter is a rich source of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. and contains important minerals like manganese, zinc, chromium, and iodine. The saturated fat in butter enhances our immune function, protects the liver from toxins, provides nourishment for the heart in times of stress, gives stiffness and integrity to our cell membranes, and aids in the proper utilization of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Butter will add extra nutrients and flavor to your vegetables, whole grain breads and sautéed dishes. Organic butter produced without the use of hormones, steroids, and antibiotics is available at natural food stores and even many grocery stores.
Another important oil to stock in your kitchen is olive oil. Olive oil is a rich source of antioxidants, relieves the pain and inflammation of arthritis, normalizes blood fats and cholesterol, stimulates strong gallbladder contractions, and is known for increasing longevity. Olive oil can be used for sautéing at moderate temperatures and is a perfect base for salad dressings.
Another fat you may want to try is coconut oil, a once-maligned but very healthy fat that is making a come back. Coconut oil is a rich source of medium-chain saturated fatty acids, especially lauric acid, which has strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Coconut oil is extremely heat stable and can be used in baking, frying, sautéing, and especially for making popcorn! Unrefined, organic coconut oil is reccommended.
We have been told for years to drink milk because it’s good for our bones and makes us strong and healthy. But milk is only as good as its source. Unfortunately, it is common practice for commercial dairies to keep their cows in confinement with little or no access to pasture. Instead of their natural grass diet, cows are fed a diet of grain. Grain feeding leads to digestive disorders in the cow and diminishes the nutrient content of the milk, particularly vitamins A, D and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid naturally occurring in grass-fed beef and milk that reduces body fat and protects against cancer).
Furthermore, corn and soy, which make up the bulk of a cow’s grain diet, are commonly genetically engineered foods that receive heavy doses of pesticides. Commercial dairy cows are also given hormones and antibiotics, which ultimately affect the consumer.
Another thing to consider is the processing of milk. Once the milk is exposed to heat through pasteurization, enzymes and beneficial bacteria are destroyed, and the availability of nutrients like B-vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E is greatly diminished. Consumption of commercial milk has been linked to many health conditions, such as allergies, asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, chronic infections (especially upper respiratory and ear infections), obesity, osteoporosis and prostate, ovarian, breast and colon cancer.
Trash It: Considering where commercial milk has been and what it has been through, it’s best to avoid it altogether. Clean out your fridge and get rid of commercial milk and all other commercial dairy products, such as yogurt, sour cream, and cottage cheese–and don’t forget to recycle!
Stash It: To avoid unnecessary hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides in dairy, it’s best to buy organic dairy products. Stock up on raw cheese and good quality whole milk yogurt. These foods are available at natural food stores and even at many grocery stores. Even if you can find organic milk at the store, it has still been pasteurized or even ultrapasteurized, destroying many of the nutritional benefits of the milk. So unless you can get milk in its natural state, raw and unprocessed, just skip it.
Article adapted from Weston Price.