Processed food has been restructured, has additives or altered in any number of ways in an effort to perserve, make safe or add flavor and color. There may be heavy metals, preservations, insecticides and residues in some products. Some foods contain petrochemical residues from plastics, which have estrogen-like endocrine disrupting effects in animals and humans.
The average person consumes 150 pounds of sugar per year.
The average American consumes 20 pounds a year (dry weight) in food additives, preservatives and colorings. A large percentage of these chemicals are synthetic and have not been researched with regard to their effects on human health . When we live in accordance with our biological design and nature, disease is rarer.
Natives and healthy populations studied by the pioneers of health ate whole foods. Processing food, where it did exist, was minimal and it was performed without the use of chemicals or unnatural means. While eating a whole-food diet may seem challenging in todays hustle-and-bustle environment of high stress and fast food, we must remember that neither our high stress environment nor the processed fast foods we eat are what we were designed for. Simple rule -- If you cant pronounce a word on the label, dont put it in your mouth.
Consider that there are over 40 chemical ingredients used in the flavor "strawberry" (as used in a Burger King milk shake) that are not listed on the ingredients list because they fall under a certain percentage of total volume of the product and are categorized by the FDA as "GRAS" or "Generally Regarded As Safe". Next time you read a label that says "artificial colorings" or "artificial flavors", you may want to think twice about what youre about to consume!
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Kevin Purcell, D.C., is a USAT Level 1 certified coach for Elite and Age Group triathletes who compete at both Ironman and short course distances. Coach KP has completed 10 Ironmans and qualified for the 2003 Hawaii Ironman Triathlon World Championships. Dr. Purcell practices Chiropractic with an emphasis on sports medicine in San Diego, California and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.