Clean Eating

As long you don’t sneak those refined sugars, we talk.

The truth about Carrageenan

Carrageenan

If you’ve ever purchase almond, soy, and/or coconut milk at your local grocery store, you may have noticed a common ingredient called Carrageenan on the carton. There is a lot of confusion recently on the news of this little known ingredient, so this article gives you the skinny about Carrageenan. According to Google, Carrageenan is: “a family of linear sulfated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. They are widely used in the food industry, for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties.”

If Carrageenan is apparently made from natural plants such as seaweed, kelp and nori, then what is the hype about the ingredient? Carrageenan not only has NO nutritional value but it has been used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve and preserver the overall texture of ice cream, yogurt, creamers and other processed foods such as Nesquik Chocolate Milk. In addition, although the ingredient is derived from a natural source, Carrageenan is actually destructive to the digestive system, triggering an immune response similar to the invasive pathogen, Salmonella.

This is known to have caused vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, cramps, headaches and much more. Even worse is that “carrageenan predictably causes inflammation, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding,” explains veteran Carrageenan researcher Joanne Tobacman, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois School of Medicine in Chicago. In other words, you are going to have an incredibly bad time with your stomach with intestinal irritation, colon ulcers and intestinal permeability. Not good.  The best thing one can do for their nutrition and their stomachs is to be on the lookout with food that contains this ingredient.

In addition, you can also sign the Carrageenan Petition to the FDA to stop this ingredient in your food supply. Lastly, for those who drink almond milk and other milk alternatives with Carrageenan, it has been highly recommended to make your own almond milk instead.

Five food additives to stop eating right now

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In order to keep up with up with the high supply and demand of food in America, food additives became part of our diet for almost a century. From adding color dyes to enhance appearance, preservatives to extend shelf life and additional chemicals to enhance taste, we have food readily available 24/7. Not to mention, our food processing, packaging and storage is relatively cheap, however we are actually paying a hefty price with our health on the line due to these additives. Some food additives are much worse than others; here is a quick list of top food additives to avoid:

Artificial Sweeteners-

Aspartame (Equal), Sucralose (Splenda) and Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low) are found in foods and beverages and labeled “sugar-free”, “diet” and “natural” because it’s made from sugar. You will find these sweeteners in diet/sugar free sodas, desserts, powered drinks, cereal and much more. Aspartame is actually neurotoxic and is believed to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and have more reports of adverse consequences than all food additives combined. This will erode intelligence and buffer short term memory. Other sweeteners, such as saccharin is made from petroleum. Ailments caused by artificial sweeteners include: “brain tumor, diseases like lymphoma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue, emotional disorders like depression and anxiety attacks, dizziness, headaches, nausea, mental confusion, migraines and seizures.” We recommend drinking water at least half your body weight in ounces.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)-

This is a highly refined artificial sweetener that is found in almost all processed foods. A cheaper form of glucose and chemically similar to sucrose (table sugar), HFCS packs on weight faster than any other ingredient, contributes immensely to diabetes, obesity, LDL (bad cholesterol) and other harmful effects. Even worse that “the case against HFCS ranges from claims that it inhibits leptin—the hormone responsible for telling your brain that you’re full—damages tissue and can contain toxic levels of mercury.

MSG-

Monosodium glutamate is a food additive with many names including maltodextrin, sodium caseinate, yeast extract, hydrolyzed/autolyzed vegetable protein and even citric acid. With over 40 forms of this addictive found in grocery stores, MSG tends to duck and cover its name in order to produce adverse effects, no matter what name it reads. Found in Chinese food, chips, seasonings (especially cheap), most Campbell soups products, ramen noodles, frozen dinners, packaged meats, cookies, and salad dressings, MSG is known as an excitotoxin, a substance which overexcites cells to the point of severe damage or death. Regularly consuming MSG may result in adverse side effects including depression, eye damage, fatigue, headaches, high blood pressure, and obesity.

BHA/BHT

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) are preservatives found in potato chips, chewing gum, cereals, enriched rice, shortening and vegetable oils to keep them from expiring fast and changing color/taste. Although the FDA allows them, the Department of Health and Human Services warned that they are known as carcinogens. They are known to: “negatively impact sleep and appetite, and have been associated with liver and kidney damage, hair loss, behavioral problems, cancer, fetal abnormalities and growth retardation.”

Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite-

Sodium nitrate (or sodium nitrite) is used as a preservative for coloring, and flavoring in processed meats including ham, hot dogs, bacon, deli meats, corned beef and hamburger meat. The name might sound harmless, but sodium nitrate is very carcinogenic once it enters the human digestive system. From there, it forms a variety of nitrosamine compounds (potent cancer-causing cells associated with brain, esophageal, stomach, oral and bladder cancers) that enters the bloodstream and wreaks havoc to several internal organs including the liver and pancreas. This causes dizziness, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. History wise, sodium nitrite is widely regarded as a toxic ingredient and the USDA did try to ban this additive in the 1970’s but food manufacturers vetoed it. Why? “Simple: this chemical just happens to turn meats bright red. It’s actually a color fixer, and it makes old, dead meats appear fresh and vibrant.” Not to mention, there was no alternative for preserving packaged meat products. Talk about silent, but deadly.

Top Healthy Foods from Jack’s 99 Store (NYC)

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Hi guys,

So one of the most important things I learned about fitness is nutrition. You can be doing all the dead-lifts, boxing classes, and push-ups in the world to prepare yourself for your future Tough Mudder race, but they say that 80% of the weight loss results comes from what you put in your body.  Imagine this kind of weight when you have a final exam worth your course grade. It can be nerve racking, but with the right foods, especially if its convenient and affordable for busy bodies and New Yorkers, little goes a long way. So what better way to test your luck in nutrition in finding cheap eats in the city. Here are my top choices for finding healthy stuff at Jack’s 99 cent store. Happy Findings.

1) Apple Cinnamon/Cranberry Granola Bars from Wholesome Goodness

Review: These guys are so delicious and chewy, you cant believe they investing alot of time in ensuring that these granola bars have nothing but the best ingredients while tasting super awesome. These whole grain bars are packed with Omega 6s, Kosher, Gluten Free, have no BS preservatives, and low in sodium. When I mean NO BS preservatives, see the packaging yourselves, the ingredients to these little angels are a godsend.

For more information: http://www.wholesome-goodness.com/better-foods

2) Alpina Greek Yogurts

Review: I am a sucker for Greek yogurts due to how much delicious protein I get per each cup. Not only you are getting more than 12g of protein (AVOID THE CANDY ONES, they dont carry as much benefits and the sugar content is too damn high) , but the ones with granola have less sugar than alot of of the other Greek Yogurt brands. My favorite brand of Greek Yogurt and those 3 for 1$ deals at Jack’s? Mercy!

For more information: http://www.alpinaus.com/product.php?categoryid=3

3) Tribe Hummus

Review:

Church-Choir

Sorry folks, Had to add the  church choir on here.  Recently got on the Hummus hype and became sold when I finally got the chance to try them. Tribe Hummus seem to work with me the most because of the variety of spices offered such as the Forty Spice and Spicy Red Pepper. Not to mention, when Jack’s  had these guys for a while, you best believe I bought as many to fit in my bag as possible.

For more information: http://www.tribehummus.com/about-tribe-hummus

 

Honorable Mentions:

1) Whole wheat bagels from Fiber One and Pepperidge Farms.

Review: Need I say more with all the Hummus you should buy?

2) Whole Wheat Crackers (Various Brands)

3) Dark Chocolate (Various Brands)

 

I must warn you, the one by Madison Square Garden WILL get packed with people, but if you are willing to deal with the lines, its all good. Happy Eats!