Can these “Sneaky” Chemicals Make You Fat?
Don’t Consume Toxins! By Kelly Herring From Healing Gourmet
The simplest definition of a toxin is something that can damage tissues and organs or cause disease when it enters the body. By this definition, it’s clear that many of the things that modern humans consider “food” are actually toxins (especially the manner and amounts in which they are commonly consumed), including:
- Sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and other high-glycemic carbohydrates
- Industrial seed oils (omega-6 fatty acids)
- Cereal grains and refined flours
Of course, most people won’t become ill from eating a small amount of sugar… or vegetable oil… or pasta made with wheat flour. But studies clearly show that if we eat these things in excess over time, our risk of disease rises significantly.
We’ve already covered these “toxic foods” in recent messages. Today, I want to address the compounds we more commonly think of as “toxins”…
I’m talking about pesticides, preservatives and other chemicals… heavy metals… and industrial pollutants. Some of these are intentionally added to foods or sprayed on crops. Others enter the food supply inadvertently through pollution and contamination. In some cases, we even rub them on our skin voluntarily!
The bottom line is that our modern world is awash in chemicals and pollutants that can make you sick.
But what you might not know is that they can also make you FAT!
We’ll get to that in a moment, but first…
If you’re under the impression that “a little won’t hurt you”, I have some startling news.
Chemicals in Your Cuisine: What You Can’t See DOES Hurt You!
You can’t see, smell or taste the chemicals in your food. In most cases, these tiny compounds can’t even be seen with a microscope. But they’re found in everything from bottled water to baby food. And they can have a profound effect on your metabolism and your health.
Several years ago, the authors of the book, Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects our Health, set out to determine how the body handles these chemicals and just how much is safe.
For several days, one of the authors carefully avoided any foods that could be contaminated with the chemical, bisphenol-a (BPA). This is a chemical in canned food liners and plastic food containers that has been linked to breast and prostate cancer. He then had his blood levels of BPA tested.
Once this baseline was established, the author restricted his diet exclusively to canned foods that were heated in a microwave using a polycarbonate plastic container. He did this for only two days. The result was a 7,500% increase in bisphenol-a in his blood!
The results were similar for the neurotoxin mercury…
In that study, one of the authors abstained from fish for a month and then had his mercury levels tested. Then, over a two day period, he ate tuna sandwiches for lunch and either sushi or a tuna steak for dinner. The result was a 2,500% increase in the level of mercury in his blood!
But of course, it’s not just mercury and BPA…
We’re exposed to dozens of harmful chemicals every day, including organochlorines and organophosphates (found in non-organic fruits and vegetables), phthlates (in scented toiletries and plastics), triclosan (in antibacterial products), perflourinated compounds (in cookware), PCBs (in farm-raised fish), dioxins (in conventional meats) and more.
In a moment, I’ll show you the steps you must take to avoid these invisible health-robbers. But first, let’s discuss how chemicals in your food and environment could make fat loss virtually impossible…
Are these “Sneaky” Chemicals Causing You to Pack on the Pounds?
Obesogens are defined as chemical compounds that impact your hormones and genetics, altering the way your body uses calories and stores fat.
Your endocrine (or hormonal) system is precisely tuned. But it is also extremely sensitive and can be easily thrown off kilter by compounds that actually mimic hormones. These “hormone mimics” can hijack your body’s regulatory systems, including the systems that control body weight.
Obesogens work in three ways. They:
- Encourage the body to store fat and re-program cells to become fat cells
- Promote insulin resistance, causing the pancreas to pump more of this “fat storage hormone”
- Prevent the appetite-reducing hormone leptin from being released, shutting off the “I’m full” signal
Dr. Bruce Blumberg, professor of biology at UC Irvine says that, “The role of obesogens in fat accumulation raises questions about the effectiveness of just diet and exercise in helping people lose pounds and maintain a proper weight.”
While previous animal and test tube studies have demonstrated the potent pound-packing ability of these compounds, a recent human trial conducted by Dr. Steven Perrine confirms it. In fact, participants in Dr. Perrine’s study lost an average of 15 pounds over two weeks – simply by eliminating obesogens!
Sounds easy right?
Well, not so fast…
Unfortunately, these chemicals are found everywhere – from product packaging and cookware to lotions and beauty products… as well as in healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, fish and meats.
But the good news is that with a little knowledge you can do a lot to avoid obesogens and their hormone-hampering effects. Here are twelve simple tips to reduce or eliminate your exposure:
- Choose Organic Produce: Many pesticides and fungicides mimic the hormone, estrogen. They also impair thyroid function and increase fat cell growth, contributing to weight gain. Eat only organic foods that have not been treated with chemicals. Of highest importance are the “Dirty Dozen” which contribute to 90% of our pesticide exposure. These include: non-organic peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, kale, lettuce, imported grapes, carrots, and pears. Always choose organic when buying these foods.
- Say Sayonara to Soy: Soy contains daidzen and genistein – estrogen-like compounds that can increase fat stores and even promote cancer. Soy is also a crop that’s highly contaminated with pesticides, giving you a “double dose” of obesogens.
- Go Grass-Fed & Pasture Raised: Grain- and soy-fed animals contain a powerful cocktail of obesogens – from growth hormones to PCBs and other estrogen mimics, known to alter human hormones and promote the storage of fat.
- Avoid Farm-Raised Fish: In addition to being fed soy and cornmeal, farm-raised fish are administered a wide variety of chemical compounds that act as hormone mimics. Always choose wild, sustainable seafood.
- Ban the Cans: Can liners contain bisphenol-a (BPA) – one of the most potent obesogens known. The exception to this rule are the few companies that have taken the initiative to create BPA-free can liners including Vital Choice (sardines, salmon, etc), Eden Foods (beans) and Native Forest (coconut milk, fruits, veggies).
- Avoid Plastics: Plastics contain a variety of chemicals that impair hormone function. Avoid plastic food storage containers, plastic water bottles, and plastic wrap. And NEVER microwave in plastic. If you have to use a plastic water bottle avoid those with recycling codes #3 or #7.
- Bid Farewell to Fragrance: Laundry detergents, dryer sheets, soaps, shampoo, cleaning products, perfumes, lotions and other products containing “fragrance” are potent hormone disruptors. Choose natural, sustainable options instead and boycott artificially-fragranced products for your home and personal care needs.
- Avoid Microwave Popcorn: Popcorn is not a healthy, low glycemic food to begin with. But microwave bags add perflorinated compounds (PFCs) – endocrine disruptors known to promote tumors – to the mix. Also be sure to avoid roasting bags and grease-resistant food packaging. These also contain PFCs.
- Choose “Edible” Beauty Care Products: Everything that goes on your skin enters your body. By choosing personal care products that have 100% natural ingredients, you can ensure you’re not being exposed to potent endocrine disruptors including parabens, phthalates and triclosan (found in antibacterial products).
- Say “NO” to Nonstick: The non-stick coating material – PFOA – is a powerful hormone disruptor that can leach into foods when heated. Opt instead for ceramic-coated nonstick cookware or cast-iron.
- Filter Your Water: As more chemicals are being used, our water supplies are becoming increasingly contaminated with hormone mimics. Be sure to use a high quality water filter to remove toxins, disinfectants and other municipal “additives” from your drinking water. Alternatively, opt for spring or mineral water bottled at the source in glass bottles. Also, because we absorb chemicals from showers and baths, install a shower filter.
- Store Foods and Filtered Water in Glass Containers: Chemicals in plastics easily leach into food and water. Always store your foods and fresh filtered water in inert containers, preferably glass.
In addition to keeping obesogens out of your body, it’s also important to detox from those that have made their way in. You see, these compounds are not readily eliminated by the body. They get stored in your fat cells and drip out their “hormonal instructions” over time in small but highly bioactive doses… for as long as 20 years!
But you can help purge these pudge-makers by enjoying frequent infrared saunas (scrub well with soap afterwards!). You should also consider adding high quality spirulina, chlorella and cilantro to your daily regimen (compounds in these plant foods bind to toxins and carry them out of the body). And cleanse your liver with lots of clean water, cruciferous veggies, garlic, onions and detoxifying herbs like milk thistle.
While the weight of the obesity epidemic can be more appropriately blamed on super-sized junk food than on tiny chemicals, there’s no doubt that that these compounds impact our hormonal systems, our weight regulation mechanisms and ultimately our long term health.
So if you’re already doing everything else right, doing your best to eliminate obesogens just might be the edge you need to get the lean physique and vibrant health you desire in 2015!
To Your Best Health,
Editor & CEO
P.S. In Healing Gourmet’s health transformation program – The Food Cure – you’ll learn more about where these chemicals are found. More importantly, you’ll discover natural and effective ways to cleanse these disease-promoting toxins from your body!
And for the next 48 hours, this life-changing program is yours at an 80% discount. But this offer ends soon… so don’t delay! Your best health awaits!
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