5 Toxic Foods that People Think Are Healthy

5 toxic foods that most people think are healthy.

1. Avocado

First, avocado does NOT pass a basic taste test for whether or not to eat it.  I don’t care what you have to say about how you like them. Just like you like the taste of Kale. Sure, when mixed with cheese, peppers, onions, salsa and corn chips, they may seem appetizing.  But by themselves, they taste worse than the food version of Paris Hilton’s singing career.

When exposed to oxygen, the meat of the avocado fruit immediately starts to brown and rot.  It smells bad, but no one thinks why these are signs that this “health” food may not be good for your body.  When the fat is exposed to room temperature oxygen (70 degrees), it begins to break down.  Now imagine what happens to those fatty acids while in your oxygen-rich body at 98.6 degrees.  Or when your skin is even hotter while sunbathing (1).  Their chemical structure is deficient in oxygen so they are prone to lipid peroxidation (2). Can you say skin spots?  You probably can’t say lipofuscin, which means “dark fat” because I can’t either (4).

“Unsaturated oils get rancid when exposed to air; that is called oxidation, and it is the same process that occurs when oil paint ‘dries.’ Free radicals are produced in the process.” – Ray Peat, pHD

Avocado is mostly unsaturated fat – 15% saturated, 71% monounsaturated, 14% polyunsaturated (3). Unsaturated fats break down rapidly due to heat causing the process known as lipid peroxidation.” (5).  Polyunsaturated fats also inhibit reduce thyroid hormone T3, affecting proper thyroid function, which is arguably the most hormone in the body (5, 6).  Although monounsaturated is less bad (monounsaturated fats still affect thyroid function) than polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated is also contained in milk fat and olive oil with lower amounts of polyunsaturated fat.  Other references on free fatty acids affecting thyroid here and here.

At a very sad point in my life while going low carb, I made a point of it to eat an avocado a day.  Low glycemic index!  Healthy fat!  Bullshit!  Soon I began to develop bile reflux and extreme sulfur burps.  This was the most excruciating gut pain I’ve ever experienced.  Upon giving them up, the pain and burps disappeared almost immediately.  Sure, maybe I was eating too much, but I’ve eaten a bunch of honey, orange juice, and milk and NEVER had a similar problem.

2. Salmon or Fish Oil or Omega 3s

A lot of the same points as above apply.  Sure salmon meat begins to “taste” outstanding when covered with butter, garlic and lemon.  Unfortunately, it still smells like a nursing home while it gets cooked and the fats become rancid – look at the fat turn white and ooze out of the fish. Yum!  Compare this to a nice juicy steak that tastes great without any seasoning required.  Despite all this hate, even salmon does taste better than avocado.

Yes, salmon is loaded with omega 3’s.  It is a cold water fish.  This is to keep it’s body from freezing in cold temperatures.  You’re a warm blooded mammal.  Not a fish.  You don’t want your tissue loaded with fats sensitive to high temperatures.  Omega 3’s do reduce inflammation caused by omega 6’s (see avocado and vegetable oil).  However, they do so by suppressing your immune system.  Huge win! No.

The fish may contain astaxanthin which may protect you from unsaturated fats and the sun.  But why consume tons of unsaturated fats to protect yourself from them?  That would be like drinking beer for the water content.

3. Whole Grains

Yet another one of my failed experiments with nutrition.  At one point, I swore by whole grains..oh their dreamy high fiber content, their amazing ability to make me feel “full” (read: bloated) for hours.  Their lower glycemic index!   This was a great win for grain farmers, they could sell stuff (bran, husks) that used to need to get removed and wasted.  The down side is the exterior part of grains and seeds are highly irritable to your gut.  They contain phytic acid which inhibits mineral absorption.  Oh no, mineral absorption you say?!  Yes, big deal actually:  calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, etc are all hard enough as is to get from diet that consuming whole grains makes it even tougher.  All these minerals are essential to metabolism and hormone balancing.

My teeth became more sensitive and less white.  My nails became brittle and unhealthy.  My gut was consistently irritated or gassy.  If you must eat grains, eat them refined.  The Weston A Price foundation notes how people who ate refined carbohydrates and sugars somehow had healthier teeth than those who did not eat refined carbohydrates.

“Over the long term, when the diet lacks minerals or contains high levels of phytates or both, the metabolism goes down, and the body goes into mineral-starvation mode. The body then sets itself up to use as little of these minerals as possible. Adults may get by for decades on a high-phytate diet, but growing children run into severe problems. In a phytate-rich diet, their bodies will suffer from the lack of calcium and phosphorus with poor bone growth, short stature, rickets, narrow jaws and tooth decay; and for the lack of zinc and iron with anemia and mental retardation.”  – Weston A. Price

4. Raw Cruciferous Vegetables

Part of the “green juice” diet, raw cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, collard greens) are loaded with enough goitrogens to slow the thyroid.  They are so bitter than they don’t pass the simple “taste” test unless you’ve manipulated your diet and yourself so much that bitter stuff somehow tastes appetizing.  Yes, these people do exist.  Yes, they do contain more vitamin K (kale), magnesium (chard), and calcium (collards) than most foods.  However, you can get these nutrients from other foods (cheese, orange juice, milk) without the negative consequences.

Make some bone broth – I prefer cow, goat or lamb bones.  Throw in some vinegar or lemon juice.  Throw in some spices and salt.  Throw in these vegetables.  Boil out their nutrients into the water, and trash the remaining parts or consume them if you think you need more fiber.

5. Vegetable Oil

Soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, canola, sesame oil, sunflower seed oil, palm oil, and any others that are labeled as “unsaturated.”

The queen of the United States Government meddling in the economy and health of its people, vegetable oil, is awful for you.  Unsaturated fats are good for heart health!  Butter and cheese, things that have been eaten for millenia, are bad for you!  Myths.  Let’s smash soy and corn, and squeeze their oil out so people can consume more of their fats than they ever would have just eating soy (33% by mass = fatty acids) or corn (10% by mass = fatty acids) in their natural state. In a tablespoon of corn oil (fried anything), you consume the same amount of fat that you’d consume by eating about 10 tablespoons which is about 2/3rds of a cup.  When was the last time you sat down and ate that much corn?

I get it.  The US is good at growing corn and soy.  There is a big lobby for it, and the forced excess supply outstrips the natural demand so products start to get used for other things like making oil or ethanol or candles.  This stuff isn’t going to kill you in small doses.  The problem is that it gets used in almost all microwaveable meals and in most restaurants.  The problem is every baked good recipe calls for margarine or vegetable oil.  Is it the sugar making people fat?  Is it the sugar giving people diabetes?  People have been consuming sugar a lot longer than vegetable oil.  Old recipes used butter and sugar.

As detailed above, unsaturated fats oxidize in the body and slow your metabolism.  They’ll make you fat and ugly.  Avoid them.

References

  1.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2493049 Skin temperature during sunbathing–relevance for skin cancer.
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3118035/ Determination of lipid oxidation products in vegetable oils and marine omega-3 supplements
  3. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1844/2 Avocado nutrition facts
  4. http://www.artcamp.com.mx/EZINES/30OpeningEyes/7/aging&stress.htm Age pigment: Cause and Effect of Aging and Stress
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipid_peroxidation
  6.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3900181  Effect of low-carbohydrate diets high in either fat or protein on thyroid function, plasma insulin, glucose, and triglycerides in healthy young adults.
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3417114 Effect of fatty acid administration on plasma thyroid hormones in the domestic fowl.