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Things You Think Are Healthy or Safe But Are Not What You Think

Updated on May 10, 2013
subway, eat fresh? why doesn't mine look like that!
subway, eat fresh? why doesn't mine look like that!

We hear it all the time in the news, from our friends, all around us, eat this not that. Drink this not that. Use this, try this, on and on it goes. Just when we think we have it all figured out, we find out that our “safe” or “healthy” alternative isn’t what we thought it was. I started down this path of research, because it seems like I’m constantly hearing that someone else has gotten cancer, or suffers from one illness or another. Something just isn’t right. Kids are reaching puberty earlier, and just in general, people are huge compared to several decades ago. My personal blame is on the food industry, starting with WW2 and the introduction of the “tv dinner”. Check out the documentary Food Inc if this topic interests you, but basically, what we think is healthy, is often filled with ingredients and chemicals that shouldn’t be ingested by human beings. Next time you’re feeling sluggish, nauseated or overall feel like something just isn’t right, take a look at your eating habits and lifestyle choices, chances are you’re insides are rejecting the processed, artificial ingredients you’re ingesting.

1: Subway: Eat Fresh? Think Again

Subway – Eat Fresh! Think again. That fresh “turkey” or “ham” you’re eating is essentially the bits and pieces of turkey or pig pressed into a bologna like roll, then frozen, shipped across the world for delivery, thawed and then sliced so thin that you can hardly taste it’s artificial. Please don’t even look at the Chicken. In Australia, the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) ordered Subway to change the name of their Chicken Filet sub, because their chicken is made from reprocessed chicken parts and Is not technically chicken. Only 80% of the “meat” comes from “chicken parts” with miscellaneous ingredients making up the remaining 20% of what you are eating. That is worse than eating a Chicken McNugget from McDonalds.

Don't Fall for the Advertisements

wow! looks good
wow! looks good

What you See on TV is Not Reality

Healthy Alternative?
Healthy Alternative?

And you think because they advertise the calories it’s healthy? Consider this: that is without the toppings, cheese and dressings. When you add it all together, a 6” meatball marinara has more calories than a Big Mac. If you opt for the foot-long, you’re even worse off. Take the research from the Palo Alto Medical Research foundations findings, in that the average teen consumes 1,038 calories at McDonalds, compared to 955 at Subway, less than a 90 calorie difference. When you go to Subway, you’re not eating healthy because quite honestly, you need the dressing, cheese and toppings to mask the fact that their meats and products are artificial. If you are one of the few who skip on those things, I seriously question your taste-buds. I think airline food, or high school cafeterias even rank a notch higher than Subway. If I’m going to consume 1,000 calories in one sitting, you better believe I’m going to enjoy it and splurge on something worthwhile, not an imitation piece of meat with vegetables and sauces to mask the taste. Give me the double cheeseburger, because in all seriousness, it’s what you’re eating, but not enjoying.

2: Anti-Bacterial Soap: Killing you softly....

Triclosan is everywhere and its been in our houses for over 40 years. It was grandfathered in from FDA regulation, but finally the FDA is reviewing this chemical. Triclosan is the main product in anti-bacterial soaps, cleaners, sprays, toothpastes, etc. I was at Bath & Body works over the weekend, and most of their products contain 3% Triclosan. Consider that Johnson & Johnson, is pulling the ingredient from all of its products, hospital systems around the country are banning its use and something tells me there is more to this story than has been admitted to by health officials.

half the products in here are 3% triclosan
half the products in here are 3% triclosan

Take a study done at the University of California Davis; After mice were exposed to one dose of Triclosan, heart muscle function was reduced by 25 percent, and grip strength was reduced by 18 percent. Fish were also exposed to Triclosan leading to poorer swimming performance. Researchers also exposed individual human muscle cells (from heart and skeletal muscles) to a Triclosan dose similar to everyday-life exposure, and this, too, disrupted muscle function and caused both heart and skeletal muscles to fail. In addition, in an article published by Oxford Journals, A Toxicological Sciences study found that Triclosan affected estrogen-mediated responses, and many chemicals that imitate estrogen are known to increase breast cancer risk. Triclosan also suppressed thyroid hormone in rats indicating that its effects can be pervasive when it comes to health.

If the potential risks aren’t enough to sway your usage, consider that Triclosan was first registered as a pesticide and studies have also found that its effectiveness of killing germs is marginally the same as using just plain soap and water.

3: Chicken: Yes, Chicken

You’re probably thinking, how can chicken be unhealthy, it’s recommended over red meat, chicken? Yes, Chicken. Unless you’re eating hormone free, anti-biotic free no preservative added chicken, you’e essentially eating a bird that can't stand on its own two feet because it is so full of drugs and steroids just to live to see another day. Not to mention that your typical grocery store chicken is filled with other non-chicken parts to plump it up and make it appealing at the store. To see the difference, go buy an organic, no hormone, no antibiotic chicken and then your typical grocery store bird. One will be the size of a basketball while the organic bird, about half that size. According to the FDA, About 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in the United States each year are given to livestock as "growth promoters" that allow animals to put on weight more quickly, or as prophylactic regimens that protect against the confined conditions in which they are raised. Health officials argue that these uses create resistant bacteria that move off large-scale farms via wind, water, dust, and in the animals themselves and the meat they become -- and create difficult-to-treat human infections

Don't eat me
Don't eat me

As written by PETA’s Top 10 Reasons Not to Eat Chicken: A USDA study found that more than 99 percent of broiler chicken carcasses sold in stores had detectable levels of E. coli, indicating fecal contamination. In other words, if you're eating chicken flesh, you're almost certainly eating poop. Consumer Reports states there are "1.1 million or more Americans sickened each year by undercooked, tainted chicken." Chicken flesh is also loaded with dangerous levels of arsenic, which can cause cancer, dementia, neurological problems, and other ailments in humans. Men's Health magazine recently ranked supermarket chicken number one in their list of the "10 Dirtiest Foods" because of the high rate of bacterial contamination

e-cigarettes aren't totally safe
e-cigarettes aren't totally safe

4: E-Cigarettes: Not Just Water Vapor

While commendable for kicking the habit, don’t be immune to the fact that e-cigarettes aren’t harmless. The FDA and other studies have found a common ingredient mixed with the nicotine, diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical used in antifreeze. Several other samples have been found to contain carcinogens, including nitrosamines. In small doses, these chemicals can often go unnoticed with no effect, but lets face it, as a smoker, you’re prone to addictive type behaviors and continued, addictive like use of e-cigarettes opens the door for these chemicals to add up in your system. While studies have not yet conclusively determined the long term effects of these substances through a vapor delivery system (given that e-cigarettes haven’t been around too long), while the jury is out, you may want to consider that each inhale you take, could potentially have a similar catastrophic impact on your long term health as if you were still smoking the original cancer stick.

5: Bottled water/ Plastic Containers: Not All Plastic is Created Equal

We commonly think of plastic as a great way to store and heat things up in the micro-wave. But heating plastic can release chemicals. Some of these chemicals if ingested, can create some serious health effects. Take note to the plastic recycling sign and the number on the bottom of your bottle or container. While most plastics are relatively safe, consider the effects of some of these not-so safe plastics. The two biggest culprits:

Number 3 plastics: Condiment bottles, teething rings, shower curtains, detergent bottles, shampoo bottles, and on and on, and these plastics release toxic products (including pthalates) into food and drinks. Studies have suggested a link between Pthalates to cancer, endocrine system disruption and damage to reproductive organs and liver function.

Number 6 plastics - Styrofoam: Do not heat! (coffee anyone?). This plastic when heated, releases potentially toxic breakdown products (including styrene) which is toxic to the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys and respiratory system and is suspected of having a role to play in various other ailments.

Think about it, plastic is made from various chemical reactions. If you’re storing your liquids, or re-heating this plastic, it only makes sense that you are increasing the “leaching” process, whereby chemical compounds start to permeate their environment when the compounds are broken down.

sulfites are added to dried fruit to make them more appealing.
sulfites are added to dried fruit to make them more appealing.

6: Wine: A Glass a Day?

While wine may taste good, and you’ll hear a glass a day can help with all kinds of things, consider that a good many wine drinkers don’t stick to the “glass a day” concept. It’s hard to imagine opening a bottle of wine, pouring a glass, corking it, and re-visiting that bottle tomorrow for another glass. Then, corking it, letting it sit in the refrigerator or out on the shelf until tomorrow, or the next day. The fact is, a wine is meant to be drunk, and therein lies the problem. Wine contains sulfite and the more you consume the higher risk you’ll have for headaches and other health relkated side-effects (not to mention the effects of alcohol). They can cause digestive problems and irritate other delicate functions of your body. Don’t be mislead, wine is alcohol at its core and if you think you’re drinking a glass because it’s healthy, consider that there are much safer ways to enrich your health.

imagine what steroids can do to a chicken!
imagine what steroids can do to a chicken!

Add it All Together

Think about the things we ate 1,000 years ago, or think about how much our evolution in today's era comes from a lab and not from nature. There is something to be said about the human blue-print. If we veer to far off track, our bodies will tell us. Pay attention to your body and your health, some things are just not normal and shouldn't be a part of our chemistry. Or don't, but know that bigger, quicker, faster, tastier, cleaner, prettier is not always better.

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