12 Months to a Healthier You! (Month 3)

Month 3: Avoid Food Additives
Dr Anne Zauderer

How many of you have had the experience of going grocery shopping, picking up a box of food, looking at the label and not recognizing half of the ingredients on the list? Unfortunately, this is a very common problem with most foods in American grocery stores today.

The food industry made a shift many decades ago. Food became big business. The decisions that drove what foods made it onto grocery store shelves were not about the nutritional value of the food, but rather which foods would bring the biggest profit. To make a profit, foods had to have a long shelf life, taste really good, have consistency of color and flavor, and they had to be inexpensive for the consumer. To achieve the factors listed above, the food industry started slowly adding more and more chemicals to our food system. Yes, these chemicals are GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the Food and Drug Administration. However, no research has been done on the sheer quantities, combinations, and lifelong ingestion of these chemicals.

We are overloading our bodies with these chemicals and the result is skyrocketing numbers of chronic diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity, intestinal permeability (leaky gut), obesity, and mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Therefore, my challenge to you this month is to eliminate as many food additives from your diet as you can. If your usual brand has these chemicals, often you can find an alternative brand without them at a health food store. The best option is to shop the perimeter of any grocery store for fresh fruits and vegetables, meat from grass-finished animals and nuts and seeds.

We want to hear from you on how your results are going with the monthly challenge! Email Dr Anne at newseditor@riordanclinic.org to let us know about your progress, and to get your name entered in our monthly random giveaways for those participating in the challenge.