Our ancestors didn’t have the luxury of refrigeration until the ice box (left) was invented, and they’d probably faint at the idea of taking food out of a box and eating it. Food preservation was limited to salting things down or drying them out. We are blessed to have ways to keep food on our shelves for months and years, and I don’t know a single person who doesn’t own at least one refrigerator, while there are many who own two.
But with this advance in food preservation comes a price to be paid, that in the cost of our health. Many of the preservatives added to our food are chemically-based and are not suited to our bodies.
Take, for instance, sodium nitrate, the most common preservative in lunch meats and hot dogs. Studies done by the American Dietetic Association have shown this substance to be carcinogenic, meaning it can cause cancer.
Also be on the lookout for MSG, which can cause headaches and nausea. (I’ve experienced this one myself.) While this additive is most commonly found in Chinese food, many Chinese restaurants are now going MSG free.
We’ve all heard about the dangers of trans fats, but did you know that they are actually a food preservative? I had no idea. I thought they just existed, not that they were added. Interesting. I quote a representative from the American Dietetic Association: "Trans fats are proven to cause heart disease, and make conditions perfect for stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and limb loss due to vascular disease. It would be wonderful if they could be banned."
Aspartame is especially dangerous. According to the FDA, it can cause headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain. You will especially want to avoid it if you have brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, parkinson's disease, alzheimer's, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes, as it can make the effects of these conditions worse.
Our ancestors had to eat their foods fresh and quickly before they went bad. We may be considered more “advanced,” but we’d do well to take a page from the lives of our ancestors and eat the bulk of our foods as fresh as we can get them, as unprocessed as possible. Our bodies simply weren’t made to accommodate these high levels of chemical additives.
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