Eat­ing Clean

AVOID­ING PRO­CESSED, chem­i­cal- and drug-laced food is vi­tal to well­ness and longevity and, thanks to con­sumer de­mand, healthy food is easy to find and less ex­pen­sive. But mod­ern food phrase­ol­ogy can be con­fus­ing, so here’s your New Nu­tri­tion Glos­sary


Health­ier longer – your new nu­tri­tion glos­sary

AL­KA­LINE Clean-eat­ing ad­vo­cates link in­flam­ma­tion in the body – caused by re­fined sug­ars, pro­cessed foods and meats – to pre­ma­ture aging and chronic ill­ness, arthri­tis, heart dis­ease, Alzheimer’s, Parkin­son’s, even can­cer. An al­ka­line diet in­cludes or­ganic whole foods.

BPA An in­dus­trial chem­i­cal (Bisphe­nol A) used to make plas­tics and resins that line cans to pre­vent a metal­lic taste from seep­ing into food and drink. Re­search has linked BPA ex­po­sure to in­creased risk for high blood pres­sure, di­a­betes, asthma, ADHD, can­cers, in­fer­til­ity and obe­sity. Pur­chase soup in glass or card­board pack­ag­ing.

BUL­LET­PROOF MCT-in­fused cof­fee, a huge trend, sta­bi­lizes blood sugar, boosts en­ergy and men­tal clar­ity and staves off crav­ings. Blended in your morn­ing java, it comes out frothy as a latte. Per­fect for break­fast skip­pers.

CAGE-FREE & FREE RANGE Cage­free means the chick­ens are kept in a build­ing with no ac­cess to the out­doors. Free-range means they’re al­lowed out, the build­ing has a door, but no as­sur­ance they use it. Look for pas­ture-raised and or­ganic eggs if the treat­ment of an­i­mals and top-qual­ity eggs is a pri­or­ity.

CARCINOGENS Al­co­hol as well as pro­cessed and red meats are the in­gestibles with the great­est links to can­cer. Also, charred meat and very hot drinks (above 65 C). Al­co­hol and pro­cessed meat are clas­si­fied as Group 1 carcinogens – with al­co­hol a greater risk for women as it raises es­tro­gen lev­els, which are as­so­ci­ated with breast can­cer. (Lean red meat can be an im­por­tant source

of iron, zinc, vi­ta­min B12 and pro­tein, so less risky than the other two.)

EFAs Es­sen­tial fatty acids are sourced from foods like fish, nuts, seeds, av­o­ca­dos and oils. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are crit­i­cal to cell re­gen­er­a­tion, stim­u­lat­ing re­pair, de­creas­ing in­flam­ma­tion and choles­terol, boost­ing brain de­vel­op­ment and block­ing in­fec­tion.

FAC­TORY FARMED Cor­po­rate agri­cul­ture live­stock treated with growth hor­mones, steroids and an­tibi­otics and raised on a chem­i­cal-, pes­ti­cide­and fer­til­izer-rich diet. In­stead, pur­chase meat from a trusted lo­cal source and ask if the an­i­mals are grass-fed and how they deal with sick­ness. Cows that are grass-fed are nat­u­rally leaner, have fewer calo­ries and con­tain higher lev­els of omega-3s. For poul­try, the gold stan­dard is raised on “rotated green pas­tures” and or­ganic feed.

GMO Ge­net­i­cally Mod­i­fied Or­gan­isms. While the Na­tional Academy of Sciences has con­cluded that GMOs don’t pose any health risk, prod­ucts la­beled NonGMO or GMO-Free mean they do not in­clude any or­gan­isms that have been ge­net­i­cally ma­nip­u­lated or lab-al­tered.

MCTs Medium-chain triglyc­erides sup­port the im­mune sys­tem, thy­roid, ner­vous sys­tem and skin, in­crease me­tab­o­lism and – un­like long-chain fatty acids – are im­me­di­ately ab­sorbed by the gas­troin­testi­nal tract. You can buy MCT oil and use it in recipes. Co­conut oil is also a good source.

NAT­U­RAL SALTS Iodized ta­ble salt is stripped of its nat­u­ral nu­tri­ents, then bleached white. Choose a pure, healthy op­tion. Hi­malayan Pink Salt, for ex­am­ple, con­tains more than 84 min­er­als like cal­cium, mag­ne­sium, potas­sium, cop­per and iron.

NI­TRATES A harm­less es­sen­tial nu­tri­ent that plants and grains ab­sorb from soil, ni­trates are used, at el­e­vated lev­els, as a preser­va­tive for cured meats. When cooked, ni­trates con­vert in the di­ges­tive sys­tem to form ni­trosamines, which are as­so­ci­ated with can­cer. Cut back on cured meats but if you need the salami, ba­con or hot dog, down it with some fresh an­tiox­i­dant citrus.

PES­TI­CIDES The toxic chem­i­cals used in agri­cul­ture to kill crop-dam­ag­ing pests. Fruit and veg are por­ous, so wash­ing is not 100 per cent ef­fec­tive. It’s best to buy or­ganic. In lieu of that, the Cen­tre for Sci­ence and En­vi­ron­ment ad­vises clean­ing pro­duce in a two per cent salt solution of cold wa­ter to re­move most of the sur­face.

SU­PER­FOODS High phy­tonu­tri­ents – nat­u­ral bioac­tive com­pounds found in plant foods that of­fer a mega­dose of nu­tri­ents – the best sources in­clude blue­ber­ries, goji berries, av­o­ca­dos, kale, co­conuts, maca, spir­ulina, sal­mon, sweet pota­toes and bee prod­ucts.

WHOLE FOODS Those that are en­tirely or al­most en­tirely un­pro­cessed and un­re­fined and do not con­tain sugar, salt, fat or chem­i­cal ad­di­tives.

WHOLE GRAINS In­clud­ing the en­tire grain seed – the bran, en­dosperm and germ – whole grain prod­ucts are an ex­cel­lent source of fi­bre and nu­tri­ents. Pro­cessed for a finer tex­ture and longer shelf life, the outer lay­ers are re­moved for re­fined grains (white flour) and don’t in­clude any fi­bre, iron and B vi­ta­mins.

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