Do you know what you’re eating?
The corporate marketing machine is pretty sneaky about it’s labeling practices, skirting the law to make their products appear healthier than they are.
Take one of the most popular foods in the American diet, ketchup. This condiment goes with many popular savory dishes like eggs, French fries, burgers, hot dogs and chicken nuggets. Everyone, especially kids, love ketchup for its sweet and tangy taste. When combined with fatty, salty foods ketchup creates an irresistible flavor combination in any dish.
Heinz is the ketchup market leader with 60 percent market share in the U.S. However, there are many reasons you and your family should reduce or avoid consumption of this popular, processed brand.
If you absolutely can’t go without your ketchup a better alternative is using an organic, GMO-free ketchup brand or making your own from organic tomato paste, water or broth, honey, salt and apple cider vinegar. Making your own is easier and cheaper than you would think and gives you ultimate control of your food.
So why is Heinz ketchup a bad choice? Just look at the label.
Legally ingredients must be listed in order of amount use, with the predominant ingredient listed first. Heinz ketchup ingredients are as follows: tomato concentrate from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spices, onion powder and natural flavorings.
Here’s where Heinz gets tricky. They list corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup as two separate ingredients. They are in fact the same thing. If combined, these two ingredients then would be listed first on the ingredient label. Corn syrup is in fact the main ingredient in Heinz ketchup. If they listed it first, however, it would make their ketchup seem unhealthy or unappealing.
If you are not aware of the dangers of high fructose corn syrup, this is probably the biggest reason to avoid a product like Heinz. A barrel of high fructose corn syrup was tested by an Food and Drug Administration (FDA) researcher and found to contain high levels of mercury. Yes, that’s right MERCURY, the toxic heavy metal that affects the brain and nervous system. This product should not be in your children’s food!
If this isn’t disturbing enough, let’s look at the other ingredients.
The tomatoes in Heinz ketchup are listed as “ripe” and “red” but they are also processed, loaded with pesticides and possibly genetically modified. To keep costs down, Heinz uses low quality ingredients, choosing instead to spend their money on marketing and advertising to manage customer perceptions.
Distilled vinegar is another Heinz ingredient made from GMO corn, which is also grown with loads of pesticides.
Heinz also uses the cheapest type of salt, which can cause toxicity in the blood, high blood pressure and mineral imbalances if eaten in high quantities. And we all know that there is nothing natural about natural flavorings, or else they’d list it as a recognizable food or spice. Natural flavorings is just label speak for chemicals.
So we hope that going over the ingredients in Heinz ketchup has raised your awareness about what’s really hiding in your processed food and condiments. It’s not as innocent as it seems.
Because the American diet is full of processed products like this, with hidden, detrimental ingredients, it’s always a good idea to do periodic cleanses to remove built up toxins. The 21-Day Body Makeover will help you flush these processed toxins.
Cleaning your body is just as important as cleaning your house. If you go too long between cleanings, the dirt will build up and become much tougher to get rid of. In some cases, these built up toxins can cause diseases, immune issues, weight gain and allergies. Removing toxic foods from your pantry is a great idea. But flushing your body of past damage and toxins will leave you feeling lighter, clearer and more energetic.
The foundations of detoxification is eating right and exercising
While that’s a great start, there’s more you can do to improve your detoxification experience. When you’re trying to rid your body built up toxins, why not also try to limit your exposure of toxins coming in? While we can’t control our exposure to all toxins, there are things we can do in our home to greatly reduce our exposure.
Detoxifying your home can be a big and overwhelming project, so it’s best to start slow. Making a few changes weekly will add up quickly and leave you feeler cleaner and greener.
The first step is to educate yourself. Let’s look at the most common chemicals that hang out in your home.
You may or may no remember formaldehyde from high school biology class. It’s used to preserve dead animals for dissection purposes. This powerful preservative is also a known carcinogen and is used to manufacture products like nail polish and particle board. Detox tip: buy natural nail polish that is free of formaldehyde and limit the amount of particle board furniture in your house, opting for real wood instead.
Benzene is another toxic chemical found in paint, fuel, tobacco smoke and has been linked to health conditions like leukemia. Detox tip: choose paint that produces low emissions of volatile organic compound gases and don’t allow smoking inside the house.
Chlorine bleach is a common product found in most homes. It’s use can cause eye, throat and lung irritation and when mixed with ammonia it creates a poisonous gas. Detox tip: try not to breath in bleach when using it or switch to a natural alternative like hydrogen peroxide, lemon essential oil or vinegar. Switching from commercial cleaners to greener brands is always a good bet.
Phthalates can throw your hormones out of whack and can commonly be found in plastic containers and shampoos. Detox tip: It’s a good idea to switch from plastic to glass container and buy phthalate-free, natural shampoo and conditioner. Ditching plastic water bottles is one of the best ways to limit phthalate exposure, as the chemical may leach into the water inside, especially on hot days.
Lastly PCBs are nasty chemicals that were outlawed in 1979. But these chemicals are still in circulation and are carcinogenic. Most of our exposure comes from eating fish or breathing contaminated air. Detox tip: to limit your PCB exposure use an air filter in the home and limit fish consumption to once or twice a week.
Here are a few more things you can do to limit your toxic exposure in your house.
Drinking water is one of the biggest sources of toxins depending on water quality. Even if your water quality is good, a filter will make it even better.
Eating organic can be more expensive, but it’s the best way to avoid pesticides and genetically modified produce. Choosing organic is also good for the planet. Spend your money at the farmers market instead of at the pharmacy.
Most products get their fragrances from nasty chemicals. To limit toxic exposure it’s best to go with unscented products or switch to natural products scented with essential oils.
Switching to natural toothpaste is one of the easiest home detox fixes. Choose natural toothpaste that is free of fluoride and triclosan. This is especially important if you have young kids because fluoride is toxic if swallowed.
Ditch the extra products you don’t need, like air fresheners and hair spray. Diffuse essential oils to make the house smell nicer. Ditching house scenting products not only saves money, it saves your health.
If it’s time to buy a new mattress or couch, choose products with organic filling, made from non-toxic materials. The off gassing of chemicals from new furniture can affect children and sensitive people.
Lastly, getting rid of compact fluorescent light bulbs is a great idea. These types of bulbs should be avoided and disposed of carefully because they contain mercury and can be harmful if broken.
These are some of the tips for cleaning up your home to make your detox experience with the 21-Day Body Makeover even more successful.