Meagan Duhamel
Montreal, Canada

Welcome to my healthy living blog! You may know me as a 2-Time World Champion Figure Skater, Olympic Silver Medalist, and 6-time Canadian National Champion in pairs skating with my skating partner Eric Radford. But away from the ice, I am an animal loving vegan, a yogi, a holistic nutritionist and a wife. My passion for Figure Skating has been part of my life since I was 3 years old, but more recently I discovered a new passion: Healthy Living!

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Nutrition Wellness

Watch Out! What is really in the food that you are eating?

By on July 8, 2017

These days it seems like almost everyone is looking for “natural” and “wholefoods” to add to their diet, but what if you knew that a product that is labelled as “Natural” has no regulations at all? It’s up to the consumer to read between the lines to find out what is really inside that product. Mercury and Aluminum occur naturally in the environment, but does that make these products good for you?

Processed foods are more readily available to us now then ever before, with additives that are illegal in other countries, being “safely” added into our foods in North America. Processed foods are costlier to us then wholefoods because of their low nutritional value and high health risks, if compared to a diet built on organic, wholefoods. Some of the most dangerous ingredients in the food industry are added to our foods to modify their appearance, shape, colour or consistency. There are some key additives that have been researched and proven that we should stay away from, keep a lookout for these key words in any labelling on foods that you eat, and stay clear of them!!

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Artificial Colouring:

Found in candy, soda, gelatin desserts and even pet food, this synthetic dye used to enhance appearance increases the risk of hyperactivity in children, cancer and allergic reactions.

Artificial Sweeteners:

Found in candy, gum and diet drinks, these additives are added to sweeten. Some of them have been linked to cancer and they are known to effect to nervous system. There is still ongoing studies but the risk is high, so why take it?

Carrageenan:

This “Natural” additive has been used for decades to thicken and stabilize low-fat milk products and milk alternatives. Exposing carrageenan to the intestinal system can trigger inflammation and colon cancer.

MSG (Monosodium glutamate):

Used as a flavour enhancer and preservative in soups, salad dressings, frozen foods, instant formula and over the country medications, it is known to cause tightness in the chest, fainting and nausea, as well as low blood pressure.

Nitrites:

This additive is used to preserve and as a colour and taste stabilizer. It is found in lunch meats, hot dogs, smoked fish, bacon and ham, it is highly linked to stomach cancer and cancer in pregnant women. This is a big Watch Out additive because companies have been known to label their products as “Preservative Free” but still include nitrites under a different name, Cultured celery extract. This is a “natural” nitrite and laws allow products to be labelled as “Preservative Free” or ”Natural” if all ingredients are natural, and since Cultured celery extract is a “natural” nitrite, it doesn’t need to be labelled with a warning.

The list is things to watch for don’t end here. We also have pesticides and antibiotics being regularly added to the food that we consume. Right now we are experiencing a major problem with soil quality. Most of the soil in which our food is grown is lacking the nutrients necessary, therefore our food is not producing the proper vitamins and minerals that it could. Pesticide runoff is also beginning to contaminate our water supply and the chemicals found in pesticides have now been linked to cancer, and nerve and brain damage.

Antibiotics are another dangerous addition to our foods. The factory farm industry uses a large amount of antibiotics in order to promote animal growth and limit disease. Produce growers are also prone to spraying their crops with antibiotics. The only way to know for sure that the food you are eating is antibiotic free is to buy foods labelled as organic or antibiotic free. The medical industry is already over-prescribing antibiotics; we don’t need to add more with our food. Antibiotics kill the good bacteria, as well as the bad, so it’s best to stay away from them all together.

These are just a small number of things to watch out for in foods that you eat. Connect with a holistic nutritionist to find out more about what you should and shouldn’t be putting into your body. Health Canada doesn’t educate us enough about these dangerous toxins, but you have the ability to decide what we are putting into our bodies, so please make the right choices.

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