If you have any tendency to hit the bread basket at dinner, or you have a penchant for plates of regular pasta or sweet treats like cookies, you are consuming white foods which can have a deleterious impact on your health. Some white foods are actually quite healthy for the most part, such as eggs, cauliflower, onions and turnips. However, white foods which are highly processed and refined wreak havoc on our bodies, and should be eliminated from our diets. Not only do they adversely affect digestion, they cause spikes in blood sugar, diminish the collagen and elastin in our skin, and lead to heart and kidney disease.
Not sure what constitutes the white foods I am referring to? Here’s a list:
Enriched White Flour
One of the reasons why the flour which is used in processed foods is usually enriched is because fiber, vitamins and minerals are stripped during the refining process of the grain. In addition, processed grains and table sugar are absorbed very rapidly, causing a sharp increase in insulin release with a corresponding crash, resulting in hunger pangs and cravings, not to mention adversely affecting one’s health over the course of time. In case you didn’t know, the average carbonated soda has 10 to 12 teaspoons of table sugar. According to the American Heart Association, an average of 22 teaspoons of sugar is consumed daily by the average American. Sugar in any form provides very few nutrients, and that is why it is described as providing “empty” calories.
Another white food which could be added to the do-not-eat list is dairy. The dairy industry often uses hormones and antibiotics in raising the cows, which then can cause weight gain, hormonal imbalance, inflammation, allergies and digestive issues in humans. I have seen a fair number of patients who dealt with chronic pain and inflammation which abated once they eliminated dairy products from their diets.
I honestly believe that everyone should examine all foods which are currently in the pantry or elsewhere in the kitchen, disposing of any processed foods. Once this purge is completed, it is critical to read nutrition labels when shopping at the grocery store and to avoid purchasing foods which have ingredients on the above list. I discovered that I have a severe intolerance to barley and I also have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Because of this, I have cut gluten out of my diet, which means that I avoid bread, crackers, and pasta which are made with wheat flour or any other glutinous grain. However, this doesn’t mean that gluten free bread products are the answer either, especially because they are also processed foods. I only consume gluten free pastas, breads or cookies a few times per year, and I truly have cravings for healthy foods. For example, when I want a crunchy snack, I opt for a bowl of raw veggies like radishes (my favorite), cucumber, and fresh raw mushrooms, while others might reach for a bag of potato chips. My palate is so conditioned to like clean foods that I actually crave things like radishes, arugula, and lean cuts of turkey and seafood.
If you stick to fresh vegetables, lean meat, and incorporate healthy fats like avocado into your regimen, the fresh flavors will hopefully break you out of your refined food habits and lead you to healthy eating habits.