Watch Out for these Poisons
We consume condiments day in and day out. They are kitchen staples, added to many of our meals. However, we usually eat them without considering the disastrous effect they have on our health.
Some of the most popular things we add to our food, to make it more tasty, are also toxic. The body recognizes them as poisons, so it works hard to excrete them.
So what are these potentially dangerous items, found in nearly everyone's pantry?
For one, there is commercial table salt. Alternative health practitioners are quick to tell you it's bad for you. With or without the added iodine, it has the potential, among other things, to raise your blood pressure and damage your kidneys.
Then, there's the mayonnaise. As I'll explain later, depending upon the brand, it contains a potential witch's brew of harmful ingredients.
Did I mention the ketchup? Again, it differs by brand. But if you buy the cheapest bargain basement kind, it could contain refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, something all of us should avoid if we value our health.
Why Table Salt is Bad for You
Salt is essential for our bodies to function. Actually, we can't live without this chemical, which, like water, is necessary for life. Every cell in our body depends upon getting adequate amounts of this crucial compound.
However, most people are eating an adulterated version of salt. This is the kind we find in cylindrical shakers in the grocery store. It's a laboratory creation, processed at very high temperatures.
Even though it tastes like real salt, it has a different chemical structure. The heat treatment renders it devoid of the naturally occurring minerals and trace elements we also need to maintain good health.
What's left is something our body recognizes as foreign. So our kicks into high gear, in an attempt to get rid of this substance. The end result is often elevated blood pressure, as the heart pumps harder to clear this artificial condiment.
A much better alternative is Himalayan salt, which is what we use in our house. This is mined from pure reserves found in Pakistan, so it's a light pink color. The taste is exquisite and so are the health benefits. It contains each of the minerals needed by our bodies, in just the right amounts.
The Problem with Cheap Ketchup
If you catch a sale, you'll often find a bottle of ketchup for just 99 cents. You can always find this condiment for just about the same price at a dollar store. But it's no bargain.
That's because most ketchup, unless it specifically says so, contains high-fructose corn syrup. This is a problematic additive, on a number of levels.
High-fructose corn syrup is not a natural food and our body does not recognize it as such. It's made in a laboratory, by turning glucose found in corn into sweet-tasting fructose. This substance is added to many packaged foods, since it's a very inexpensive sweetener.
This highly controversial substance has been linked to obesity, diabetes and liver disease. Compounding the problem is that mercury has been found in many samples of HFCS, a likely result of processing the corn, using caustic chemicals laced with this metal.
Mercury is highly toxic and can cause permanent damage to the brain and to the nervous system.
All of this would be bad enough, if the corn came from crops that aren't genetically modified. But most of the corn now grown in the United States is from seed designed to survive applications of a controversial herbicide known as glyphosate.
Genetically modified corn feed has been linked to cancer in laboratory animals.
Organic ketchup does not contain HFCS or GMOs. This is now widely available in most grocery stores, and paying just a little more for it is a good investment in your family's health.
Watch Out for GMO Mayonnaise
I refuse to buy regular mayonnaise from the grocery store, because I'm well aware of the ingredient list. High-fructose corn syrup is almost always on it.
One popular brand advertises itself as "all natural." A closer look reveals that it contains "corn syrup." (Consumers are increasingly wary of the "high fructose" prefix, which, in this case, was dropped.)
In addition, most commercial mayonnaise is made with soybean and/or canola oil. In the United States, nearly all of these crops are genetically modified. This means that in addition to eating bizarre DNA combinations never before seen before, you are likely serving up a little glyphosate (that questionable herbicide) with your salad.
Organic mayonnaise is one thing I splurge on. I order it online. It's more expensive than the store-bought brand, which, in my opinion, is not fit to feed my family.