You have heard this saying a million times, but what exactly does it mean to you, your family and your bodies?
Americans consume huge amounts of processed foods, including fast food, restaurant food and food you buy and provide for your families. Many European countries are changing how their families eat, by removing toxins from their foods, for a healthier world. Sadly, America, one of the richest countries in the world is poisoning their citizens. Not only are they damaging their bodies, but also their minds. School lunches are one of the worst culprits in our society, as well as all of the drive-through fast food establishments, that exist in practically every city in America.
Do you read labels on the foods that you purchase? Pay attention! There are too many ignorant people out there, who purchase packaged foods for their families, completely unaware of what those ingredients mean. This information is not just for families touched by a special needs child, these valuable facts are for ALL families!
We have more hyperactivity, autism and MANY other diseases and disorders out of control, than ever before. Many of these disorders can be eradicated or GREATLY improved by changing the diet to remove chemicals and toxins. Many people’s bodily functions can be greatly improved by getting rid of the wrong types of foods that enter your body.
Let’s start with processed foods. Something as simple as potato chips, can explain what I am talking about. Potato chips may not be the healthiest of foods, but they can still be a healthy option. There is nothing wrong with potatoes cut thin, baked or cooked in olive oil (or another healthy oil), and a small amount of salt. Three simple ingredients to satisfy your taste buds. Here is an ingredient list from a leading national company, who packages chips for the purchasing public. Potatoes, Sunflower Oil and/or Corn Oil, Flamin’ Hot Seasoning (Corn Maltodextrin, Sugar, Sunflower Oil, Dextrose, Malted Barley Flour, Torula Yeast,
Monosodium Glutamate, Artificial Color (Red 40 Lake, Yellow Lake, Yellow 6 Lake), Corn Syrup Solids, Salt, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Tomato Powder, Onion Powder, Citric Acid, Garlic Powder, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Spice, Sodium Caseinate, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guarylate) and Salt.
First off, you can clearly see there are ingredients listed that you have no clue what they are or where they even came from. This is the first lesson is how to read a label. If the list is long and full of odd, strange words, put it back on the shelf, this is not a healthy choice. Dextrose is just another word for sugar, which is already listed here. Why on earth do your potato chips need sugar? I can guarantee that this sugar is processed, refined and unhealthy! Corn syrup is never healthy. You can read all over the Internet about the dangers of corn syrup. The worse offenders here are the artificial ingredients, especially the Lake Dyes. These dyes are purely chemicals, made from petroleum oil, yes..what goes into the gas tank of your car. These colors (which have been abolished in many other parts of the world, they use fruits and vegetables to color their foods, instead) can harm your body and mind. Read more on www.Feingold.org about how your body and mind react to preservatives, chemicals and artificial ingredients, especially artificial colors. There are way too many destructive symptoms to list here that can occur by ingesting these chemicals. I will just name a few: hyperactivity, poor sleep patterns, skin disorders, bowel disorders, disruptive and/or abusive behaviors, inappropriate noises, aggression, mood swings, depression, low self-esteem and so much more!
You owe it to your family to read labels. There are many single ingredient foods that you can purchase or natural or organic options for just about anything you have in your freezer, refrigerator or pantry shelf. There are farmer’s markets all over the nation, co-ops, health food stores and large chains of stores that do not sell artificial products. Please do NOT say, it is too expensive. The people that exclaim these words pay a fortune weekly at fast food or other unhealthy restaurant options. Add up your cost for that soda, that burger, those fries and other side dishes. Add in a tip, if you go out. Compare your grocery bill to that of your “eating out” bill. Write down EVERY time you purchase outside food, this includes lunch and beverages parents’ purchase for themselves, while at work or in route to their destinations. Keep track of what you and your family are eating and the cost. Then go one week with NEVER eating out, yet purchasing only foods with healthy, natural ingredients. Why not shop at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or other similar stores in your area for one week of groceries. Not only will you save money, but also your family will have the best bowel movements, the best skin, and the best feeling inside mentally and physically. Yes, this means packing lunches for school and work daily, or perhaps even for a ride in the car on vacations or just day trips. Once you see the changes in your family after one week, you will not want to stop. One month will show you even more of the huge changes in your families’ daily existences.
Be cognizant, read labels, pay attention to what you buy, where you buy it, what the ingredients are for every morsel that you and your family ingest. Stop being ignorant. Share what you have learned with other families. It takes a village to change poor eating habits! Why not start today?
For much more in-depth details to everything mentioned in this article and much more, please go to Barrie Silberberg’s web site: www.puttingyourkidsfirst.com and discover more about her book: The Autism & ADHD Diet: A Step-by-Step Guide to Hope and Healing by Living Gluten Free and Casein Free (GFCF) and Other Interventions.
The Autism & ADHD Diet is available at all major bookstores, Amazon.com and many other online book retailers. Click Here for Barrie’s website Putting Your Kids First.
Reprinted with permission from Parenting Special Needs Magazine, Mar/Apr ‘11 Issue, Copyright  by Parenting Special Needs LLC. http://www.parentingspecialneeds.org.