Beginners Guide to Healthy Eating

Avoid These 7 Ingredients

beginners guide to healthy eating
Like most things worth having, good health requires some effort. The effort starts with educating yourself about what good food is. This Beginners Guide to Healthy Eating will help you understand why some foods are better for your health than others.
When you over-indulge in poor food choices, your body has to deal with the consequences. When you don't get the nutrition you need, you're going to feel sluggish, irritable and lacking in energy

What's in the food you eat?

There may be foods that you may eat on a regular basis, like chicken nuggets, diet sodas, and garden burgers. But some of these foods have ingredients that are not food at all.
Have you ever looked up the uses for some of the chemicals commonly found in “food”? Some ingredients act as preservatives. Some are used to enhance the taste. Either way, they are dangerous to physical, mental and emotional health.
There are many questions and few answers about what are safe quantities of additives in any given food. What may be safe for one person, may not be safe for another.
Also, foods that have artificial flavor-enhancing ingredients are designed to make you want to eat more of them in large amounts. This is important to know because the body cannot quickly cleanse these toxins and the effects can be cumulative.

Beginners Guide to Healthy Eating

Any foods that contain chemicals and additives are harmful. Most of the ingredients to avoid fall into one of three areas: Food additives, artificial sweeteners, and colorings.

1. Butane or TBHQ

Butane is not just used for cigarette lighters anymore! You can also find it in some chicken nuggets. It turns out food manufacturers use Butane as a preservative to keep chicken nuggets “fresh” tasting.
Butane is in other frozen and pre-packaged foods like crackers, cereal bars, and chips. So, the next time you crave chicken nuggets, consider making them at home.
Beginners Guide to Healthy Eating 

2. Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol is the ingredient that makes your ice cream smooth and creamy. But, it's also the same ingredient used in deodorant, cosmetics, and cars.
Propylene glycol is an anti-freeze used as a food additive. It has many industrial uses including airport runway de-icer.
Be on high alert when buying:
  • Cake mix
  • Low-fat ice cream
  • Salad dressings
  • Olives
  • Syrups
  • Apple cider
  • Jams
  • Dog food.

3. Potassium Benzoate

You may love drinking diet soda to quench your thirst while avoiding sugary calories… But diet soda is an unhealthy invention.

Diet soda with potassium benzoate can form into benzene which is a carcinogen. It can also be in some fruit juices that contain ascorbic acid and vitamin C, which can worsen the effects of benzene in the body

4. Soy

Artificial additives are not the only ingredients to be aware of. Soy food was once the darling of the health food world and touted as a replacement for many foods. People believed that eating soy food products was a healthy alternative to eating meat protein.
beginners guide to healthy eating 
But, recent studies are disputing this and claiming that excess soy consumption can be difficult to digest and bad for your health.
Besides the fact that most soy is genetically modified, these studies reveal that soy leads> to high estrogen levels in women and early puberty in kids.

Soy was also found to play a part in an imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the body.

If you're going to eat soy, go for products made from organic fermented soy (as opposed to unfermented soy). Two recommendations are Tamari and Braggs Liquid Aminos because these are both extracts from fermented soy.


Avoid soy oil, soy sauce, soy milk, soy protein, and soy isolate (unless they're fermented).

5. High Fructose Corn Syrup

Beginners Guide to Healthy EatingHigh Fructose Corn Syrup is a processed sweetener made from genetically modified corn.  It's cheaper and sweeter than regular sugar and is in almost every processed food and sugar-sweetened drink.

HFC causes tissue damage that may lead to a fatty liver,  obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. To make matters worse, it contains other chemical toxins like Chloralkali which contains mercury.

The average person consumes more than 20 teaspoons of high fructose corn syrup per day. Over time, these heavy metals can accumulate in the tissues of the body causing chronic health problems.

You'll find it in breakfast cereals, juice drinks, low-calorie salad dressings, and some yogurts (like Yoplait).

Read the Labels

Knowing about unhealthy ingredients in your food is the first step toward making your diet healthier. The most significant step is applying the knowledge. Read the labels and leave the artificial additives on the shelf. I can promise you; there are more natural options available.
You may find it hard to go without ice cream or diet soda… But once your pallet gets used to NOT having them, you'll lose the craving and taste for many unhealthy processed foods
Like all good habits, healthy food selection is one worth developing
To improve your health and your family's health, avoid packaged or processed foods. Opt for natural and whole foods.
To improve your family's dietary health, avoid packaged or processed foods as much as possible.

6. Genetically Modified Foods

Big Companies, Big Dollars

beginners guide to healthy eatingOne colossal corporation, Monsanto, is responsible for most of the advances in genetically modified foods.
They spend a significant amount of money to support their claim that their genetic modifications will help farmers feed a hungry world.
It doesn't take much research to be at least a bit cynical… and that their primary goal is making money. The truth is that every time a plant is genetically modified, the newly created plant is patented by them.

Can a Company Put a Patent on Life?

Monsanto owns the rights to the plants and seeds. Part of the condition is that the new owner is not allowed to harvest or regrow seed from them.
All seed must be purchased new for the next season's crop. If another farmer stores and sows the seed, Monsanto will sue the farmer.
Monsanto has lobbied governments to change their laws so that even if the seed has blown onto a neighboring farmer's land, and naturally re-sown, they can sue the farmer for growing the patented DNA crop.
I don't know about you, but I feel that allowing a corporation to have patents over living organisms is evil. 
While the legal and moral implications of GMO's continue to be debated in the courts… For most of us, the big question is… Are GMO's safe to eat?

Are GMO's Safe?

Strong claims from both sides mean we are no more transparent about the health implications of consuming GMOs. One problem is that there is not much financial support for studies on the potential health problems associated with GMO'sThe money is strongly stacked on Monsanto's side.
We've devoted an entire post to answer the question, are GMO's Safe here.

Many scientists and researchers have expressed their fears about damage to human health due to consumption of GMO foods
GMO's have reduced nutrient value compared to foods that are not genetically modified.
Some even claim that these altered genes could trigger changes in our DNA that we may pass on to our children.
Studies on animals have shown reduced fertility when fed large amounts of GMO foods. A concern is that the non-food genes in GMO foods can cause severe allergy responses.
Genetic engineering attempts to create crops which are resistant to pests. So, there's a fear that whatever genes used to kill or resist pests could be dangerous to humans over time.

Lifetime Effects of GMOs

Genetic engineers use antibiotics when conducting their experiments, so antibiotic resistance is a concern.
GMO's are becoming more prevalent, especially with some major food suppliers. In some countries, there are a few crops that are almost unavailable as non-GM.
There are NO health benefits of eating GMO food. Because there are so much uncertainty and misinformation about GMO foods, you would be wise to avoid them.

The Safest Option?

In the future, if somehow GMO foods prove to be non-damaging, you will have lost nothing if you refuse to eat them. But, if they do prove dangerous, and you have been consuming them, you will not be able to undo the damage on yourself or even your offspring.
This is where the old saying “prevention is better than the cure” best applies. As much as possible, avoid them in your grocery shopping. Knowledge is your best weapon against GM foods. You should check the foods you are buying to make sure they come from a non-GMO source.

Health Problems From Eating Grains

Many people suffer from health problems after eating foods made from grain. You may be someone who does too and maybe you don't know the real reason why.
Here are some of the substances contained in grains known to cause problems:

7. Gluten

The wheat we eat today is entirely different that the wheat consumed years ago. The grain produced today is hybridized and crossbred. As the wheat is genetically modified, its gluten content is also increased up to as much as 50%.
beginners guide to healthy eatingGluten is not natural to digest which means that once you eat it, your digestive system is over-burdened. Especially if you're trying to lose weight… don't eat wheat!
Eating gluten can increase the permeability of your intestines which can lead to the leaky gut syndrome.
Leaky gut syndrome is where food not yet wholly digested may enter your bloodstream, resulting in health issues.
There are about 55 diseases associated with eating gluten. It can increase your risk of:
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Anemia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Canker sores
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Autoimmune diseases
There are also studies that link gluten consumption to psychiatric and neurological disorders. Conditions such as depression, migraines, epilepsy, neuropathy, and dementia.

Beginner's Guide To Healthy Eating Conclusion

Although there are many factors responsible for our health and well-being… the most significant single factor in determining health is our food choices and the quantity of food consumed. This means there is no “magic pill” that a pharmacist can give you to counteract poor choices and habits.
This is very empowering. With this Beginner's Guide to Healthy Eating, you have the opportunity to make lasting improvements to your health and well-being.
Know what you're eating and how to read labels. Avoid fast food, processed food, sodas and sugary drinks and juices. Eat more fruits, vegetables, grains, and hormone free meats and don't buy products that have additives. If you continue to purchase these products, be sure the food industry will continue to put them in the “food.” 
And, please don't hesitate to leave me a comment or question in the are below. I'm here to help you be the healthiest version of yourself possible. I'll get back to you within “hours” most of the time.

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Written by Jackie Parker


Leave a Reply
  1. Thank you for this great article! We are what we eat, aren’t we!

    Its so important these days to be well informed and knowledgable about the different kinds of external elements are found in foods, whether we eat them at a restaurant or buy them at a grocery store. This list definitely makes people aware of the technical names, abbreviations and ingredients to keep an eye out for.

    I’m bookmarking this!

  2. Just bookmarked your post for future reference. Amazing and very complete article! I watched a documentary about Monsanto in my Geology class and there was a big problem. I don’t remember what it was (will go back to my notes and check if I can find it and will post here later if I do) but reading your post reminded me about this company and their terrible practices. I hope things get better and more people get informed about these issues. Without consumers these companies will cease to exist.

  3. Hello Jackie,
    Your article is highly appreciated as it is pretty difficult today to get the right foods in its best form.

    Some are lucky to have their little back yard gardens, nevertheless we are still responsible for what we eat, so thanks for the information.

    I say thanks because reading labels is one thing but know what to look for, and what it means is another thing.

    Your article will help us make better choices.


  4. Wow! what an eye opener!

    I’ve been telling my family for years that we have no idea what we are eating or that we are probable putting our health at risk.

    Thank you for your list and explanation, I’m going to save it and show my Husband and Sons.

    I had wondered why so many people seem to have a problem with Gluten but now I know, just goes to show.

    Butane is the scary one, to think how many parents serve their young families on Chicken nuggets as a quick meal every now and then, I will not touch them now.

    I’ve been diagnosed with a heart problem and has made me readdress my diet and I have to say I feel better for it, buying more fresh ingredients too for all my family.

    I think that we need more informed post such as yours!

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