Your responsibility to your health changed the day you were diagnosed. To honor the miraculous gift of a second chance requires you to make thoughtful choices each and every day.
No doubt you’ve heard the phrase “it’s quality not quantity.”
Well, that applies to your food more than you may know.
Whether you’re a carnivore (meat eater), vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist, it’s imperative that you consume non-genetically modified, antibiotic free, hormone free, organic food to protect your immune system and do all that you can to remain cancer-free.
Following a mostly if not an all plant based diet has been shown to not only prevent cancer, but reverse it and many other diseases. Figuring out the way of eating that works best for your unique body takes time, planning and experimentation, but you need to be crystal clear about selecting high quality foods.
When you purchase free-range organic beef, chicken, eggs, etc., they are free of antibiotics, growth hormones and genetically modified feed. Remember when consuming animal protein, you are ingesting much of what the animal has eaten. Toxins are stored in the animal’s fat just like they are stored in our fat, so know where your food comes from and that the animals were treated humanely.
If purchasing organic produce is cost prohibitive, refer to the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list on www.ewg.org to find out which produce is most contaminated with fertilizers and pesticides, and which is the least contaminated. This will help you decide which produce is really worth spending the extra money on. Joining a local organic co-op can also help save money and supply you with local, nutrient dense produce that supports your local farmer. The documentaries Food Inc. and Food Matters can be found on Netflix or Amazon.com, and are great resources for you to learn more about our food and were it comes from.
Following is a list of some of the most commonly consumed foods
that I’ve paired with a healthier option.
Some are dramatically better and some are marginally better, but small tweaks can have a big impact on your health over the long term.
Organic Grass-Fed Beef vs. Factory Farmed Beef
Factory farmed animals live in deplorable conditions and are fed a combination of genetically modified grains, animal byproducts and treated with antibiotics and hormones since they are unable to roam freely. Animals raised on organic farms are able to roam free in the sunlight, breathing fresh air and feeding on pesticide free grass the way nature intended. The meat is higher in vitamins, Omega-3’s and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is currently being studied for its cancer fighting benefits along with a host of other health benefits.
Organic Free Range Chicken vs. Factory Farmed Chicken
According to the FDA, there is evidence that the antibiotics in poultry are causing antibiotic-resistant infections in an increased number of consumers. Purchasing organic free range chicken insures that you will not be compromising your health by ingesting unnecessary antibiotics and pesticides.
Wild Salmon vs. Tuna
The FDA has found that tuna can have as much as 27 times more mercury than salmon. In addition, salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that are a powerful anti-inflammatory.
Brown Rice vs. White Rice
White rice is brown rice that has been milled to remove the bran and germ, and then polished reducing the fiber and nutrients. Brown rice is high in selenium and compared to white rice is rich in manganese, phosphorus, iron, vitamins B1, B3 and B6. Brown rice is much easier to digest.
Rice Pasta vs. Wheat Pasta
Romaine Lettuce vs. Iceberg Lettuce
Romaine lettuce far exceeds the nutritional value of iceberg lettuce. Romaine lettuce is superior in vitamins C and K, calcium, potassium, folate and beta carotene.
Organic Corn vs. Conventional Corn
Hopefully most of your vegetables will be organic but most conventional corn is genetically modified. Genetically modified foods are created by artificially inserting bacteria, insects and animal genes into the DNA of food crops. The long term health consequences of eating genetically modified food are not yet known. Play it safe with organic corn, including popcorn. It is GMO free and pesticide free.
Steel Cut Oats vs. Rolled Oats
Rolled oats are rolled for their flat shape and pressure cooked which reduces some of the nutrients. Steel cut oats are hulled grains that are cut into smaller pieces and are healthier due to less processing.
Baked Potato Chips vs. Packaged Chips
Packaged chips often have unhealthy preservatives and additives, and are made with oils high in Omega-6’s. By baking your own you can use a minimal amount of higher quality oil and add health promoting spices like rosemary, thyme, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and a dash of sea salt. Over consumption of Omega-6 vegetable oil can lead to inflammation diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.
Almond Butter vs. Peanut Butter
Peanuts are actually legumes not nuts. Both peanut butter and almond butter are nutrient packed but almond butter is more alkaline and has significantly higher iron, calcium and vitamin E.
Almond, Rice, Coconut or Hemp Milk vs. Cow’s Milk
Cow’s milk has high levels of antibiotics and hormones. It has been reported that even the milk from organically farmed cows has high levels of hormones since many of the cows are milked while pregnant. The non-dairy options offer an antibiotic, hormone-free option.
Coconut Milk vs. Non-dairy Coffee Creamer
Coconut milk is a rich and creamy dairy-free alternative to cream and non-dairy creamers. Many non-dairy creamers contain trans fats, preservatives and other highly processed ingredients. In addition to vitamins and minerals, coconut milk contains lauric acid, which has anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that contribute to a healthy immune system.
Kefir vs. Yogurt
Kefir and yogurt are both cultured milk (cow, goat or sheep milk) products that contain live cultures (probiotics) that help in killing bad bacteria in your system. Kefir is more beneficial because it maintains an environment that helps in the regrowth of the good bacteria. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals and contributes to a healthy immune system. Non-dairy kefir is made with soy or coconut milk.
Teeccino vs. Coffee
If you are looking to reduce or kick the caffeine habit, herbal Teeccino is a great non-acidic alternative. You can add it to your coffee to reduce caffeine and acidity or drink it as a replacement.
White Tea vs. Green Tea
White tea and green tea are actually from the same plant. White tea is harvested at a younger age than green tea leaves. White tea has a higher concentration of antioxidants that is three times higher than green tea.
Flavored Sparkling Water vs. Soda
Soda has no nutritional benefits and much has been written about the dangers of diet soda. Due to the high levels of caffeine, artificial sweeteners, sugar and sodium, it can be highly addictive. Replace soda with sparkling water flavored with fresh fruit and herbs.
Coconut Water vs. Gatorade
Gatorade has high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is believed to cause weight gain, liver damage, type-2 diabetes and hypertension, and has been found to have high levels of mercury. Coconut water is a natural alternative to Gatorade and is loaded with electrolytes that are needed to rehydrate the body after strenuous exercise. It’s a great addition to a fruit smoothie.
Sea Salt vs. Table Salt
Table salt is stripped of minerals and chemically bleached. Sea Salt is not bleached and contains more than 80 minerals.
Braggs Liquid Aminos vs. Soy Sauce
Bragg’s Liquid Aminos is gluten-free and does not include added table salt or preservatives. Soy sauce contains wheat (gluten) and is higher in sodium. Many brands of soy sauce contain monosodium glutamate (MSG) which causes a host of side effects including headache, dizziness, asthma and weight gain.
Olive Oil vs. Vegetable Oil
Olive oil is a natural juice that is derived from the olive. It contains antioxidants and heart healthy monounsaturated fats. Vegetable oil is typically made by blending olive oil, soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil and peanut oil. Vegetable oil is high in Omega-6 fatty acids. Over consumption of Omega-6 vegetable oil can lead to inflammation diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.
Veganise vs. Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise contains eggs and is often made with soybean oil. Follow Your Heart brand of Veganise tastes just like mayonnaise (better in my opinion). It is egg-free, preservative free and they also have a soy-free veganise.
Gum with Xylitol vs. Gum with Sugar/Aspartame/Sorbitol
Sugar causes tooth decay and aspartame is an artificial sweetener with over 90 document symptoms; NutraSweet and Equal are two artificial sweeteners. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that fights cavities, bad breath and plaque. It does not affect blood sugar and is safe for diabetics.
Dark Chocolate vs. Milk Chocolate
Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants that protect your cells from free radicals, helping to fight disease and slow the aging process. Studies have found that milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate. Moderate amounts of dark chocolate can be beneficial, but do not wash it down with a glass of milk.
Is what I’m eating and drinking building up my health
…or tearing it down?
You can choose to make the right choice before each meal.