Last week I posted an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola on the continuously debated topic of cholesterol drugs. Even though I lean on the side of “less” rather than “more” when it comes to all pharmaceutical’s, I am a firm believer in the proactive approach to health and wellness. In order to maintain a healthy, energetic, disease and pain free body these days, the first order of business is reading labels in the grocery store. You do, don’t you? If not, here’s a place to start. Hopefully some of these facts may motivate you! These are a few of ingredients that I refuse to have in my shopping cart. I call them my “Non-negotiables”.

Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils – the molecular structure of these oils has been chemically altered. These oils are used to preserve the shelf life of processed foods. You may as well be eating plastic because your body cannot break these fats down. These fats end up in your brain, arteries and joints as plaque. They also impede cellular respiration, starving your cells of oxygen and setting you up for cancer. They cause massive amounts of inflammation, a precursor to pain, disease and death. A few disease’s linked to these toxic fat’s are heart disease, cancer, autism, autoimmune diseases and diabetes.

High Fructose Corn Syrup – This horrible sweetener is made from GMO corn. Not only is it full of pesticides and mercury, which damage the nervous system. It is also linked to diabetes, cancer, fatty liver disease and obesity

Aspartame (NutraSweet) – A component of this artificial sweetener is methanol. It is an industrial solvent – paint thinner. The short list of side effects is blindness, seizures, birth defects, depression, migraines and brain tumors. When methanol is broken down in the body it turns into formaldehyde – that’s embalming fluid! Yum! Pass the diet soda!

Sucralose (Splenda) – According the Dr. Ted Broer, it’s bug spray! It is a chlorocarbon – pesticides are chlorocarbons and they cause organ, reproductive and genetic damage. Are you buying organic produce and chowing down on products with Sucralose in them? Kind of cancels out the benefits or organic doesn’t it? There is huge list of additional side effects of Sucralose. Google it if you dare!

MSG – Monosodium Glutamate – MSG is a neurotoxin. According to Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of “Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills”, MSG is linked to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease. It also causes nerve pain, inflammation and migraine headaches. MSG is found in every type of processed food you can imagine. Soups, salad dressings, gravies, frozen foods, etc.

I know this article has been a serious “buzz kill” for some of you. You just don’t want to hear it! I totally get it! But here’s the thing, if you put a little time and effort in revamping your shopping habits, it will pay off. Less pain, less brain fog, more energy, smaller belly! Not to mention, it will lessen your chances of getting a terminal illness. Your first line of defense to protect your health ALWAYS starts with what you put in your mouth! Exercise is important as well, but nothing takes the place of truly smart choices at the grocery store. It helps to shop at the healthier stores such as Whole Foods, Earth Fare and Trader Joe’s, but never assume that you don’t need to read the labels on the foods you consume. If the list is overwhelming, just start with a couple ingredients. If you are already pretty savvy about what you are eating, start thinking about cleaning products or personal grooming products that could be less toxic.