Nitrates, GMO's, and Added Hormones, What Does It All Mean?
Food is supposed to be used to fuel your body, but when the wrong foods enter your system, you can actually be killing yourself. If you struggle with understanding what nitrates, GMO’s and added hormones can do to your body, take a few minutes to read this. I can promise you that if you care about your health, you will pay much more attention to the different foods you are putting into your body.
Nitrates… What are they?
Nitrates are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in soil, water, plants and ever our own bodies. One of the most common forms is called sodium nitrate which is used to preserve meat, give them a salty flavor and that “pinkish” color. Nitrates can form nitrosamines which have been proven to be carcinogenic (cancer causing). Although Nitrates are naturally found in your body and many vegetables, the type you want to avoid are those found added in processed meat. Eating a diet high in foods that contain sodium nitrites can cause irritation to your digestive system, including your mouth, esophagus and stomach.
Genetically Modified Organism (GMO’s):
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be defined as organisms (i.e. plants, animals or microorganisms) in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination. This creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. GMO crops are often sprayed with harsh chemicals and consumed by people every single day! If you are trying to purchase non-gmo products, be careful because labels can often be misleading and sneaky. The safest option is to buy food that is labeled as organic. The organic label means that the food produces was FDA approved to contain no GMO ingredients. If meat is labeled organic, this means the animal’s must eat only organically grown feed. Organic foods can’t be grown with synthetic chemicals or treated with irradiation and they are by far your safest bet!
Have you ever seen a cow that looks triple the size of a normal grass fed cow? Most likely, that cow was given added hormones/steroids through injections or implants. Since the 1950s, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a number of steroid hormone drugs for use in beef cattle and sheep, including natural estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and their synthetic versions. These drugs increase the animals’ growth rate and the efficiency by which they convert the feed they eat into meat. Fish such as salmon, can be genetically engineered and contain artificially high levels of growth hormones. This is neither natural nor healthy and can have very detrimental effects to a person’s body. Added hormones have been linked to cause early puberty in females as well as an increased risk for breast cancer and prostate cancer. Your body was designed to work with the hormones that it produces and adding more to your body can set it off balance. When grocery shopping, look for labels that read: “No antibiotics and No Added growth hormones”, trust me, your body will thank you.