RED MEAT: beef, pork and lamb – high intake is strongly associated with cancer, heart disease and obesity due to its high saturated fat (inflammatory) and cholesterol content.
However, the above foods are an excellent source of protein, B6, B12 and easily absorbable haem iron.
DAIRY PRODUCTS: butter, milk, cream, cheese and yoghurt – high in saturated fat and cholesterol and need to be avoided by people suffering from obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, and cancer patients. Dairy products are also known to encourage skin conditions such as acne, eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. Due to intensive farming dairy products can be high in oestrogen – avoid if suffering from any oestrogen related conditions such as breast cancer, PCO, fibroids, etc.
Alternatives: Soya milk, soya cheese, soya yoghurt, rice milk, oat milk, almond milk, goats milk, goats-cheese and sheep’s yoghurt.
PROCESSED MEAT: salami, sausages, ham, Parma ham, luncheon meats – these foods contain such preservatives as nitrites and nitrates and are high in salt and saturated fat. Nitrites convert into highly carcinogenic nitrosamines in the stomach.
REFINED FOODS: white sugar, cakes, biscuits, white bread and pasta, white rice.
These are denatured foods and empty calories. They contain no fibre, vitamins or minerals. Due to the lack of fibre, we absorb these foods rapidly, and when consumed excessively, may lead to blood sugar imbalance.
Alternatives: wholemeal bread, rye bread, Ryvita, oatcakes, wholemeal pasta, cereals (e.g. gluten-free muesli of intolerant to wheat)
SUGAR AND HONEY: Sugar compromises the immune system up to 15 hours after ingestion. Excess sugar which didn’t turn into energy converts into fat and cholesterol. Honey and maple syrup are marginally better. Many foods and drinks contain added sugar (read labels).
Alternatives: Replace all sugars with molasses when cooking, and with FOS (BioCare) when not cooking.
Dilute fruit juice and soak dried fruit.
Found in many foods, including yoghurt. People with phenylketonuria should avoid aspartame. Phenylketonuria or PKU is a lack of the enzyme which we need to convert phenylalanine into tyrosine. That results in high concentrations of phenylalanine, causing brain damage. People with iron deficiencies, kidney disease, and some people with epilepsy also need to avoid aspartame. For such people, the consumption of aspartame may increase the risk of toxicity.
PRESERVATIVES AND ADDITIVES: watch out for the E numbers in foods – these chemicals are carcinogens and should be avoided whenever possible. Please note that ready-made meals, take-aways and snacks such as crisps and salted nuts contain many chemicals.
SALT/SALTED FOODS: although we do need sodium (Na) in the diet for normal body functions,
overeating salt causes high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks and also aggravate fluid retention.
YEAST CONTAINING FOODS: those sensitive to yeast and some candida sufferers need to avoid yeast in bread, marmite, alcohol and other fermented foods.
CHOCOLATE: is high in fat and sugar (and calories) and the caffeine in chocolate may trigger migraine headaches.
However, moderate amounts of chocolate can give the depressive a real lift. Chocolate contains the chemical theobromine, which triggers the release of natural “feel-good” chemicals in the brain. The best chocolate is organic, dark chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa solids.
Alternatives: Carob bar, fruit and nut bars.
Caffeine can interfere with mineral absorption and increase the insulin produced by the pancreas, leading to hypoglycaemia. It may also seriously affect the digestive system. Coffee also raises blood pressure as we know. It exacerbates PMS, osteoporosis, and the risk of miscarriage and birth problems.
Used for stimulation, when tired, may be helpful for headaches and fluids retention. Best drunk organic, filtered and in minimal quantities.
Alternatives: Barley cup, No Café, Caro
TEA: black tea is a stimulant; tannins in tea can interfere with the body’s uptake of essential minerals, especially iron (anaemia).
Alternatives: Green tea is an antioxidant and cancer-protective due to the effects of bioflavonoids found in the green tea. There is growing evidence that populations drinking green tea have a lower incidence of cancer and heart disease.
Fruit and herb teas (decaffeinated)
FIZZY DRINKS: such as cola, contain caffeine, sugar, phosphoric acid (excrete calcium) and many chemicals that are known to compromise the immune system and induce hyperactivity in susceptible children.
ALCOHOL: depletes B vitamins. Excess alcohol converts into fat, and excessive drinking can lead to obesity and cardiovascular disease. Women should not exceed 1 unit of alcohol per day, and men should not exceed two units per day.
CIGARETTES: Smoking causes both heart disease and cancer. Smoking depletes vitamin C.
Cadmium in cigarettes competes with zinc for absorption (zinc is vital for immunity and fertility).
Carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke makes the blood more likely to clot and replaces oxygen in the blood starving body tissues of oxygen.
Nicotine leads to a constriction of the blood vessels and an increase in the heart rate, making the heart work harder. Nicotine also makes blood clot more quickly, which can lead to thrombosis.