7 Foods That Should Never Cross Your Lips

Friday, 11 Apr 2014 03:15 PM

By Nick Tate

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The U.S. spends twice as much per-capita on healthcare as most other wealthy nations, yet trails every one when it comes to the death rate from preventable diseases, according to the nonpartisan health-research foundation The Commonwealth Fund.
 
One reason: Most healthcare dollars are spent on drugs and therapies that treat health problems after they develop and not on prevention strategies that could ward off them off in the first place. What’s more, many Americans have unhealthy lifestyle habits that contribute to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and other conditions.
 
But Dr. Evelyn Higgins tells Newsmax Health there is a better way. As a doctor, author, and syndicated radio show host, she has built a career preaching the gospel of wellness and prevention. She argues that health is more than simply the absence of disease and 70-80 percent of ailments are lifestyle-based — from eating the wrong foods (including seven you should never consume) and not exercising enough.
 
Story continues below video.
 
 
Special: These Are the Deadliest Foods in America. Read This List.

"In Western Medicine, we use a disease model. In other words, you're healthy or you're sick … there’s no in-between," she says. "And what I'm saying is that all the living that we do in-between brings us either closer to health or to disease. And that's what I’m trying to teach people to really understand — how it is we become healthy, we prevent disease, we stay healthy, and conversely, the other side of that."
 
Dr. Higgins notes that United States consumes two-thirds of the entire world's pharmaceuticals, yet we are 35th in terms of life expectancy.
 
"So the answer doesn't lie in a pill," she explains. "And that's not … to say don't ever take pharmaceutical drugs [or] don't ever have surgery. Far from that; they serve a purpose. [But] we think that that's the answer to everything instead of saying, 'OK what do I need to do for myself each and every day to get closer to that health that I'm really after.' "
 
To that end, she recommends steering clear of the following seven foods and seeking out healthier alternatives to reduce your overall health risks:
 
Canned tomatoes. The linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A (BPA), a synthetic estrogen linked to reproductive problems, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. "What happens is with the acidity of the tomatoes [BPA] leaches out and your body takes in those BPAs when you eat the tomatoes from the can," she says. A better option: Go with glass-bottled tomatoes, which are loaded with cancer-fighting lycopene and other health-boosting compounds.

Corn-fed beef. Farmers feed their animals corn and soybeans, which make the beef less nutritious. Instead, choose grass-fed beef, Dr. Higgins advises. A recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Clemson University found grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium than corn-fed beef. "You want the grass-fed cows," she says. "A lot of the good benefits aren't there [in corn-fed beef] anymore."

Microwave popcorn. Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid, in the resins lining microwave popcorn bags may cause infertility, according to research by the University of California-Los Angeles. Animal studies have also linked the chemicals to liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. The healthier alternative: Pop natural kernels the old-fashioned way — in a skillet. "Let's go old school, like you used to do in the skillet, when we were kids," Dr. Higgins recommends. "That's the healthy way to do it, because popcorn is really a low calorie, good [whole] food to fill you up."
 
Non-organic potatoes. Root vegetables absorb pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides used by farmers to grow them and washing won't remove those chemicals. Your best bet: Buy organic potatoes, which are only slightly more expensive than conventionally grown spuds. "Spending that extra dollar or two dollars to buy organic is definitely worth it when it comes to potatoes," she says.
 
Farmed salmon. Farmed salmon are fed fish foods that contain more carcinogens — such as PCBs, brominated flame retardants, pesticides, dioxin and DDT — than wild fish consume, studies show. A better alternative: Wild-caught Alaska salmon, which is a nutritious low-fat source of protein loaded with heart-boosting fish oils and omega-3s, Dr. Higgins notes.

Milk produced with artificial hormones. Dairy cows are treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST) to boost milk production. But it can increases udder infections and can lead to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor that may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers, research shows. A healthier option: Go for milk labeled rBGH-free, rBST-free or organic. "You want to buy the milk that doesn’t have the hormones in it," Dr. Higgins advises.
 
Conventional apples. Apples are sprayed more frequently with agricultural chemicals than many other types of fruit for various reasons. While the industry maintains that these residues are safe, studies show farm workers have higher cancer rates. The upshot: Buy organic apples or be sure to wash and peel conventional fruit. "That's another thing, like the potatoes, [where it's] really worth it to buy the organic."
 
Special: These Are the Deadliest Foods in America. Read This List.

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