Controversial StuffTo Eat Or Not To Eat
Eat A Well-Rounded Plant-Based Diet To Stay Ahead Of The Curve.
A great benefit of eating plant based is being in tune with the nourishment your body needs.
Additives & Food Products
Most processed foods contain additives that may have adverse effects on your nutritional goals. More precise human studies are needed for many of these commonly used ingredients to ascertain research results. It’s best to pay attention to how you feel after you eat to decide how you are affected. Moderation and mindfulness will help you sustain healthy options as you change your eating habits.
Some additives are considered to be safe but it’s good to stay updated since research results change frequently. Learn how to read food labels from the Global Healing Center and about these common food additives and products.
Carrageenan has been controversial for decades due to limited human studies. It’s been linked to side effects such as inflammation and gastrointestinal symptoms. A plant based ingredient that comes from seaweed, it’s found in many vegan processed foods and used as an additive that replaces gelatin used to thicken foods and drinks. See more at Healthline.com.
Gums are found in many processed foods such as milks, yogurts, cheeses, ice-creams, drinks and most any packaged food from the store shelf. They’re used as thickening agents, emulsifiers and stabilizers for food texture and shelf longevity. Find out more about these ingredients from Healthline and ACE (The American Council on Exercise). More about: Carrageenan, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum
The fear of sugar has created replacements that are supposed to be better for you than the real stuff. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose as well as alternative natural sweeteners such as stevia and monk fruit are all considered processed and may have varying effects on individual health. As with many controversial ingredients, more studies are needed at the epidemiological level for consistent substantiated results. Find out how these products affect our brains & bodies at Frontiers for Young Minds and at Healthline.
Highly processed protein isolates are ingredients often found in protein powder supplements and other food products that often contain many non nutritive additives as well as metals. In certain situations people may need to use a protein supplementation, but if you’re able to, eating veggies, fruits, nuts and beans is the best way to meet protein needs. Please read about protein requirements in our FAQ section. Here’s an informative article on soy protein isolates at Well + Good.
Another product that doesn’t have enough studies but has many health claims, Kombucha is usually vegan (some may contain honey, check the ingredients) and people love it as a replacement for soda or digestive aid. Homemade versions may not be as safe and some have more sugar then others, so to play it safe you should probably stick with the widely available commercial products. Find out more about this fermented beverage at Healthline.
This has got to be one of the most confusing controversial ingredients listed. For years we’ve been told which oils are healthy fats, like olive, coconut or avocado. After all it comes from a plant so how can it not be good for you? Studies have shown that oils literally clog your arteries, are high in calories and most of the nutrients that originated in the plant are stripped out as the oil is being processed. People who have had heart disease have literally reversed it by eating whole foods with NO oil. Learn more about these facts from The No Meat Athlete and from this short video by Plant Based Science London.
Agave, brown rice syrup, raw cane sugar are some of the ‘Natural Sweeteners’ often considered to be healthier than regular cane sugar. Natural doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. Check out Dr. Greger’s video on ‘The Healthiest Sweetener‘ to find out more about these natural alternatives.
Soy (tofu, tvp)
Soy is from the legume family and has been used in the Asian culture for thousands of years in it’s whole form. There are many different forms of soy that are in most of today’s processed foods, so much of the controversy references these processed soy ingredients. Read more about soy at Runner’s World and Physicians Committee Responsible for Medicine.
Seitan (wheat gluten)
An ingredient made from wheat, Seitan aka Vital Wheat Gluten is a meat substitute often used in many delicious vegan recipes like cheese steaks, bacon, chicken etc. Although it is high in protein and has some minerals, it is a processed food and for people sensitive to wheat it may cause digestion issues. Find out more at Healthline.com.