In this episode we talk about several subject relating to health and preventative health actions and screenings.
Preventative MRI, often referred to as proactive or screening MRI, is a diagnostic imaging technique used to detect potential health issues in their early stages, especially in individuals with a higher risk of certain conditions. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine if such screenings are appropriate for your specific health profile and concerns.
There are several unhealthy food additives that should be avoided as much as possible. Some of these include:
1. Artificial sweeteners: These include aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose, which are commonly found in diet sodas, sugar-free products, and low-calorie snacks. They have been linked to various health issues, including weight gain, digestive problems, and increased risk of metabolic disorders.
2. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS): This sweetener is commonly used in processed foods, soft drinks, and desserts. It has been associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease due to its high fructose content.
3. Trans fats: These are artificially created fats found in many processed foods, such as fried foods, baked goods, and margarine. Trans fats increase the risk of heart disease, raise bad cholesterol levels, and lower good cholesterol levels.
4. Monosodium glutamate (MSG): This flavor enhancer is often used in processed foods, soups, and snacks. Some people may experience adverse reactions like headaches, flushing, and sweating after consuming MSG.
5. Artificial food coloring: Many brightly colored processed foods, candies, and beverages contain artificial food dyes, such as Red 40, Yellow 5, and Blue 1. These additives have been linked to hyperactivity in children and may also increase the risk of certain cancers.
6. Sodium nitrite/nitrate: These preservatives are commonly used in processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats. They have been associated with an increased risk of cancer, particularly colorectal cancer.
7. BHA and BHT: These preservatives are often found in processed foods, cereals, and snack products. They have been linked to potential carcinogenic effects and may also disrupt hormone balance.
It is important to read food labels and choose whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible to avoid these unhealthy additives.
TBHQ or tertiary butylhydroquinone, is a food additive commonly used as a preservative in processed foods, such as snacks, crackers, and fast food. It is used to extend the shelf life of these products by preventing oxidation and spoilage.
While the FDA considers TBHQ to be safe for consumption in small amounts, there are some concerns about its potential health effects. Some studies have suggested that high levels of TBHQ consumption may be linked to negative health outcomes, including liver damage, reproductive issues, and potential carcinogenic effects. However, more research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of TBHQ on human health.
It’s worth noting that TBHQ is not commonly found in whole, unprocessed foods. If you’re concerned about consuming TBHQ, it’s best to focus on a diet that includes fresh, whole foods and minimizes the consumption of processed foods that may contain this additive.
Natural flavors, as the name suggests, are derived from natural sources such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and other plant or animal-based substances. They are used to enhance the taste and aroma of food products.
In general, natural flavors are considered safe for consumption by regulatory authorities such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). However, it’s important to note that “natural flavors” is a broad term that can encompass a wide range of substances, and not all natural flavors are created equal.
While most natural flavors are harmless, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:
1. Allergies and sensitivities: Some natural flavors, such as those derived from common allergens like peanuts, tree nuts, or gluten-containing grains, can potentially trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. It’s important to read food labels carefully and be aware of any known allergies or sensitivities.
2. Processing methods: The process of extracting natural flavors can involve various techniques, including distillation, fermentation, and extraction with solvents. Some solvents used in the extraction process, such as ethanol or propylene glycol, may raise concerns for certain individuals. However, the FDA requires that these solvents be used in accordance with good manufacturing practices and at levels that are considered safe for consumption.
3. Source of natural flavors: The source of natural flavors can vary widely, and some sources may raise ethical or environmental concerns. For example, natural flavors derived from animal sources may not be suitable for vegetarians or vegans. Additionally, the sourcing of certain natural flavors, such as vanilla or palm oil, may have negative environmental impacts.
It’s important to remember that natural flavors are typically used in small amounts in food products, and the overall safety of a food product is determined by a combination of factors, including the specific ingredients used, the manufacturing process, and the overall nutritional profile. As with any food additive, moderation and a balanced diet are key.
There are several known carcinogens that can be found in food. Some examples include:
1. Acrylamide: This chemical forms naturally in starchy foods, such as potatoes and grains, when they are cooked at high temperatures. It is found in foods like French fries, potato chips, and toasted bread. Acrylamide has been classified as a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
2. Aflatoxins: These are naturally occurring toxins produced by certain molds that can contaminate crops, such as peanuts, corn, and tree nuts. Aflatoxins are potent carcinogens and have been linked to liver cancer.
3. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs): These are formed when meat, poultry, or fish is cooked at high temperatures, such as grilling or barbecuing. PAHs can be found in charred or smoked foods and have been classified as probable human carcinogens.
4. Nitrosamines: These are formed when nitrites and amines react in the stomach. Nitrites are commonly used as preservatives in processed meats, such as bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats. Nitrosamines have been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, particularly colorectal cancer.
5. Benzene: This chemical can form in certain beverages, such as soft drinks, when they are exposed to heat or light. Benzene is a known carcinogen and has been associated with an increased risk of leukemia.
It’s important to note that the presence of these carcinogens in food does not mean that consuming them will automatically lead to cancer. The risk depends on various factors, including the level of exposure, individual susceptibility, and overall diet and lifestyle. However, it is advisable to minimize exposure to these carcinogens by practicing healthy cooking methods, choosing fresh and minimally processed foods, and following food safety guidelines.
Microplastics are tiny particles of plastic that are less than 5mm in size. They can come from a variety of sources, including the breakdown of larger plastic items, microbeads in personal care products, and fibers from synthetic clothing.
There is growing concern about the presence of microplastics in food and their potential health effects. Research has shown that microplastics have been found in various food items, including seafood, salt, honey, and even drinking water. These particles can enter the food chain through various pathways, such as contamination of water sources or ingestion by marine animals.
While the full extent of the health risks associated with consuming microplastics is still being studied, there are some potential concerns. Microplastics can contain harmful chemicals, such as additives and pollutants, which may leach into the body upon ingestion. Additionally, the small size of microplastics allows them to potentially cross biological barriers and accumulate in tissues, although the extent of this accumulation and its health implications are not yet fully understood.
To reduce exposure to microplastics in food, it is advisable to:
1. Minimize the use of single-use plastics and opt for reusable alternatives.
2. Avoid products that contain microbeads, such as certain exfoliating scrubs and toothpaste.
3. Choose natural fibers over synthetic ones when purchasing clothing and textiles.
4. Consume a varied diet that includes fresh, whole foods, as processed and packaged foods may have a higher likelihood of containing microplastics.
5. Filter tap water or choose bottled water that has been tested for microplastic contamination.
It’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the health effects of microplastics and to develop effective strategies for reducing their presence in the environment and food chain.