From everything you have been reading in my blogs, you probably know that I personally live a primal lifestyle. At the tender age of 66, I learned that what I had been doing up until that age was NOT healthy even though I thought I was doing the best for myself. After studying our species’ diverse nutrition and lifestyle over the course of 2.5 million years of evolution, I was able to incorporate most of the good and remove most of the bad in my life. Over the last two-plus years, I have become healthier than I have ever been. Amazing! And, what is good for overall cellular health is good for the mouth.
My eating habits now include all pastured and wild-caught animal products from nose to tail, a myriad of vegetables that I didn’t know existed, deeply colored fruits, and some nuts and seeds that I soak overnight. I eat things raw; I eat things cooked and anywhere in-between.
The secret for me was to exclude all unhealthy fats and oils, all processed foods, all grains and legumes, all pasteurized dairy, and all added sugars other than some raw honey and grade B maple syrup. I include all spices and herbs in my cooking.
But, I have been misled because of misreading some food labels. This is where you might need to be more aware. Here are some examples:
- I love seaweed, and I include some type of seaweed practically everyday. I went to one of my healthy food stores and was intrigued by the packaged seaweed snacks. The large print said it was organic; so, I decided to try a package. I didn’t stop to read the ingredient label thoroughly. After bringing it home, I noticed that these healthy vegetables were processed in canola and sesame seed oils – not what I want to put into my body. For example, sesame seed oil is 44% polyunsaturated oil with an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 138:1. The main biological concern is that this processed oil is a significant source of oxidized fats in my body.
- I use real vanilla extract for my cooking. I didn’t think about reading the label since it said pure and real next to the word vanilla. When I finally looked at the ingredients, I discovered the brand I purchased used corn syrup as a sweetener – definitely not for me.
- I like to drink my organic, French Pressed coffee with coconut oil; ghee from grass fed cows; and some organic raw cocoa powder and cinnamon. I thought that cinnamon was all the same as long as it was organic, but that is not the case. There are basically two types of cinnamon – Cassia (Saigon cinnamon is a form of Cassia) and Ceylon. Most organic cinnamon in my health food store is Cassia, which has a large concentration of coumarin. Coumarin in small quantities is not a problem, but it could be toxic to the liver in large quantities. I usually use 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in my 2-cups of coffee most days, and that amount could be toxic over time. I learned that Ceylon cinnamon has very little coumarin; so, Ceylon is the only type of cinnamon I buy now.
Even if you have eliminated the bad stuff and have incorporated the good stuff, it is still possible to be misled. I wanted to bring this to your attention because overlooking the ingredient label is easy to do. I need to be more diligent; you may also.