5 forbidden foods: Why you can’t eat anything at all
Foods we once thought were healthy alternatives are now off the menu — starting with your daily (whole-grain) bread.
We’ve joked about it at dinner parties. We’ve read all the same articles, talked to our doctors, and reached the same realization: You can’t eat anything anymore. Soul’s Code canvassed its community of experts about the latest research into conscious dining:
The world’s most famous cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Robert Rey, is ultra body-conscious both inside and out. And Rey, a.k.a. Dr. 90210, is highly conscious about what he puts into his own body. Dr. Rey is the author of a 2.0 version of the Paleo diet. And he walks the talk — doesn’t smoke, do drugs or drink (like, even coffee). He also absolutely avoids a staple of the health-food industry: soy.
Yet Americans love soy: sales in the U.S. have grown more than ten-fold in the past two decades. The soy lobby now represents a $4-billion industry.
So why does soy suck? Among Rey’s beefs is that it has estrogen-like substances. He cites rat studies showing depressed sexual appetite, and an increase in mortality rates after soy was introduced into the Chinese diet in 580 A.D. More specifically, soy contributes to anemia and Alzheimers. “If you eat soy,” Rey told Soul’s Code, “you will start forgetting things.”
Americans now eat more shrimp than tuna because it is succulent and low-cal. But the big question is what do the shrimp themselves eat? Answer: farmed shrimp are raised on feed that includes animal parts and antibiotics like oxytetracycline and ciprofloxacin.
The majority of all imported shrimp today is industrially-produced in man-made ponds that are often abandoned after about seven years because they become cess pools. So unless you want to eat recycled worms, pass on the shrimp curry the next time you’re at your favorite Indian restaurant. Or check out this list of approved labels from SeafoodWatch.org.
In the winter, as much as 90 percent of the tomatoes in American supermarkets are grown in Florida. But from a horticultural perspective, Florida’s sandy soil has about as many nutrients as the Sahara desert. “To get a successful crop, they pump the soil full of chemical fertilizers and can blast the plants with more than 100 different herbicides and pesticides, including some of the most toxic in agribusiness’s arsenal,” writes Barry Estabrook in his new book, Tomatoland. So skip Safeway’s produce aisle, and pay-up for locally-grown tomatoes — in season! If you absolutely need post-harvest tomatoes for, say, a Caprese salad on your Thanksgiving table, hydroponic ones from Canada would actually be a better option.
These hard-shelled fruits are a staple of the Jesus-edition of the Paleo diet, and almost a perfect source of non-animal protein that can lower the LDL “bad” cholesterol in your blood. Nuts are also a favorite of Atkins-diet addicts because they are low in carbs. The problem is that nuts are super-high in fat calories. Eighty percent of a nut is fat.
To put it in perspective, one cup of almonds has almost 300 more calories than a Big Mac (540). Or would you believe 310 more than a Dairy Queen Banana Split (510)? How about more than twice as much as a Taco Bell Bean Burrito (370)?
“Nuts should be used as a garnish, or a side on a cheese plate,” says Catherine Fallis, a San Francisco, CA Master Sommelier and restaurant industry consultant. “Carbs or no carbs, you’ll never lose weight if you are using nuts as a meal-replacement.”
Speaking of carbs . . . bread, potatoes, rice and pasta were condemned by both the South Beach and Atkins Diets simply because of the high conversion rate of their starch component to sugar. It puts starches in a league of their own when it comes to calorie-intake, and advocates of The Longevity Diet argue that they will take years off your life. According to several scientific studies, mammals who consume foods low on the Glycemic Index live longer and relatively disease-free. They suggest that you decline your daily bread because most types of baked goods are high up on the Glycemic Index.
Bonus tip, Coffee
No, it’s not on this list because caffeine is a diuretic that keeps you up at night, stains your teeth and makes PMS worse. It is one of the most wasteful food products on Earth. Few Starbucks addicts realize that in the harvesting, processing, roasting and brewing of coffee about 98 percent of the biomass is discarded. “An estimated 12 million tons of agricultural waste is left to rot each year, generating millions of tons of methane gas and contributing to climate change,” says Gunter Pauli, author of The Blue Economy.