I’ve put together a list of the top 6 toxins we avoid at home by some simple DIY projects. (My wife, Erin, put together some how-to videos here if you’d like to try them out, too!) Here's our last two:
Potassium Bromate has become a buzz word as of late in the health-conscious community. Bromide itself is considered an endocrine (hormone) disruptor no matter what it’s attached to. It is commonly used as an additive to increase the volume in some breads, rolls, and flours. You can find it on a label as bromic acid, potassium salt, bromated flour and enriched flour.
Originally patented in 1914, this long-term baking aid is still prevalent in US. In 1982, researchers in Japan published the first of a series of studies showing that potassium bromate causes thyroid and kidney cancers in rats and mice. Based on the research piling up against it, the additive has been banned in the EU, Canada, Brazil, and many other countries. The FDA requests that bakers avoid using bromate-based agents, but there are no restrictions in place.
Saved by DIY: The fastest way to rid yourself of this toxin is to stay away from the bread and bakery aisles in the grocery store. If you feel the need to purchase baked goods, try a local bakery and ASK if they use potassium bromate in their confections. If they don’t know the answer, pick another baker – they should know EXACTLY what goes into their products or it’s not as “homemade” as they’d like you to believe.
You also have the option of making your own breads at home. If you’ve never tried it before, start simple. Here’s a quick no-rise pizza dough that Erin uses to get your feet wet. Again, the best way to know what you’re putting in your body is to make it yourself (or get it from someone that makes it themselves!
Where to begin with this one? Commercially-refined vegetable oils come under many labels including soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, canola oil, and peanut oil. They are found in almost all processed foods from Animal Crackers to Zebra Cakes and everything in between. They also come as stand-alone products for cooking (bottled oils and margarines).
[Sidenote: Never choose margarine! There have been numerous videos online of butter and margarine sitting out, with flies collecting on the butter and steering clear of the margarine. Nature is trying to tell us something! I don’t care if the margarine is labelled “heart healthy”, “enriched”, “extra calcium” or “super magic spread”, IT IS ALL GARBAGE! It’s clever marketing designed to hide the truth – it’s a tub of chemicals waiting to be spread on toast (that probably has potassium bromate in it). I’m looking at you, Smart Balance.]
What do free radicals do? In short, they damage a cell’s DNA in search of its missing molecules (oxidation). This creates an environment for disease. Oxidation contributes to inflammation in the body, elevated blood triglycerides, and impaired insulin response. Other free radical generators include cigarette smoke, air pollution, and excessive alcohol consumption.
These oils are also high in Omega-6 fatty acid. They increase inflammatory affects in the body and neutralize the benefits of Omega-3s in your diet. There’s more - many refined vegetable oils are hydrogenated, creating trans fatty acids, which are known to contribute to heart disease and some cancers.
Save By DIY: Any time you opt out of packaged foods, you’re most likely cutting some refined oils from your diet. Replacing these oils in your home with good-for-you choices like coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil is a great step. If you’d like to shake things up a bit, you can make your own infused oil for dipping. From there, it’s a quick step to making your own salad dressing, too. You can avoid the bad and add the good with just a little work.
Another saver to counteract the Omega 6s disrupting our lives is to balance them with quality Omega 3s. Omega 3s can be consumed through fish and also by using a high quality supplement. Like anything, it’s important to know where the Omega 3s come from and how they are processed. You can ask a knowledgeable healthcare provider (or contact me directly with questions).
Why DIY? There are lots of reasons. My favorite? Do-It-Yourself to be sure you know what’s in it (and what isn’t) as a way to better overall health for you and your family. This is our final installment. Catch up on what you missed below.