1. Refined Grains: Unlike whole grains that contain at least part of their bran and germ layers, processed and refined grains, which are found in our donuts, bagels, bread, pasta, and most desserts, basically everything we as runners love to double down on, have both the bran and germ removed during processing; therefore all of the nutrients in these layers are also removed. Uh-oh. Hence the reason for “enriched” grains. Nutrients that were lost during food processing are added back. Unfortunately several nutrients are lost and only a few are added back in (4). And, even after enrichment, refined grains often do not contain nearly as many nutrients and much less fiber than their whole grain counterparts. With around 80% of the fiber removed you end up with rapid-release carbs that creates a blood sugar spike, telling the body to store fat. Not to mention the bulk needed to sweep the gut of debris and keep things “moving along” is no longer there. This bulk is needed to support the body’s natural elimination and detoxification process, without it things get a little stagnant if you know what I mean (3).
2. Food dyes: Some of the most popularly used dyes in the United States are red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6 and/or blue This stuff is found in everything from our sports drinks to our cereals, and according to healthyliving.msn.com “research has shown this rainbow of additives can cause behavioral problems as well as cancer, birth defects and other health problems in laboratory animals. Red 40 and yellow 6 are also suspected of causing an allergy-like hypersensitivity reaction in children.” The Center for Science in the Public Interest reports that some dyes are also “contaminated with known carcinogens.” These food dyes aren’t even allowed in Europe
3. Sugar: Refined sugar contains no fiber, no minerals, no proteins, no fats, no enzymes, only empty calories. What happens when you eat a refined carbohydrate like sugar? Your body must borrow vital nutrients from healthy cells to metabolize the incomplete food. Important minerals like calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium are taken from various parts of the body to make use of the sugar. Again, refined sugar is void of all nutrients, consequently causing the body to deplete its own stores of various vitamins, minerals and enzymes. But lastly, eating refined sugars will create hunger so your children want to eat more!!! It’s an anti-nutrient- it is destroying their body’s vital nutrients which, in turn, makes them eat more food in order to try and receive more nutrients
4. Certain Oils: Specifically canola oil, corn oil, and soy oil. These add to our already imbalanced diet with too many omega-6’s. This upsets our balance of omega 3 to omega 6 ratio. Let’s not forget the worst of them all, hydrogenated oils. The molecules in hydrogenated oils are closer to cellulose or plastic than to oil. In fact, hydrogenated oil is only one molecule away from being plastic. When you eat anything containing this material, just as the oil is now thicker and more viscous (dense), so too does your blood become thicker and more viscous right along with it. The heart now has to work so much harder to pump blood throughout the system. This is one of the major ways that consuming hydrogenated oils contributes to high blood pressure.
5. High Fructose Corn Syrup: Fructose is turned into free fatty acids (FFAs) and triglycerides, which get stored as fat. Fructose is the most lipophilic carbohydrate. In other words, fructose converts to activated glycerol (g-3-p which is directly used to turn FFAs into triglycerides. The more g-3-p you have, the more fat you store. One hundred twenty (120) calories of fructose results in 40 calories being stored as fat.