Sometimes you don’t even have time for cake or cookies even from a mix. Sometimes you just need to punt and buy the processed stuff. But you don’t want to be buying anything that is going to create more problems than it solves. So how do you choose?

Figuring out fact from fiction is a pain in the butt.

At the end of this email is a list of foods to avoid. I don’t really disagree with the list but a lot of the reasons that they give for WHY you should avoid these foods are either incomplete or just not true.

#1 on their list is artificial sweeteners. I agree completely that they should be avoided but for very different reasons. Despite what you may think there is ample scientific evidence from third parties that artificial sweeteners do NOT give people cancer. The list makes claims against the safety of aspartame that are just not scientific. Some people are sensitive to aspartame and they need to avoid it because it can make them very ill. That said, it has been tested very thoroughly and if you go to PubMed you will see that for artificial sweeteners, it really is among the safest. We still avoid it completely, but if you really feel stuck, it seems that for most people it is the best of the worst. It is tough to prove a negative, but I think that they have done enough research to prove that aspartame is safe for most people.

The problem with artificial sweeteners is that they make you fat thereby negating your reason for using them. Here is one study using sucralose (splenda).

And they mess up your gut microflora and may interfere with medicine absorption

So artificial sweeteners are just not a good idea because they don’t work.

They also talk about BHA and BHT avoidance. OK so go to PubMed and check BHA and BHT and cancer. I’ll give you the link, but BHA and BHT are actually being tested as a cure for cancer. They are anti-carcinogenic.

In addition they talk about avoiding nitrates and nitrites. OK guys, here is the issue. Nitrates are naturally occuring compounds. Celery powder contains them. So when you see a hot dog that doesn’t have nitrates or nitrites, look for the celery powder. Sure celery powder sounds better, but so does peach pit extract. Peach pit extract is still arsenic. Chemically speaking the source of your nitrates and nitrites isn’t relevant. So if you want to avoid them, pass on the celery powder too.

I am hoping to be a voice of reason and science in the world of real food advocates. The problem is that you do need to separate fact from wishful thinking. I try to do my own research and I encourage everyone to do the same.

So here is the list. Enjoy!