The topic of GMO foods is one that is near and dear to my heart. I was sort of dismayed when I learned that many of the foods I once though to be “healthy” were simply well-packaged. The path to learning about nutrition was a slow one for me. For years, I only cared if I was thin. So as long as the chemical-filled bars, and chips I were eating were not causing me to gain weight I was not worried.
Beginning to workout was the start of changing that mindset. I then saw things in “macros” such as carbs, fats and proteins. I still ate a lot of those same bars in the name of protein. Speaking of which, have you ever read the ingredients on some of them? It is darn right scary how many items cannot be pronounced.
Say No to GMO
As I start to learn more about the importance of sourcing and ingredients I felt that things fell a little more into place for me. I had less headaches and stomach aches that often appeared for no reason at all. The chronic colds I suffered were a thing of the past.
GMO foods are a huge problem because we often do not even know they exist in a certain product. Through getting my health coaching certification through Precision Nutrition, and research on my own I have learned a great deal. When it comes to your health and wellness it is crucial to be your own advocate. Read labels and between the lines as well. Just because a package “appears” healthy does not mean it is. Marketing has the power to have a huge influence over our choices.
You can read more about my experience with Precision Nutrition here.
Improve Our Health
One of the top ways we can improve our health is by avoiding GMO foods. This is a common danger lurking in most fast foods, packaged goods and processed snacks. Need a little more detail? Read on to learn more!
Lack of a Label
Genetically modified food is not labeled in our grocery stores, and it is estimated that approximately 70% of the food sold contains GMO’s. Yikes! The FDA has not required any long-term studies of the effects of this food on humans. We may have no clue as to whether the effect is negative, but we do know for sure this is not something that is going to serve as a benefit.
What is a GMO?
A GMO (genetically modified organism) is an organism whose genetic material has been artificially altered. Approximately 85% of the corn grown in the US is genetically modified, and then used in countless processed foods, including cereals, chips, crackers, and granola bars. Some of these often “appear” to be healthy depending on the style of the package or the word choices used.
Why should we be concerned?
We have the right to know exactly what is in our food. If these products were labeled, consumers who wanted to avoid them should be able to do so. Even more importantly, we have no idea what the long term health implications of GMO’s might be.
The FDA has not required any long term studies, but research is beginning to link GMOs to a number of health concerns. Unfortunately, there is a lot that is unknown right now.
What can we do?
My advice here is to be cautious. Avoiding an excess of processed foods and concentrating on whole foods is a good way to avoid ingesting these substances. You should also check the labels of the packaged foods you buy. A lot of them will have a stamp that indicates that it is “non-GMO” verified. You may have to pay a little extra to insure you are avoiding GMO’s, but it is well worth the cost of protecting our health. You can read some of my guidelines for navigating confusion at the grocery store here and buying health drinks here.
Knowledge is power. Take the time to read the labels and check ingredients. Understanding the foods you are buying is a key way to be sure we are fueling with the best possible sources.
It can be crazy that we have to go so far to protect our health. However, we have to take the reigns and look out for our own interests.
I always love hearing from you! If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email.