When Eating Clean Isn’t Enough

Chondrus_crispus-1So, you’re eating clean. You’ve eliminated refined sugars from your diet, you buy only organic produce and certified organic foods, and you are strictly gluten free. Then why don’t you feel amazing?

It’s possible that there is something hiding in your diet – a sneaky food additive that can cause a whole host of problems. This particular little troublemaker has been shown to cause systemic inflammation and an increase in pain, induce glucose intolerance, and even cause inflammation in the gut. Given that this kind of system and chronic inflammation can be a major factor in the development of arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, pain disorders and a whole host of other conditions, it is essential for both long-term health and short-term relief of symptoms that we try to eliminate as many inflammatory triggers as possible.

The mystery culprit? Carrageenan.

Carrageenan is a seaweed extract which is processed and used is used in commercial food production as a thickener or emulsifier. The additive is commonly found in the following packaged foods: almond milk, aloe vera gel, butter, chocolate bars, coffee beverages, coffee creamers, cottage cheese, cream, deli meats, egg nog, ice cream, infant formula, juices, pizzas, protein supplements, puddings, rice milk, sour cream, soy milk, vegan cheese alternatives and even yogurt.

A casual reading of this list of foods will reveal that many commercially produced dairy products contain carrageenan. This may be a significant part of the explanation for why many people feel so much better when they eliminate dairy from their diets, and also why eating a diet based on whole foods is essential in order to achieve true health and wellness.

The Cornucopia Institute has created a list of foods which are made without carrageenan to help you as you hit the grocery store. For more information, and to see if eliminating carrageenan might help with some of your lingering symptoms, check out some of the changes you can make at http://www.cornucopia.org/shopping-guide-to-avoiding-organic-foods-with-carrageenan/