Welcome to the Perfect Supplements Health Terminology Reference Guide! Have you ever had a conversation with someone who is extremely enthusiastic and you really just do not understand what in the world they are talking about? Did all the long words, abbreviations, and acronyms make you feel confused and a little awkward to be nodding and agreeing with? I recently discussed health topics with someone who was not afraid to tell me I was talking way too fast. She also asked me to stop and explain a lot of the words I was using. That sparked the decision to write a blog to help other natural health newbies converse like a pro!
Avoid These Toxic Ingredients in Your Food
Manufacturers often include a variety of ingredients in their food or supplements to increase their production and revenue. There is absolutely no health benefit to adding them. The body doesn’t need them and is not designed to break them down. They can actually block the absorption of important nutrients and have been linked to numerous adverse health issues.
Hydrogenated Oils – Partially hydrogenated oils damage the body in numerous ways. They encourage heart problems, strokes, nervous system problems, block the absorption of essential fatty acids, upset blood sugar regulation and more.
Artificial Colors – Artificial colors are added to products to make them look more appealing to the consumer, especially children. These colorful chemicals have been associated with some serious health conditions and some believe there is a direct correlation between them and hyperactivity in children. Some of these artificial colors are derived from toxic coal tar. Here ia an article by Wellness Mama about the isuue
Avoid Fillers, Flow Agents & Additives in Your Supplements
Fillers – are inexpensive ingredients, such as rice, added to dietary supplements to fill the capsule or tablet inexpensively, thereby allowing the addition of less of the expensive superfood you think you are buying.
Flow Agents (such as Magnesium Stearate) – Magnesium stearate is used as a lubricant so supplement powders don’t stick to one another or the encapsulating equipment, therefore making production cheaper and easier, with potential negative side effects for the consumer.
Titanium Dioxide – Titanium dioxide is a naturally occurring oxide of the element titanium. This mineral is widely used in vitamins and cosmetics as a pigment. It has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as “possibly carcinogen (cancer causing) to humans”(1).
Stands for genetically modified organism. This means that it’s natural genetic state has been altered. “GMOs are made by forcing genes from one species into the DNA of an unrelated species in order to introduce a new trait. This can not occur in the natural world. For example: inserting a coldwater fish gene into a tomato plant so that the tomato plant won’t freeze in the winter. Another example would be inserting a bacterial gene toxic to insects into corn plant so that corn worms die when they attempt to eat the corn.
GMOs are banned or restricted in over 60 countries.”(2) Many large companies are offering GMO free options in their stores. For more information check out these sites:
Raw Food, Eating Clean & Minimal Processing
The way raw ingredients are transformed into the food we eat is called processing.
Raw Food – Officially, raw is considered any food that remains below 120 degrees F. Theoretically, this temperature maintains the original nutrients, vitamins and minerals of the plants. Many raw foodies are also vegan, consuming only plants.
Eating Clean – Refers to avoiding processed foods, additives, preservatives, GMOs and other mysterious chemicals in your food. Clean eaters prepare most of their food themselves with simple ingredients. They avoid processed ingredients such as white flour and white sugar.
Minimally processed food still contains a lot of the nutrients we need to stay healthy. The big problem we are having nowadays is that most major food companies are over processing. They are using GMO’s, adding fillers, flow agents and additives, and packaging foods in such a way that they are stripping almost all of the good stuff away! Not to mention adding a lot of dangerous and addicting stuff to our food! For example: using pesticides to keep bugs off an apple tree, adding toxic chemicals to that tree so it produces more apples, taking that toxic filled apple and boiling it down to almost nothing, adding some fake sweeteners and colorful dies to make it look and taste good and packaging it in toxic plastic so it will last a long time on the shelf before your little one says “mommy I want that hot pink applesauce for snack!” OK – rant over!
Grass Fed Beef & Free Range Chickens
If you eat meat then you should think about what you are eating ate. Do you want to eat something that ate chemicals (antibiotics), toxins (GMOs) and artificial growth hormones? I would hope not. That is why the words grass fed and free range and are so important.
Grass Fed is particularly important for animals such as cows because their digestive system is intended to consume grass. Unfortunately, the majority of beef produced in the US comes from cows raised mainly on grains, particularly GMO corn and GMO soy. Cows are not built to digest corn and soy and it makes them fat and sick.
Free Range generally refers to chickens because industrial egg and meat producers in the US often keep chickens in cages their entire lives.
We recommend sourcing your meat from small local farms. Your local Weston A Price Foundation Chapter is a great resource for local meat.
Organic Chickens eat feed that is not exposed to toxic pesticides, fertilizers, hormones, GMOS, etc.
If what you eat enjoyed a clean and healthy life, then you will too.
Vegetarian, Vegan & Paleo Diets
Vegetarian – diets include all vegetables and fruits and any food product that does not come from the slaughter of animals. This diet generally includes eggs and dairy, and pescetarians consume fish.
Vegan – a dietary lifestyle that does not include animals in any way. This means no eggs, dairy or even honey!
Paleo – differs from group to group and person to person, but most agree on three core principles:
1. Only eat foods that can be picked or hunted in nature.
2. Avoid foods that cannot be eaten raw.
3. Only eat meat products from animals fed their natural food source
Perfect Supplements Lingo
Whole Food Supplement – Here at Perfect Supplements, we believe that pure, nutrient dense, whole foods are far more effective than synthetic supplements, which is why we aim to create whole food supplements whenever possible. Whole food supplements are minimally processed and naturally packed with vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients. Superfoods are whole food supplements that really pack a nutritional punch.
Fermented – One of the best ways to preserve food is by fermenting it. Fermenting is a controlled way of aging food using yeasts or good bacteria to chemically convert carbohydrates to alcohol and carbon dioxide. After fermentation, food still contains its natural health properties, however, fermenting adds beneficial components and makes food easier to digest. Some popular fermented foods are wine, cheese, and pickles. See this fun little video on our site that explains fermentation in a little more detail:
Desiccated – A not so pretty word that basically means “dried out”. By removing moisture from a food it preserves important nutrients and gives the product a longer shelf life.
Bioavailability – the degree and rate at which a substance is absorbed into your body. The higher the bioavailability, the higher the benefits your body will receive.
Quiz time … only kidding!
Please let us know if there are any other terms or subjects that you would like to know more about, and we will add them to this handy reference guide.
Thanks for Reading!