3 Scary Reasons To Ditch Aluminum Foil (And What To Use Instead)

3 Scary Reasons To Ditch Aluminum Foil (And What To Use Instead)

Claremont Colonic Clinic
You’re probably getting a little tired of people telling you that the things you’ve been eating or using for years are bad for your health. Some you’ve accepted; you do your best to stay away from gluten and you eat organic when you can. Some you’ve strategically chosen to ignore; your favorite dairy-based ice cream, for example, or that supposedly toxic non-stick frypan which makes the best pancakes.
But here’s one you should probably avoid like the plague: aluminum foil. Believe it or not, every time you use aluminum foil in the kitchen, it’s seriously harming your health. Here are three reasons to keep aluminum foil out of your kitchen, and some healthier alternatives to use instead.

1. Aluminum foil is a neurotoxin

Aluminum has long been scrutinized by the scientific community for its potential role as a neurotoxin. Researchers maintain that, due to the fact that aluminum has no physiological role in the human body, it has the potential to cause significant detrimental effects when consumed.

This theory was unequivocally proven when a 2014 study showed that a 66-year-old man who died with Alzheimer’s disease had significantly elevated aluminum content in his brain, following eight years of occupational exposure. While the study noted that it was the respiratory system that was exposed to aluminum dust, we now know that there is a direct link between aluminum ingestion and Alzheimer’s disease, a debilitating neurological disorder.

The fact also remains that aluminum foil is not fully inert; food cooked or prepared in it has been shown to have significantly higher levels of aluminum than if they were prepared in another medium. The takeaway is simple: aluminum foil has the potential to cause neurotoxic effects, including Alzheimer’s disease.

2. Aluminum foil can contribute to bone disease

Research shows that aluminum from sources like foil can increase a person’s risk of developing bone disease. A study that examined the effect of hemodialysis, which causes buildup of aluminum in the blood, found that 37 percent of dialysis patients had developed aluminum-associated bone disease. The study proponents concluded that “long-term oral aluminum intake in hemodialysis patients results in a high prevalence of aluminum-associated bone disease.” It was theorized that aluminum either directly or indirectly impacts osteoblast production, which in turn leads to bone wasting.

The key here is that little statement about “long-term oral aluminum intake.” Many would argue that using aluminum foil regularly for years would equate to long-term oral aluminum intake. This means that using aluminum foil in the kitchen can contribute to bone disease.

3. Aluminum foil can promote pulmonary fibrosis

Using aluminum foil to prepare, store or cook food can increase a person’s risk of developing pulmonary fibrosis, a form of lung disease. A study that performed lung tissue analysis of nine workers exposed to aluminum oxide found alarmingly high levels of aluminum in the lung tissue, suggesting that aluminum exposure contributed to their development of pulmonary fibrosis.

While aluminum foil might not contribute to lung disease at the same rate as breathing in aluminum oxides, there is still a very real risk that cooking with aluminum foil may cause pulmonary fibrosis and other diseases of the lung.

Why aluminum may be leaching into the food you eat

In a 2012 study, a faculty of engineering team from the University of Ain Shams in Cairo examined the different ways in which aluminum foil and other cookware interacts with food. Leaching of harmful aluminum compounds was by far the highest when acidic foods like lemon juice or tomatoes were coming into contact with aluminum foil, and this was often further exacerbated by the use of spices.

In essence, aluminum foil is not inert. When exposed to certain foods, it has been shown to leach a portion of its metallic compounds into the food, whereupon people ingest it. From here, it can build up in the blood, muscles and organs and contribute to all manner of health problems. Science is only just starting to understand just how negative these consequences may be.

The onus is simple: keep aluminum foil out of the kitchen, and well away from the food you eat. Here are some healthier alternatives for cooking and storing your food that won’t have any ill health effects.

Healthier alternatives to aluminum foil Personally, I’ve never been much of a fan of aluminum foil and aluminum cookware anyway. If I want to store food in the fridge or pantry, I’ll almost always use glass storage containers. Glass is completely inert and doesn’t transfer any harmful chemicals or metals into food, no matter how acidic they are. This way, we’re also minimizing waste, as the glass can be used over and over again… unlike aluminum foil! For cooking, where one might use foil to enclose baked potatoes or fish, I simply used a ceramic dish with a lid. The effect is exactly the same, it’s just that ceramic doesn’t leach compounds into our food! And for baking, I either use glassware or high-quality silicone bakeware that doesn’t require any sort of lining. These materials are much nicer to use, usually produce higher quality dishes and don’t create excess waste. That’s a win-win, if you ask me!

Contributor: Liivi Hess-AlternativeDaily.com

10 Ice Cream Brands That Use the Lowest Quality Ingredients

10 Ice Cream Brands That Use the Lowest Quality Ingredients

Claremont Colonic Newsletter
It’s shocking how many ice creams on shelves aren’t made with milk, cream, and sugar.
There are a few different theories as to when humans first began to produce and enjoy ice cream. One possible origin story traces the sweet, cold confection back to the Tang Dynasty of Ancient China, which lasted from roughly 600 to 900 CE. By the Middle Ages, versions of ice cream were enjoyed across much of Arabia and Europe. And now, of course, people worldwide love the stuff.

Whereas in ancient and Medieval times, the process of creating ice cream was often painstaking and laborious—Tang Dynasty producers blended milk with flour and camphor and then froze the mixture in metal tubes lowered into frigid lakes. Today ice cream is produced on a commercial scale by numerous companies around the globe. And at that commercial scale, sadly quality is often dropped in the name of lowering costs and increasing profits.

If you’re looking for a top-quality, artisanal scoop of the sweet stuff, look elsewhere than these nine ice cream brands, which have been found to use the lowest quality ingredients. And next, don’t miss 8 Hot Dogs That Use the Highest Quality Ingredients.

1. Halo Top

Halo Top is a popular ice cream brand that lowers the sugar and positions itself as healthier than regular ice cream. That has been called into question by some for a few reasons. For one, many varieties contain erythritol, a sugar substitute that can cause stomach upset in some people. Second, if people consume the whole pint, as Halo Top suggests is okay with their lower-calorie ice cream, they could experience exacerbated effects. And third, Halo Top may be less filling than traditional ice cream, causing people to eat more.

2. Blue Bunny

Take a look at the packaging of most Blue Bunny “ice cream” flavors and you’ll see the conspicuous absence of the words ice cream. Instead, you may see terms like “frozen dairy dessert.” Why? Because many of their products are technically not ice cream, but rather, flavored frozen custard. You’ll also see qualifiers like “vanilla flavored” instead of just vanilla, because, again, it’s often a version of the flavor created by using low-quality artificial ingredients.

3. Good Humor

Beloved of many a generation—largely for showing up on a truck at just the right time on hot summer days—Good Humor’s ice cream products may be popular, but they’re not high-quality. Take the company’s classic Strawberry Shortcake Bar, for instance. It has approximately two dozen ingredients including, Red 40, Red 40 Lake, and Red 3 for coloring alone. The first two are derived from petroleum, while Red 3, aka erythrosine, is derived from fluorine.

4. Friendly’s

If the whey protein concentrate, whey, monoglycerides, diglycerides, xantham gum, guar gum, and corn syrup don’t turn you away from Friendly’s ice creams, maybe the fat and cholesterol will. A 150-calorie serving of their Classic Chocolate flavor has 80 calories of fat, five grams of saturated fat, and 30 milligrams of cholesterol.

5. Great Value

There’s a reason 48-ounce tubs of Walmart’s store brand Great Value ice cream can sell for less than $2.25… it’s made with low-quality ingredients. The brand’s Homestyle Vanilla Ice Cream does not even list vanilla (except for vanilla extract). Also listed in the ingredients are cellulose gel and cellulose gum, which are derived from wood, caron bean gum, guar gum, and more.

6. Nestlé Drumstricks

Here’s another classic and beloved frozen treat that might be best left unexamined. These chocolate-dipped ice cream cone treats are made with pretty inferior ingredients. Let’s name just five of the 25-plus ingredients you’ll find in a vanilla Drumstick The Original: Dairy Product Solids (that’s the first, FYI, not cream or milk), maltodextrin, Propylene Glycol Monostearate, Cellulose Gel, and Palm Olein.

7. Favorite Day

A store-label ice cream available at Target, this ice cream is popular, which makes sense given its low price. But its low price also means sense it has low-quality ingredients. Favorite Day Cookies ‘n Cream (which has “Artificial Flavor Added” displayed right under the name) has the following unsavory ingredients: Corn Syrup, Whey, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Mono and Diglycerides, Guar Gum, Calcium Sulfate, Carob Bean Gum, and more.

8. Baskin Robbins

Sure, Baskin Robbins is one of the most successful chains out there, and yes, you probably loved it as a kid, but things have changed. A number of years ago, per Biz Journals, the company outsourced its ice cream production to Dean Foods, and today, in a scoop of, say, their Cotton Candy flavor, you’ll find cheap ingredients like a “Stabilizer/Emulsifier Blend” (which is cellulose gum, mono and diglycerides, guar gum, carrageenan, and polysorbate 80), and “Cotton Candy Flavored Base” (corn syrup, water, sugar, artificial flavor, sodium citrate, and citric acid).

9. Blue Bell

Blue Bell Ice Cream has a popularity problem: according to a Mashed survey, a majority of people find it to be the worst store-bought ice cream. Maybe that’s because they have a quality ingredient problem, too. The company’s Homemade Vanilla flavor features HFCS, cellulose gum, and vegetable gums. Other flavors add in modified food starch, artificial colors, mono and diglycerides, and more. How about just regular milk, cream, and sugar?

10. Turkey Hill

Turkey Hill’s ice cream has a sizeable fan base, as you can see from a quick look at one of their flavors via FreshDirect or Target. But their ice creams also have a sizeable number of ingredients that are anything but high quality. These include corn syrup, monoglycerides and diglycerides, carrageenan, and more.

Contributor: Steven John- Eat This, Not That!

The 4-7-8 Method That Could Help You Sleep

The 4-7-8 Method That Could Help You Sleep

Claremont Colonic Newsletter
Falling asleep or coming down from anxiety might never be as easy as 1-2-3, but some experts believe a different set of numbers — 4-7-8 — comes much closer to doing the trick.
The 4-7-8 technique is a relaxation exercise that involves breathing in for four counts, holding that breath for seven counts and exhaling for eight counts, said Dr. Raj Dasgupta, a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, via email.

Also known as the “relaxing breath,” 4-7-8 has ancient roots in pranayama, which is the yogic practice of breath regulation, but was popularized by integrative medicine specialist Dr. Andrew Weil in 2015.

“What a lot of sleep difficulties are all about is people who struggle to fall asleep because their mind is buzzing,” said Rebecca Robbins, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and associate scientist in the division of sleep and circadian disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “But exercises like the 4-7-8 technique give you the opportunity to practice being at peace. And that’s exactly what we need to do before we go to bed.”

“It does not ‘put you to sleep,’ but rather it may reduce anxiety to increase likelihood of falling asleep,” said Joshua Tal, a New York state-based clinical psychologist.

How 4-7-8 works

The 4-7-8 method doesn’t require any equipment or specific setting, but when you’re initially learning the exercise, you should sit with your back straight, according to Weil. Practicing in a calm, quiet place could help, said Robbins. Once you get the hang of it, you can use the technique while lying in bed.

During the entire practice, place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue behind your upper front teeth, as you’ll be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue. Then follow these steps, according to Weil:

  • Completely exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  • Close your mouth and quietly inhale through your nose to a mental count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound for a count of eight.
  • Repeat the process three more times for a total of four breath cycles.

Keeping to the ratio of four, then seven and then eight counts is more important than the time you spend on each phase, according to Weil.

“If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep the ratio (consistent) for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply,” his website advised.

What research shows

When you’re stressed out, your sympathetic nervous system — responsible for your fight-or-flight response — is overly active, which makes you feel overstimulated and not ready to relax and transition into sleep, Dasgupta said. “An active sympathetic nervous system can cause a fast heart rate as well as rapid and shallow breathing.”

The 4-7-8 breathing practice can help activate your parasympathetic nervous system — responsible for resting and digesting — which reduces sympathetic activity, he added, putting the body in a state more conducive to restful sleep. Activating the parasympathetic system also gives an anxious brain something to focus on besides “why am I not sleeping?” Tal said.

While proponents may swear by the method, more research is needed to establish clearer links between 4-7-8 and sleep and other health benefits, he added.

“There is some evidence that 4-7-8 breathing helps reduce anxious, depressive and insomniac symptoms when comparing pre- and post-intervention, however, there are no large randomized control trials specifically on 4-7-8 breathing to my knowledge,” Tal said. “The research on (the effect of) diaphragmatic breathing on these symptoms in general is spotty, with no clear connection due to the poor quality of the studies.”

A team of researchers based in Thailand studied the immediate effects of 4-7-8 breathing on heart rate and blood pressure among 43 healthy young adults. After participants had these health factors and their fasting blood glucose measured, they performed 4-7-8 breathing for six cycles per set for three sets, interspersed with one minute of normal breathing between each set. Researchers found the technique improved participants’ heart rate and blood pressure, according to a study published in July.

When researchers have observed the effects of breathing techniques like 4-7-8 breathing, they have seen an increase in theta and delta brain waves, which indicate someone is in the parasympathetic state, Robbins said. “Slow breathing like the 4-7-8 technique reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and improves pulmonary function.”

What to expect

The 4-7-8 technique is relatively safe, but if you’re a beginner, you could feel a little lightheaded at first, Dasgupta said. “Normal breathing is a balance between breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide. When you upset this balance by exhaling more than you inhale, (it) causes a rapid reduction in carbon dioxide in the body,” he said. “Low carbon dioxide levels lead to narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. This reduction in blood supply to the brain leads to symptoms like lightheadedness. This is why it is often recommended to start slowly and practice three to four cycles at a time until you are comfortable with the technique.”

The more you practice the 4-7-8 technique, the better you’ll become, and the more your body and mind will incorporate it into your usual roster of tools for managing stress and anxiety, Dasgupta said. Some people combine this method with other relaxation practices such as progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, mindfulness or meditation.

Unmanaged stress can rear its head in the form of sleep difficulties, Robbins said. “But when we can manage our stress over the course of the day (and) implement some of these breathing techniques, we can put ourselves in the driver’s seat instead of being victim to events that happen in our lives.”

Contributor: Kristen Rogers, CNN Health

New Series: Know Your Body – The Endocrine System

New Series: Know Your Body – The Endocrine System

Claremont Colonic Clinic Newsletter
It’s probably been years, even decades since we learned just how our bodies function for optimal health. Our new, Know Your Body series serves as a quick reminder and overview of how they work and what we can do to ensure were doing what we can to support them.
This month: The Endocrine System.

Endocrine System

The hormones created and released by the glands in your body’s endocrine system control nearly all the processes in your body. These chemicals help coordinate your body’s functions, from metabolism to growth and development, emotions, mood, sexual function and even sleep.


What is the endocrine system?

Your endocrine system is made up of several organs called glands. These glands, located all over your body, create and secrete (release) hormones.

Hormones are chemicals that coordinate different functions in your body by carrying messages through your blood to your organs, skin, muscles and other tissues. These signals tell your body what to do and when to do it.


What does the endocrine system do and how does it work?

Your endocrine system continuously monitors the amount of hormones in your blood. Hormones deliver their messages by locking into the cells they target so they can relay the message.

The pituitary gland senses when your hormone levels rise, and tells other glands to stop producing and releasing hormones. When hormone levels dip below a certain point, the pituitary gland can instruct other glands to produce and release more. This process, called homeostasis, works similarly to the thermostat in your house. Hormones affect nearly every process in your body, including:

  • Metabolism (the way you break down food and get energy from nutrients).
  • Growth and development.
  • Emotions and mood.
  • Fertility and sexual function.
  • Sleep.
  • Blood pressure.

Sometimes glands produce too much or not enough of a hormone. This imbalance can cause health problems, such as weight gain, high blood pressure and changes in sleep, mood and behavior. Many things can affect how your body creates and releases hormones. Illness, stress and certain medications can cause a hormone imbalance.


What are the parts of the endocrine system?

The endocrine system is made up of organs called glands. Glands produce and release different hormones that target specific things in the body. You have glands all over your body, including in your neck, brain and reproductive organs. Some glands are tiny, about the size of a grain of rice or a pea. The largest gland is the pancreas, which is about 6 inches long.

The main glands that produce hormones include:

  • Hypothalamus: This gland is located in your brain and controls your endocrine system. It uses information from your nervous system to determine when to tell other glands, including the pituitary gland, to produce hormones. The hypothalamus controls many processes in your body, including your mood, hunger and thirst, sleep patterns and sexual function.
  • Pituitary: This little gland is only about the size of a pea, but it has a big job. It makes hormones that control several other glands such as the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, ovaries and testicles. The pituitary gland is in charge of many different functions, including how your body grows. It’s located at the base of your brain.
  • Thyroid: Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck. It’s responsible for your metabolism (how your body uses energy).
  • Parathyroid: These four tiny glands are no larger than a grain of rice. They control the level of calcium in your body. For your heart, kidneys, bones and nervous system to work, you need the right amount of calcium.
  • Adrenal: You have two adrenal glands, one on top of each kidney. They control your metabolism, blood pressure, sexual development and response to stress.
  • Pineal: This gland manages your sleep cycle by releasing melatonin, a hormone that causes you to feel sleepy.
  • Pancreas: Your pancreas is part of your endocrine system, and it plays a significant role in your digestive system too. It makes a hormone called insulin that controls the level of sugar in your blood.
  • Ovaries: In women, the ovaries release sex hormones called estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Women have two ovaries in their lower abdomen, one on either side.
  • Testes: In men, the testes (testicles) make sperm and release the hormone testosterone. This hormone affects sperm production, muscle strength and sex drive.

Conditions and Disorders

What conditions and disorders affect the endocrine system?

Dozens of conditions can cause issues in the endocrine system. These conditions can lead to health problems all over the body. Some of the most common disorders are:

  • Diabetes: This endocrine disorder affects the way your body uses the energy from the food you eat. Diabetes develops when the pancreas doesn’t make enough of a hormone called insulin, or insulin doesn’t work as it should.
  • Thyroid disorders: Several conditions can affect the function of the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism happens when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones. Hyperthyroidism occurs when it creates too many hormones.
  • Hypogonadism (low testosterone): In men, hypogonadism can cause erectile dysfunction. It can also cause memory and concentration problems, changes in muscle strength and low sex drive. It happens when the testes do not produce enough of the sex hormone testosterone.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): A hormonal imbalance causes women with PCOS to have irregular periods, abnormal hair growth, excess acne and weight gain. It can lead to diabetes, increased risk of metabolic syndrome and infertility.
  • Osteoporosis: When a woman’s ovaries don’t produce enough estrogen, bones become brittle and weak. Although it is more common in women, men sometimes have osteoporosis when testosterone levels get too low. People with an overactive parathyroid gland (hyperparathyroidism) may also have weak bones.

Chemicals called endocrine disrupters can also affect the endocrine system. These chemicals appear everywhere — in pesticides, plastics, cosmetics and even our food and water. Endocrine disrupters cause a wide range of problems throughout the body by changing how hormones send messages.

How common are these conditions?

  • Diabetes: This condition is widespread. Almost 10% of people in the United States have diabetes and 27% have prediabetes.
  • Thyroid disorders: About 20 million Americans have thyroid disease. Women are about five times more likely than men to develop the condition.
  • Hypogonadism: About 40% of men over 45 have low testosterone. Levels of this sex hormone naturally drop as men age. Other factors, such as a man’s diet, weight and other health problems also affect testosterone levels.
  • PCOS: This common condition affects about 5% to 10% of adult women in the U.S. It is a leading cause of infertility.
  • Osteoporosis: More than half of adults over age 50 have osteoporosis. It is more likely to occur in women than in men.


How can I keep my endocrine system healthy?

Your endocrine system needs the same things the rest of your body needs to stay healthy. You should exercise, eat right and see your healthcare provider regularly.

If you have a family history of diabetes, thyroid disorders or PCOS, talk to your provider. Managing these conditions can help you avoid a hormone imbalance that can lead to health problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I call my doctor?

Some symptoms can point to a serious health condition, such as diabetes. Call your provider if you have:

  • The urge to urinate (pee) a lot.
  • Extreme thirst, even after you’ve had plenty of water.
  • Nausea or stomach pain that doesn’t go away.
  • Sudden weight loss or unexplained weight gain.
  • Severe exhaustion or weakness.
  • Problems with sweating too much.
  • Sudden episodes of rapid heart hearts or elevated blood pressure
  • Developmental or growth delays.

Contributor: Clevelandclinic.org