5 Brain Damaging Foods You Need to Avoid with Liana Werner-Gray
"Ignorance is bliss until you get sick."
Today’s question for the Kwik Brain community is: what are the top 5 foods we should be avoiding?
I’m excited to welcome back today’s guest, Liana Werner-Gray. Liana is the author of three books—Cancer Free with Food, 10 Minute Recipes, and Earth Diet. She’s here to tell how we can make brain-friendly snacks that are both nutritious and delicious for us to eat!
The food we eat matters to our gray matter—no matter how much work we put into our learning, it won’t be effective if our biology is suffering from poor food choices. Thinking about your diet can be a tough task, but we don’t have to overhaul our diet overnight—small changes to your diet, one food at a time, will add up over time and can help you to achieve better health and a brighter brain without disrupting your daily life.
We’ve had Liana on the show previously to talk about quick brain-friendly snacks we can all make in 5 minutes. If you haven’t already had a listen, you can check it out here!
In this conversation, Liana will take us through the top 5 foods to eliminate from our diet, explain why these foods damage our health and suggest healthy alternatives we can swap into our diet instead!
*Please note, this episode is educational only and is not intended to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.*
FOODS TO AVOID:
- Don’t panic—there are upgrades and alternatives to these foods available that you can swap into your diet if you enjoy them
1. WHITE SUGAR
- According to Liana: the body can’t break sugar down, and sugar is correlated with a host of diseases and illnesses including Alzheimer’s and cancer
- Work with a medical professional to cut out the sugar if you already have a serious illness
- Safer alternatives to add sweetness to your diet: fruit, honey, dates, maple syrup, monk fruit, stevia
- Think long-term: consider aiming for consistent health for the rest of your life
2. FOOD ADDITIVES
- Artificial sweeteners, benzoate, stabilizers, and preservatives
- These products are found in processed foods to give them a longer shelf life and help companies to cut costs
- Sweeteners and sugars can create addictive cravings and unhealthy food cycles
- Food cravings manifest in the brain in a similar way to other substance addictions e.g. drug addictions
- Contains white sugar or corn syrup, and often contains aspartame and preservatives
- If you love soda: try to find an organic option, or try out kombucha. The key is to find one you love so you won’t miss it
4. FOODS WRAPPED IN PLASTIC OR FROM CANS MADE WITH BPA
- BPA: bisphenol A, linked to multiple health problems
- When used as a container for food, can leach into the products
- Companies are starting to bring out BPA-free options (e.g. canned vegetables and water bottles)
- Ignorance is not bliss—the more you learn, the more options you have to make better decisions
5. CONVENTIONAL WHITE FLOUR
- Found in plenty of processed foods: cakes, cookies, bagels, muffins
- “Conventional”: some people might choose to still have wheat in their diet, but they’ll make sure it’s from organic, whole grain options
- Alternatives available: nut flours, tiger nut flour (made from tiger nuts, which are a root vegetable)
WHY THINK ABOUT YOUR DIET?
- The food you put in your body becomes your body
- “A person who has their health has a thousand dreams, but the person who does not have their health has only one dream: to get their health back.”
- Even if you don’t have ailments, you want to be as healthy as you can and realize your fullest potential, which you can’t do if you consume a conventional diet
- Don’t forget to take a screenshot of this episode, tag us both on social media (@theearthdiet & @jimkwik) and share your greatest “aha!” moment from this episode with us!
Related Kwik Brain Episodes You Might Enjoy
Episode 51: Fix A Broken Brain with Dr. Hyman (Part 1)
Episode 66: When To Eat For Optimal Brain Function with Max Lugavere
Episode 88: Eating for Your Brain with Dr. Lisa Mosconi
Episode 122: 5 Minute Brain-Friendly Snacks with Liana Werner-Gray