More and more people are trying to live a “natural lifestyle”, which not only can help improve the health of your thyroid condition, but your overall health as well. And while it’s easy for me to tell you to eat a 100% organic diet and avoid as many toxins as possible, the truth is that this probably isn’t sufficient to achieve optimal health. If you are going to live a “natural lifestyle”, then you really need to educate yourself and learn how to avoid ingredients that are potentially toxic.
In order to do this, you need to expand your knowledge when it comes to many of the common chemicals that are placed both in the foods we eat, as well as the household products we use. This is still important to do even if you try to buy everything natural, because a company placing the words “natural” on any food or product doesn’t really mean much.
As I mentioned in a previous post, if something is labeled as “organic”, then because these foods are regulated you can be certain that it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. On the other hand, you need to be cautious when buying any “natural” food or household product.
So how can you become more knowledgeable when it comes to these ingredients? It may seem almost impossible to do this when there are so many different ingredients you’re not familiar with. Here is a step-by-step process on how to accomplish this:
Step # 1: Write a one-month food diary of EVERYTHING you normally eat and drink. I’m talking about all of the foods you eat at home, at fast food restaurants, including all of the snacks and desserts you eat. And if you drink anything other than water then make sure you list these beverages too.
Step # 2: Create a list of all of the household products you have. This includes all of the cleaners, soaps, shampoos and conditioners, lotions, cosmetics, etc.
Step # 3: Look up the ingredients of both the foods you consume and the household products you use, and write down all of the ones you aren’t familiar with. With regards to the foods you eat, this shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish with those you eat at home, but it might be more challenging when you eat out. You might need to do a little bit of research online, or read a book or two to find out this information. Don’t be surprised if by the time you’re done you have a few hundred different ingredients written down.
Step #4: Prioritize the ingredients. In other words, you are going to write down all of the ingredients you’re unfamiliar with, and then make a note of those ingredients that are listed more than once. So for example, if one of the ingredients happens to be “soy lecithin”, and you notice this ingredient eleven different times, and if this is the most commonly seen ingredient, then put the number eleven next to it, and put this ingredient on the top of the list.
Step #5: Learn about one new ingredient each day. Start from the top of the list, and take ten to fifteen minutes each day to do a little bit of research on each ingredient. After a few months you will have a pretty good knowledge of what chemicals are in the foods you eat and the products you use.
This might seem like a tedious process, and I realize that the majority of people who read this probably aren’t going to take all of these steps. To be honest, after doing the initial research it really isn’t too time-consuming to spend a few minutes each day learning each ingredient. But if you don’t want to go through all of this, then I would still look at all of the ingredients of the different foods you eat and the products you use, and try to research the top 10 or 20 ingredients that you are unfamiliar with.
Of course I’m not suggesting that all of these ingredients will be “toxic”, as some might not be too bad for your health, while others can be very harmful, especially those found in some of the common household cleaners. But even when it comes to the foods we eat, there are numerous chemicals and preservatives which over a prolonged period of time can create problems and potentially lead to health issues. And while you might not want to avoid eating these foods altogether, at the very least you will be aware of which foods contain these ingredients so that you can minimize your exposure to them.
So while it might seem like a great deal of work to follow the steps I listed, it really is important to familiarize yourself with the common ingredients you put into your body. Some research shows that a big reason why more people are developing thyroid conditions, autoimmune disorders, cancer, and other conditions are due to the frequent exposure to some of these ingredients. And by learning more about them you can do your best to avoid these ingredients, or at least reduce your exposure to them.