Have you ever heard someone say that they moved to Italy or visited Greece for a prolonged period of time and their intolerances for certain foods simply vanished? They were all of a sudden able to enjoy bread and pasta? There are countless stories of people leaving America and also leaving behind food intolerance and all of the sketchy symptoms that come along with it like …. ADHD.
What is this phenomenon?
Well, it’s no phenomenon or strange occurrence at all.
It has to do with the fact that Europe and other Mediterranean countries have much stricter regulations on chemicals that go into the food, and their processes are different. They are using fewer pesticides, GMOs, and even different processing techniques. In the USA, many chemicals, such as sulfites that are used in bleaching processed grains, aren’t even listed on the ingredients because it’s considered part of “processing.”
Here are 5 American “Food” ingredients that the USA claims are “safe” but are banned in other countries:
- Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)
- Potassium Bromate (Found in bread)
- Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) / Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
- Food Color Dyes (Yellow No. 5, No. 6, Red No. 40)
6 Steps to a Healthy Mediterranean Diet
But don’t get discouraged, you can still live a healthy Mediterranean lifestyle, right here in the US. Here’s how:
- Focus your attention on eating REAL food. There’s a saying that goes: “If it doesn’t have a mother, or grow naturally on the earth, then you shouldn’t eat it”
- When eating animal products, be mindful of how they are fed and raised.
- If you must eat processed foods, use the 5 ingredients or less rule.
- If you cannot pronounce an ingredient, don’t eat it.
- Watch out for “Natural Flavors or Natural Ingredients” on a label. Many lab-created chemicals derived from a small amount of “natural” products can be disguised on food labels.
- Avoid dangerous trans fats and incorporate as many healthy fats into your diet as possible. Mediterranean cuisine focuses more on healthy fats from olive oil, avocados, and nuts rather than trans fats that occur in highly processed foods.