Do you try to eat the best you can?  Maybe you add a green supplement or a rice protein powder to your smoothie in the morning?  You want the best for you body, so you try to fill it with the healthiest choices you can!

What if I told you that some of those choices might not be as good as you think.

Just last week I was talking to the Calgary Gut Health = Good Health Support Group members about heavy metals, some of the sources of these metals and the health implications of these metals on the human body.  Heavy metals include things like lead, mercury, aluminum and cadmium.  The accumulation of these metals in the body can be a contributing factor to autoimmune conditions, neurological conditions, thyroid problems, kidney problems, as well as many other health conditions.  Common sources include things like silver mercury amalgam dental fillings, consumption of predatory fish like tuna or shark, vaccinations, antiperspirant use and wearing makeup.  There are a variety of industrial sources of exposure as well, such as mining and pulp and paper.

I was recently surprised to learn that there are many food sources that I had previously not known about, so I am excited to be able to share them now.

Food Forensics

Food Forensics is a book written by Mike Adams, "The Health Ranger" and founder of  In this well-researched book, he looks at ingredients that are used in our food supply that are harmful to our health, as well as chemical contamination and heavy metal contamination.  While I was familiar with many of the additives and chemicals that are used in processed and packaged foods, I was surprised at the extent of heavy metal toxicity present in commonly eaten foods

Here is a brief summary of some of the heavy metals and the food sources they are especially high in:

Arsenic:  apple juice, rice, poultry and swine

Mercury:  high-fructose corn syrup

Lead:  chlorella from China, calcium supplements, pet treats made in China, chopped clams, sea vegetable superfoods, cacao superfoods, organic rice protein, cooking spices, fish treats for cats, sunflower seeds

Aluminum:  seaweed superfood granules, gingko supplements, a popular children's multivitamin, calcium supplements, baking powder

Copper:  children's multivitamin, line of "raw" multivitamins, popular mineral supplement

Steps to Take

1.  If you drink apple juice, then buy juice that is locally grown and produced.  Don't be fooled by the "made in Canada" label.  Many of the apples are imported from China.

2.  Replace items that use high-fructose corn syrup with items using natural sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.  High-fructose corn syrup is bad for your health for so many reasons, so this is just one more to add to the list.

3.  Replace "green" blends with fresh greens.  Add  spinach, kale, shoots or your favourite leafy greens to smoothies.  If you use chlorella then choose from outside China.  I like Giddy Yoyo's chlorella, which is sourced from Taiwan, and Mike Adams produces Clean Chlorella, which is grown in a controlled environment.

4.  Research where your supplements are sourced from.  Talk to staff in health food and supplement stores, or contact a company directly and ask what country the ingredients come from.  

5.  Replace rice protein powder with an alternative protein.  My favourite is hydrolyzed collagen such as Vital Proteins or Bulletproof.

6.  Buy an aluminum free baking powder.  These can be found in health food stores.

7.  Make your own pet treats, or visit a local farmer's market for treats, so you know exactly what is going into your pet.

8.  Buy as much locally grown and raised food as you can and prepare meals yourself.  Take a couple of hours on a weekend to do some batch cooking to last you through the week.  Casseroles, stews and soups are great things to make in large batches to get you through the week.

As a general rule, ingredients imported from China, India or Thailand tend to have much higher risk of heavy metal contamination that foods grown in North America, Europe, New Zealand or many South American countries.

For a much more detailed look at all the foods that are contaminated, and the health implications of specific heavy metal toxicity read Food Forensics by Mike Adams.  It's an easy read.

Were you as surprised as I was about the heavy metal contamination of certain foods?
What is the first change you will make?

Happy, Healthy Eating!