You’ve probably heard about genetically modified organisms, the GMOs in our food supply. When you’re trying to eat a brain healthy diet that’s full of colorful produce, you may come across some plant-based foods that are GMO. What’s a Brain Warrior to do?
Here are 5 plant-based GMO foods to avoid and how to still enjoy veggies that aren’t chemically altered.
About 85% of corn is genetically modified. And it shows up in nearly two-thirds of all packaged foods! Corn has the most unhealthy fatty acid profile of just about any grain—yes, you read that right, corn is a grain not a vegetable. Being high in omega-6 fatty acids and very low in omega-3 fatty acids makes corn an inflammatory food.
Healthier alternatives: For a delicious substitute, try Cauliflower Rice, which you can find in The Brain Warrior’s Way Cookbook*.
Contrary to what popular marketing would indicate, soy is not the miracle food perfect for replacing meat and dairy. More than 80% of soy in the U.S. is being genetically modified, primarily to resist herbicides. Soy is another substance that finds its way into hundreds of products on store shelves—from commercial salad dressings to soy chips and other snacks.
Healthier alternatives: If you want some healthful benefits of soy without the harmful side effects, try organic edamame and fermented tofu.
One of the most popular vegetable oils on the market, canola oil is not the health food it’s made out to be. In fact, it is one of the most chemically altered oils available. Canola oil is also full of omega-6 fatty acids, which cancel out many of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and can promote inflammation in the body.
Healthier alternatives: Better choices include coconut, avocado, olive, macadamia nut, sesame, or walnut oil.
Sugar derived from genetically modified sugar beets made its debut a decade ago. The sugar beets were engineered to resist herbicides, rendering an unhealthy substance even worse. As I usually say, sugar is not your friend. It’s addictive, accelerates aging, contributes to obesity, and fuels cancer cells. Sugar consumption is also linked to depression and ADHD.
Healthier alternatives: Skip the sugar altogether and choose stevia instead.
Zucchini is a tasty variety of squash that goes well in many brain healthy recipes. However, there are GMO varieties of zucchini that are widely available in the U.S. GMO zucchini is engineered to be resistant to certain viruses, but they don’t do an effective job at fending off those viruses, according to the Non-GMO Project.
Healthier alternative: Buy organic zucchini! If it’s USDA certified organic, it can’t be GMO and it can’t contain any pesticides.
As always, adopt a Warrior mindset when you go to the grocery store and read the nutrition labels closely. By paying attention to what you put in your cart, you can win the war for your health!
If you’re looking for delicious recipes with organic ingredients, get a copy of The Brain Warrior’s Way Cookbook. *You can get 21% off—just use the promo code TANA21.