Now that you get a glimpse into the albeit controversial but dangerous world of GMOs, you might be wondering what practical changes you can already start making to make sure that your diet is cleaner than yesterday. In this short article, I hope to be able to provide you with some directions.
What is GMO Labeling?
Generally speaking, I prefer to buy organic produce if possible because that assures me that no pesticides or herbicides are used in the farming process. However, buying organic is not always possible for some of us.
Therefore, I am strongly in favor of mandating GMO labeling and I advocate this to all of my patients and everyone I meet. Mounting evidence suggests that consuming GMO foods may pose negative health effects on your body and our environment. It is therefore essential that you become an educated consumer.
GMO labeling is a legal requirement in 64 countries but alas not in the U.S. So until that happens, we as consumers will just have to be more educated and informed of what some of the common GMO foods are today.
For an in-depth view on GMOs, read my article on GMO Awareness: What You Need to Know.
GMO Food List as of 2018
The “well known” GMO crops grown today are corn, soy, cotton, canola, sugar beets, alfalfa, squash, and even Hawaiian papayas. In the U.S. alone, 93% of soybeans and 88% of corn grown are genetically modified. [1,2]
Below is a list of 18 GMO foods that could be messing up your health.
1. Corn (field & sweet)
All parts of the corn plant are used in so many different things other than processed packaged food items that farmers are very motivated to maximize their crop yields at your health’s expense. As much as half of all U.S. grown corn are genetically modified. Long term consumption of genetically modified corn has been tied to different health issues, including weight gain and organ disruption. Avoid processed foods using non-organic corn as much as possible – read your labels! Definitely, buy organic corn if you can afford it. 
Similarly to corn, soybean is used in many products such as tofu and many other vegetarian products, soybean oil, soy flour, etc. Hence farmers are incentivized to ensure their crop yields by using genetically modified beans that are resistant to herbicides. As much as 90% of the soy grown is GMO and about 70% of the soy is fed to livestock and about 66% of the soy is turned into human food. Either way yo look at it, humans are consuming soy foods.
Although more commonly used in animal feed, alfalfa sprouts are gaining popularity in salads also. Alfalfa is widely grown in the U.S. and consuming meat from animals who have been fed GMO feed can be toxic for you too. Buy organic meat or grass-fed meat if possible.
4. Canola Oil
Canola oil is made from rapeseed. And more than 90% of rapeseeds grown in the U.S. are genetically modified. Generally speaking, there is a lot of hype around the best type of oil to consume, but one thing for certain, canola oil should not be one of them.
5. Sugar Beets
Much of the U.S. grown sugar beets used to produce sugar are genetically modified to resist the Roundup® brand of herbicides.Beet sugar is like cane sugar and represents about 54% of domestically-produced sugar.
6. Zucchini and Yellow Squash
Both the zucchini and yellow squash is grown in the U.S. are genetically modified to resist viruses. I usually eat these with their skin on so I only buy their organic versions. That is kind of my general rule if organic produce is not always available.
This is one yummy tropical fruit that is also very nutritious for you. Genetically modified papayas are modified to resist the ringspot worm and delay the maturity of the fruit. The GMO papaya varieties are known as Rainbow & SunUp or Sunrise and grown in Hawaii since 1999. These varieties are only sold in the U.S. and Canada for public consumption. GMO papaya was one of the first GMO fruit that was commercially grown.
This is probably the most eaten vegetable in the U.S. Unfortunately, the FDA and EPA have just approved the cultivation of 3 types of genetically modified potatoes two years ago that will help the crop resist a pathogen and reduce their susceptibility to bruises and black spots.
Although not as widespread as corn and soybeans, there are genetically modified oranges on the market. Genetically modified oranges are injected with a gene from the spinach plants to cause the oranges to produce a protein that can resist greening.
Like oranges, although not widespread, genetically modified apples are out there since 2017 and they have been modified to prevent their natural browning process. The variety of apple is known as “Arctic apples” (golden delicious). Other varieties such as granny smith and Fugi apples are next in line.
Similar to apples, the introduction of genetically modified white button mushrooms is a very recent thing. And the modification is done to prevent their natural browning process.
12. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are such a popular superfood these days that it is a shame that there are genetically modified versions of it on the market. GMO flaxseeds are only produced and allowed for consumption in the U.S. and Canada.
13. Animal Products – Meat, Poultry, and Eggs
If you are eating animal products that are not grass-fed, chances are you are indirectly still getting all the pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, and GMO diet that the animals ate.
Farmed fish especially common species like salmon are fed with a growth hormone that allows it to grow faster throughout the year compared to wild caught salmon or salmon raised without hormones and antibiotics. In 2015, the FDA approved GM salmon which will be on the shelves shortly and is currently being sold in Canada.
This is probably common knowledge by now. The bovine growth hormone rBGH and rBST are still being injected into dairy cows to increase their milk production. My recommendation is to always buy organic dairy. It will be money well spent.
Besides bread and potatoes, rice is another very popular choice of starch on the typical American dinner table. Rice is genetically modified to resist insects in order to protect and improve yield.
This is an artificial sweetener created by scientists in the lab and is found in processed food items such as sugary drinks and even health food products like protein drinks, etc. Studies have indicated that aspartame contains cancer-causing compounds and with GMO in the mix. I don’t think you need any more reasons to stay away from aspartame.
18. Other GMO ingredients found in processed foods
As mentioned above, corn and soybeans can be found in a lot of popular processed foods. While they can be convenient, most processed foods are really not that healthy for you. They usually also contain other GMO ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate (MSG), ethanol, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, lactic acid, maltodextrin or dextrin, sucrose, xanthan gum, white vinegar, and yeast products. Again, read your labels before you buy!
This list can be daunting for many people, but it is important to avoid GMOs and read your labels. The easiest and best way to avoid GMOs is to eat certified organic and non-GMO foods. Read on for more guidelines and tips. [ 4 ]
What you can do to avoid or eliminate GMOs from your diet?
The good news is it is not that tough to eat a non-GMO diet. Here’s what you can do to eat cleaner and healthier:
1. Avoid products from these GMO Companies
Choose your brand names carefully to avoid GMO foods. Most of these companies listed below have fought to prevent GMO labeling from becoming a legal mandate:
- PepsiCo (Including Frito-Lay and Doritos)
- General Mills
- Nestle/Gerber Co
2. Buy organic
Look for a USDA Organic stamp on produce that certifies that the food was grown without the use of genetic engineering and that any pesticides or herbicides used were approved by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). On meat, eggs, milk, and other animal products, the seal attests that the product came from animals that were fed 100% organic feed and were not injected with hormones or antibiotics. 
3. Avoid at-risk ingredients
Packaged, heavily processed foods like cereal, frozen dinners, condiments, and snack foods, are likely to include ingredients derived from corn, soy, and canola, so you can bet they will contain GMOs.
4. Look for the non-GMO project seal
Does a USDA Organic label completely certify that a product is GMO-free? Not when it comes to processed foods so look for the seal that says Non-GMO Project.
For great shopping lists and a plethora of information visit this site: https://gmo-awareness.com/shopping-list/
5. Steer clear from GMO derivatives
Things like soy lecithin, vinegar which is often made from white corn and can, therefore, contain GMOs.
6. Read your labels
Buyer beware! When you see things like aspartame, you know its genetically modified. Look for labels that say non-GMO.
7. Buy local
Buy local to reduce your risk of herbicide intake. Shop at local farmers’ markets and CSAs (community -supported agriculture programs) who provide clean foods like organic, non-GMO, grass-fed meats and dairy. Ask your local farmers what kind of seeds they use, and what are the crops sprayed with to make sure you are getting what you want.
8. Eat fermented
Fermenting food with salt water brine is very healthy for our microbiome and health. Eating fermented food helps fix our guts by providing healthy bacteria.
9. Keep your detox pathways clear
GMOs can contain high doses of known toxins. Heal your body the natural way and keep your elimination pathways functioning properly with a gentle detox. Help your body to get rid of toxins by doing the regular cleanup of your kidneys, liver and lymphatic systems. Follow this simple but effective 14-day detox program called VegeCleanse Plus™ designed to support safe and effective detoxification. Everything you need is consolidated into individual packets so all you need to do is add water, shake and drink!
10. Look to other sources for fiber
We all know that a high-fiber diet is essential for better health including lower risk for cardiovascular disease, insulin levels, and obesity. I recommend many of my patients to consume organic vegetable fiber instead of fiber from grains. I also suggest adding a fiber supplement called PaleoFiber® Unflavored and Unsweetened which can help to reduce inflammation, serum LDL cholesterol, lower lipid peroxidation (less free radicals) and improve insulin sensitivity and overall better blood sugar regulation.
11. Get outdoors, be active
Exercise and breathe in the fresh air and get yourself exposed to the healthy bacteria and microbiome present in Mother Nature. Remarkably, we can positively impact our own gut microbiome by being exposed to healthy bacteria in nature. It is important to fix the gut, as everything starts in the gut. Consider taking a good probiotic, like ProbioMed™ 50 which contains robust strains that are capable of surviving the harsh journey to the intestines and are able to attach to the intestinal walls, where they can grow and function effectively to support GI health.
12. Become more educated about GMOs
Know where GMOs hide in your grocery store or even your health food store. Since 1996, 80% of the foods are genetically modified. And today, new terminology and GMO labeling are now being used to confuse the public. Going forward some GMO foods may not be labeled as such. and/or new labeling will intentionally mislead the public.
- Get the free non-GMO Project App as your shopping guide (https://livingnongmo.org). This app allows you to scan barcodes and search up-to-date products that have been verified for GMOs.
- Go to Livingnongmo.org which is a place where you can learn about the non-GMO lifestyle and stay informed about GMOs.
- Join social media conversations on social platforms like www.facebook.com/NonGMOproject.
- The Cornucopia Institute website is a great resource regarding clean eating, organic, GMOs, etc.
13. Read up on these helpful resources to stay current on the latest findings and developments.
- Non-GMO Project
- Organic Consumer Organization
- Pesticide Action Network
- GMO-Free America
- Moms Across America
Diseases are so complex — but health can be so simple!
Hidden ingredients in our food such as GMOs may be a lead driver of obesity, infertility, cancer, digestive problems, autism, brain fog, skin conditions, gluten sensitivity, allergies, fatigue, anxiety, and many other conditions. The good news is many of these health conditions can be turned around with a clean diet and a healthy lifestyle.
I am a strong believer that the long-term use of GMO foods in your diet will eventually create health issues even in the subtlest ways. Even if you think you are already “eating right,” there may always be room for improvement.
CONTACT ME today and let me help you get comfortable with avoiding GMOs in your daily life. Planning your food choices to create a more vibrant life does not have to be overwhelming. Or, maybe you want to do a detoxification program.
If you’ve already crossed that line and feel you need more help to resolve some health issues, let’s run some lab tests and see if we can uncover the root of your health issues. Let’s get you started on your healing journey now. CONTACT ME today.
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- Cornucopia Institute. The 10 Most Common GMO Foods.
- Genetically Modified Organism.
- Genetically Modified Corn – Environmental Benefits and Risks.
- Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): Transgenic Crops and Recombinant DNA Technology
- GMO FAQs.