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5 Common Food Items that are Making us Sick

Some of the most common food items that we eat every day have high amounts of toxin and poison, which can lead to short term stomach discomfort to long term health problems. Simultaneously many simple habits can prevent us from these harms.                                     

This is a two-part article, first is the five food items that are making us sick and tips on how you can tackle it smartly to avoid it almost completely and stay healthy.

Let’s start with some common food items

Number – 1

Lentils– or dals

While being the most common food item found in our kitchen,

  •  Dals have large amounts of herbicides and pesticides
  • In order to protect these dals from rodents and weeds, they are sprayed with herbicides like glyphosate which is a potent germ weed killer. This composition is more so in imported pulses from Canada and Australia.
Group of lentils isolated on white background
  • Considered safe until March 2015, his herbicide was labeled as a potential carcinogen by WHO. Carcinogens a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue.
  • Glyphosate also damages protein-related functions in the body, it also attacks the immune system and stops the absorption of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
  •  and Kerela in October 2018 and Feb 2019 respectively, banned the use of Glyphosate and revoked license from manufacturers and distributors. The central government has also initiated the process to restrict the use of Glyphosate.

In 2018, FSSAI had set the Maximum residue limit or MRL of Glyphosate in items like beans, lentils, peas, and soybean. Despite efforts to check excessive use of glyphosate are being put in place but they are not enough to keep our dals free of toxins.

  • Follow these advises
  • Cooking lentils at high temperatures in a pressure cooker or Kadai is quite an effective method in removing chemical residue, as it decreases the potency of left inside the dal.

However, for all other forms of consumption, we need to be more careful. Dals consumed as Sprout, cheela, halwa, must be washed thoroughly 3 to 4 times for at least 15 seconds and after when it turns to sprout form wash it again.

  • This same washing process has to be repeated before crushing when you make a cheela batter.
  • Another way to ensure minimum consumption of chemicals is to opt for organic Dal brands like 24 Mantra, organic tattva, and Tataetc, as they claim to be low on chemical residue.

Number – 2


It is highly likely that the eggs we are consuming are contaminated with salmonella, lead, and cadmium.

Unlike western countries, where steps are taken to sterilize eggs from contamination from salmonella bacteria, the Indian poultry industry lacks these basic rearing practices.

In the 2005 Indian Veterinary Institute, Bareillyreported to have found lead and cadmium in the eggs. Which can be due to chemical mixed in their chicken feed

Not only that, but the hormones fed to hen also produce more than one egg a day and the antibiotics help them to stay healthy in those cramped conditions. These chemicals percolate into the egg

Gentamycin is a widely used chicken feed in the poultry industry. Traces of this chemical are found in the egg. It is a nephrotoxin substance that has the potential to damage the human kidney.

Consuming egg poisoned with lead and cadmium can lead to heavy metal poisoning among children resulting in IQ deficiencies and even mental retardation.

Salmonella infection is a bacterial disease that can affect your intestinal tract. Other diseases like typhoid fever, food poisoning, and gastroenteritis are all types of salmonella infection.

In 2017 FSSAI had laid standard parameters like eggshells must be free of blood rings, must not have fecal matter on them, and must not be cracked.

From a hygiene perspective, they have emphasized on the storage conditions for adequate moisture and temperature, to reduce microbial contamination. However, their execution is far from reality.


After eggs are bought they are to be washed carefully with soap and water to remove surface contamination and then refrigerated separately from other groceries.

It’s advisable not to consume raw eggs but to cook them thoroughly till the yolk and white become firm. Reaching an internal temperature of 71 C will ensure to destroy any salmonella bacteria.

While difficult to check, Eggs must be consumed within two weeks after it has been laid.

You can also go for brands like keggs and henfruit who offer desi brown eggs at a reasonable price, being a big corporation they have to maintain a certain quality standard which actually reflects on their product

Number – 3

Meat –

  • The meat industry in India is highly unorganized and unregulated.
  • Because of which the meat is kept in quiet unhygienic conditions due to this, the raw cut meats are easily contaminated in the storage itself.
  • Even more dangerous broiler chickens are injected with a high concentration of growth hormone and chemical-based feed which increases their body size.
  • Antibiotics are often given to chicken to increase their immunity, consuming this chicken leads to antibiotic resistance in the body, which leads to the body not responding to medicines.
  • These antibiotics and unhealthy growth hormones and have links to harmful effects like obesity, male fertility problems, early-onset puberty in females, and many more.
  • Advice –
  • After buying meat wash it thoroughly with warm water for at least 15 minutes, this would remove any form of contamination from the surface.
  • Refrigerate it in the freezer immediately if you are not consuming it and separate it from other food items, so that even if some trace amount of contamination it doesn’t propagate to other food items
  • Cook the meat at high temperatures for at least 2 hrs this will make sure to kill the bacteria and decrease the potency of antibiotics and growth hormones    
  • Avoid eating tandoori chicken and chicken tikka, these are not only smoked meat but also the number of chemicals is not reduced by this cooking process.
  • It is better to opt for desi murga which might be a bit expensive but it has a high in nutritional value as compared to broiler chicken.
  • Expensive  high nutritional strong smell
  • It’s easy to identify desi chicken meat, they have a strong smell and the meat is firm, unlike the broiler the meat is soft. You can contact your local chicken farmer or visit websites like fleshkart, zappfresh, and thefreshmeatmarket to buy desi chicken.

Number – 4

White processed foods

They are essentially refined carbohydrates with low fiber content

Few examples of white processed foods can be polished rice, white bread, biscuits, and maida, which can be easily found in our Indian kitchens.

While making these products, the whole grains are refined meaning most of the bran and germ are removed in order to increase their shelf life.

The bran and germ contain all the nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, since they are all sucked out, it leaves behind the refined form of carbohydrate, which makes these products too easy to digest.

They spike up your blood sugar and insulin level instantly,

Emulsifiers made from vanaspati, glycerol, and organic acids are added to bread products to increase their shelf life and it also allows non-mixable liquids like oil and water to mix smoothly.

Potassium Bromate and Potassium Iodate is added to maida to increase the volume of its end product, though it is a banned substance in India there are several reported cases where big bread manufactures use it to increase the shelf and make the bread more fluffy and appear fresh.


White processed foods are the kind of foods that aggravate your stress levels so avoid eating refined food at all costs.

If you cannot bread altogether, try switching to your local baker after confirming all the ingredients that go in the bread

Generally, biscuits have high sugar and refined flour content so it’s better to look out for ingredients for example sugar in cream biscuits usually have 40 gm of sugar per 100 gram, that’s a lot of sugar in just a 100-gram biscuit packet. So it’s better to clear off from this stuff

It is a good idea to switch to honey-based or low sugar biscuits or rusk, many such products are being prepared by smaller players. Few links are shared in the description section

Even normal atta for that matter must be mixed with it to reduce its GI index

Number – 5


In addition to water, commercial urea and melamine is added to milk to falsely increase the protein content

Ammonium sulfate is added to increase the lactometer reading by maintaining the density of diluted milk

Salicylic acid, Formalin and Hydrogen peroxide, Benzoic acid added to preserve and increase the shelf life of the milk

Since milk fat is expensive, some milk manufacturers skim the fat and compensate for non-milk fat like vegetable oil. Detergents are added to emulsify and dissolve the oil in water and give it a frothy look.

Harmful impacts of this milk can be renal failure, inflammation of the intestines, kidney problems, and disruption in hormonal functioning. 

The cattle injected with growth hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone can lead to the growth of another hormone called insulin-like growth factor or IGF-1, which can stimulate the growth of tumors and affect the risk of cancer in the body.

Switch to a little expensive milk, check the milk at home

Try switching to your local doodhwala with a good track record, you can also visit his farm to check the quality of milk he is producing

You can also try other brands dairlylac, Desigo milk,dearcows, and farmvilledirect, who claim to give best A2 milk with no preservatives added in them

There are also milk testing kits available in the market that can help you determine the purity of milk you are drinking    

Thank you for reading our article

Please check out the second part of the article for the next 5 food items that are harming us.

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