As many of you know, I preach and preach about how beneficial raw foods are to your health. Limit processed foods to none and focus on integrating fresh fruits and vegetables with lean proteins into your diet.
Our society has been living an on-the-go lifestyle for years now. We have to be at work a certain time, get kids to sporting events, schedule hair appointments, etc. As a matter of fact, we get so consumed by this lifestyle that we often forget to take care of ourselves. We get into a pattern of thinking that we don’t have time to exercise, eat, or play. After all, working and making money for our families is more important, right? Well, those things may be important, but here’s the reality of it: If we don’t take care of our bodies, then how can we expect to be there for our husbands/wives, children, and grandchildren?
Obesity is the Number One killer in America today. It’s the cause of heart disease, asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol/lipid levels), stroke, depression, diabetes, acid reflux disease, and even certain cancers. All of this is because: We are what we eat!
I wish I could shake everyone and preach these facts to the whole world. But I know that it wouldn’t affect even half of the individuals I spoke to. I can’t change the way you eat. Only you can. If you want to be healthy for your family, job, and just for you, I suggest listening up and changing your eating habits right now.
I want you to understand how processed foods are damaging our bodies. What would happen if you fed a plant Diet Coke? It wouldn’t die would it?
The answer is yes. Now imagine what it’s doing to your body.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
What is it? In the 1970s, the Japanese invented a sugar to convert cornstarch into high fructose corn syrup. It is derived from corn that is 55% fructose and 45% glucose. The taste is sweeter than regular table sugar. Because table sugar is expensive to ship across seas, manufacturers use high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient in their processed foods.
Remember that commercial with the young man and woman sitting on a picnic blanket, smiling, having a good time? Then the woman pulls out a popsicle and the man gasps, stating “Don’t you know that high fructose corn syrup is bad?!” The woman laughs and says, “No, it’s not bad for you. You’re fine if you limit it in your diet.”
They’re basically stating that anything with high fructose corn syrup and processed foods, in general, are OK for you. Well … that was pretty much just the USDA covering its butt. Because if you take a look at the USDA’s food pyramid, they recommend that the average person should have a “maximum intake level of 25% or less of total calories from added sugar.” Whoa, really? That means if you’re consuming 1,500 calories a day, it’s alright for 375 of them to come from sweets that are in sodas, candies, sweetened breakfast foods, fruit juices, etc.
You shouldn’t be consuming them at all. I have yet to find a nutritionist, or anyone else in the health field, who thinks this amount is OK.
When purchasing a product, make sure to read the labels. Ingredients are listed by importance. So, if high fructose corn syrup is listed among the ingredients, steer clear. The more natural and pure the ingredients, the better.
Natural sugars are fruit sugar, honey, xylitol, maple syrup, and stevia. Non-natural substitutes are used quite often and are present in most diet products. Many call these artificial sweeteners. These include saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose (AKA: Splenda), those sucralose is refined from sugar.
Artificial sweeteners are two-to-three times sweeter than regular sugar. When consumed, the mind thinks it’s consuming a significant amount of sugar. So, it achieves this “high” state and then crashes. Hence, why you get tired and crave more sugars.
In short: the more real, the better; the more fake, the more processed.
I’ve got more to say about processed foods in my next piece, too. Stay tuned.
Photo by Tony Frantz