Your hot pockets are watching you…the freaky side of food additives

Posted on September 23, 2009

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A great article was published recently detailing the findings of a study done on the effects of a “one-off sugar hit” on the body. Researchers reported that when a person had a one-time sugar rush, human genes actually ‘remembered’ the hit for weeks. After the sugar rush, the DNA switched off genetic controls that are designed to protect the body

is this food??

is this food??

against diabetes & disease – in some cases for up to two weeks after! They also noted in their findings that chronically poor eating habits were shown to ‘permanently alter a person’s DNA.’  Lead researcher, Sam El-Osta stated that this permanent alteration of DNA could be passed down to children through bloodlines, making this a multi-generational problem.

 
While I’m thrilled for this study to make headlines, I’m also screaming at the top of my lungs because there is something equally as dangerous (some would say even more dangerous) as sugar & consumers are generally none the wiser about it.
Food additives. That group of ingredients that get put into food & beverages at the benefit of the producer and at the severe long-term detriment of you, the consumer. The combination of these ingredients literally makes your food no longer ‘food’ but a ‘food-product’ – the only reason it is not called “imitation food product” is because of a lawsuit by food producers years ago that stated that consumers would possibly be led to stop buying their products if they saw the word ‘imitation’ on them.. Since you hardly see the word ‘imitation’ used anywhere in food, you could guess the outcome of that suit. 
 
There is a new Fiber+ bar made by a cereal company that has 48 ingredients in each 1.2oz bar – 48!! A certain fast food company’s chicken breast (not the sandwich, just the meat) has 45 ingredients – it’s chicken!! What in the world is in that thing?? People, when it comes to your health, we do not want to be encouraging foods that can cook in 30sec that normally take 30mins, nor do we want food that will last on a store shelf for 3weeks when the original food item would have gone bad in 1week.
  
Think about it.A corner had to be cut somewhere, the basic nutrition of that food had to be compromised in some way in order for that food-product to work. Your body knows how to break down carbs, fats, proteins, and the vitamins & minerals that go with that. Your body does not know how to break down hydrogen peroxide (bleaching agent in bread), sodium diacetate (mold inhibitor) or Yellow #3 (dye for color). In a 1-2 punch, your body fights this assault every time you eat something made with food science & then fights the cumulative effects of so many additives assaulting the body, which long term, leads the body to breakdown and disease.
 
Think about it! Your body wants to work optimally, if it has to push through chemical garbage every day to function, your body will sacrifice somewhere – in your immune response, in your heart tissue, in your organs, your brain, your muscles, your fat cells.
 
Mind not swayed yet on this subject? Consider this.That sodium diacetate I mentioned above? It inhibits mold growth. That means that the food containing it was meant to mold long before you’re probably eating it, thus the ‘fresh factor’ has gone out the window & you’re probably eating a food item that is weeks, if not months, old.. Leave tonight’s dinner out on the counter for a week or two and decide then if you’d like to eat something that is a few weeks old…the outside of that additive filled granola bar may look good, but the chemical make-up of it is a picture of waste & decay.
 
So what do you do? Follow my simple rules for grocery shopping & it will be much easier to find and weed out the offenders…and as you freshen up your diet, you will start seeing improvements in the rest of your life and your workouts!
1. Shop the perimeter but beware of the dairy aisle  
    – your yogurt was not meant to come flavored like boston cream pie- if you can’t understand from the label how it tastes like that, put it back.
2. Read the fine print
   you MUST read the ingredients list; if there are more than 6 ingredients, put it back.
    – if there are any chemical-looking names, put it back.
    – if there is HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) or trans fat, back it goes.
    – don’t forget to check salad dressings, coffee creamers, ketchup/bbq sauces – amazing what you’ll find there!
    – if it comes in a box on a shelf…look at the label to get a good shocker about what’s in it, then disgustedly put it back.
3. Buy food, not food-products.
    – Food is, as author Michael Pollan puts it, stuff our great grandmothers would recognize.
          *She would not recognize most of the bread, cheese, or yogurt that is on today’s shelves due the vast ingredient list that she would have never had access to, so revert to rule #2 before purchasing.
    – Food-products are stuff that comes from food-science and was created in a lab, not a kitchen.
          *If you could see what high fructose corn syrup looks like before going in food, you’d never eat it again. You can see what it looks like in the movie, Food, Inc.! Check local theatre listings in your area! 
 
There is so much more to say about food additives than can be done justice here, but I welcome all comments & questions for use in a future educational tip!
 
I know that it can be totally complicated when trying to eat healthy, especially thanks to food producers who confuse the heck out of everyone – but it doesn’t have to be so troubling. Learning to put the best foods in your body is like learning a language. You have to get the basics down first otherwise all you hear is gibberish. From there, you start building your vocabulary& understanding nutrition – always be at the guard tower though, looking out for the latest way food producers are going to try to get you to succumb to their lab-made frankenfoods! Then fight back! Say no to food that can out-shelf-life you!
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