Friday, September 27, 2013

Processed foods

As my family has been on this journey to better health we have been dismayed to discover so many things that are labeled "Healthy" (or some version of the word, leading the consumer to believe it is healthy), in actuality contain ingredients that are hazardous to our bodies.  I recently contacted a brand name company, which houses several brands, about the unhealthy ingredients in their "healthy" food.  I was actually pleasantly surprised to hear back from them, but woefully disappointed in their response.  According to this company (I won't mention who as I am not here to slander any particular company and by looking at ingredients I know they are not the only ones who feel this way) harmful ingredients are okay in small amounts eaten occasionally.

Hmmmm, while I don't agree with that statement (brings to mind things like Lead Poisoning and Arsenic poisoning which can be undetectable in small amounts but build up until they are fatal - or how about the frog in the boiling water story?

Granted, not all toxins build up in our system. But they do cause problems and do damage. For example Aspertame (which is found not only in "sugar free" items such as diet soda and sugar free gum, but also in sugared items - such as gum) which causes the body to crave sugar and store fat (wait - aren't those "diet" sodas? And they cause sugar cravings and fat storage?) as well as causing migraines and brain stem cancer.  There is absolutely no nutritive value in this chemical, and it harms my body - so exactly WHY would I want to put ANY of it in my body? Another ingredient that is in almost all processed foods (sweet and savory) is HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup). Did you know this is actually a byproduct of making menthol gas? It is addictive and causes sugar cravings and really adds nothing to the foods it's in.  It is also banned in most countries, so again - why would I even climb in that pot of water? It has no benefits and is harmful? Why have they even put it in the foods? In fact, as consumers are becoming more aware and refusing to buy products w HFCS, many companies are marketing versions of their products labeled "no High Fructose Corn Syrup."  Most of these are the products we have eliminated from our diets long enough we don't miss them - so I haven't taken the time to read / compare the labels to see what, if anything, they have replaced it with. I have my opinions, but that's an entirely different blog post. I'm sure it boils down to greed though.

If you are looking to eliminate the toxins from our diet as much as possible, here is a great place to start, an article titled "10 Foods Sold in the US That Are Banned Elsewhere." 

Wherever you are in your journey to good health - start reading labels and decide - "Do I really want to put that in my body and what good will come out of it?" Then decide for yourself if the benefits outweigh the costs or vice versa. If the only benefit is taste, but the costs to your health are numerous......... Only you can decide for yourself. As for me, and the choices I make for my family....... well, I think you can tell what I decide 9.9 times out of 10.