In my 30’s, I was a vegan before I really understood very much about food processing. I remember one party that I had with some friends and their husbands or male friends where I served soup baked in a pumpkin shell. It was real food and quite tasty, however the gals reported that several of the men stopped at a fast food place on the way home to get their fix!
This transitions into my topic of processing about processing. I recently read that manufacturing food takes most of the taste out of the foodstuff and makes it very pale in color which is why the labels read like a chemistry experiment. The food processing companies know that we won’t eat what we don’t like and so they add flavor enhancers and color to give it the appearance of food. If you read labels, most of the listed ingredients are unpronounceable. My slogan is if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it (unless it’s Cippino!)
One ingredient that I believe that we should be concerned about is high fructose corn syrup. Corn is our biggest product and it is the one of the most genetically altered. It is cheaper than using the more wholesome cane sugar, so in an effort to make profits and keep Wall Street happy, processors use it to keep costs low – at least that is my take. I would prefer that they consider the health effects of the product on the general population.
High fructose corn syrup is in so many food products that we can hardly buy anything in a box or bottle that doesn’t have it added. The advertisers want us to believe that it really isn’t any different than any other sweetener. They even call it corn sugar now, but changing the name won’t make it healthy. Dr Mercola had this quote on his website: “When you eat 120 calories of glucose, less than one calorie is stored as fat. 120 calories of fructose results in 40 calories being stored as fat. Consuming fructose is essentially consuming fat! ” If that information is not bad enough, this was also in the article: “Anyone who still tries to tell you that “sugar is sugar” in an effort to defend high fructose corn syrup is seriously unaware of the current research, which clearly demonstrates that there are major differences in how your body processes these sugars. The bottom line is: fructose leads to increased belly fat, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, along with a long list of associated chronic diseases.”
Today, I find that eating low to mid-glycemic foods which are as fresh as I can find them, keeps me healthy. They don’t spike my blood sugar and give me cravings that are hard to satisfy. I cook it myself and enjoy what I eat. I shop the outer edges of the grocery store and try to find food as unprocessed as possible. Consider that raw, unprocessed food, without alteration, is more expensive than food that has been manhandled past recognition and made shelf stable. It just never spoils regardless of what the expiration date says.
Vegan no more, but healthy, strong and glad that I do research to find out what the processors are wanting me to eat. As I have ruminated the things I have learned, I believe that it is important for each of us to eat things that are good for our bodies. Yes, I know that you think that we are too busy and fast food fills you up in a hurry. USANA has healthy nutritional shakes that mix with water and outstanding energy bars at a nominal price. These products can be carried in a small sack or a purse. Pick up a bottle of water and you are on your way!!
Join me in rejecting foods processed with high fructose corn syrup or corn sugar. Let’s keep our tummies flat and our health strong! Return to real cane sugar, real unprocessed food and actually taking 20 minutes to cook dinner!