FYI Thursday: Processed


Good Thursday, all.

Today I want to talk about “processed” food.  This term gets much maligned because let’s face it, unless you pick the fruit from the tree and eat it immediately, or grab a veggie off of the plant it grew on and eat it immediately, chances are you are going to process that food in some way before you eat it.  Where the bad process comes in is when we do a lot of things to that fruit or veggie to make it easier to prepare or make it last longer on a shelf or change its flavor altogether into something else.  Now we are talking bad for you processed.

In “Un-Junk Your Diet” Desiree Nielsen , BSc, RD, writes, “And most of the carbohydrates we eat are the wrong kind – highly refined, doused in sugar, salt, and fat; and essentially pre-digested by machines so we can consume it quickly and send our blood sugars soaring.(page 32)”  That is a terrific word picture, food so processed by machines that it becomes like the mother bird to us babies, putting regurgitated food down our throats.  Ridiculous?  How much do Fritos look like an ear of corn?  High fructose corn syrup?  It’s made from refined corn starch.  What did they do to a kernel of corn to produce a powdered starch? Do you see what I mean?  I hope so.

Some very obvious examples of bad-for-you processed foods are: bologna, American cheese, Velveeta, Spam, hot dogs, bacon, instant potatoes, cake mix, rice, jarred tomato sauce and so many more. A lot of “ready to eat” foods are highly processed so you can prepare them quickly or so there is no need to prepare them at all. Foods such as: breakfast cereals, flavored oatmeal, crackers, jellies, nut butters, ice cream, garlic bread, granola bars, cookies, luncheon meats, etc.

There is no way that I can give you an exhaustive list of bad-for-you processed foods.  You need to do some investigation on your own.  There is plenty of information out there.  You can Google search clean eating, go to the library, visit Half Price Books, read magazines, and turn to where you usually go for information.

Why am I so passionate about bad-for-you processed food?  Because I believe that we as a people are killing ourselves with chemicals and stripping the vital nutrients from our soil and therefore from the foods that grow there.  I also think we are changing our DNA with all of the growth enhancements and chemical pest and weed killers we put into the food chain. Plus, when out bodies encounter a food molecule that is foreign (something modified from its original state), it does not know what to do with it so it stores it as a fat molecule.  And enough fat stored on our bodies causes chronic illness, breathing issues, heart disease, diabetes, etc.  We can change so much that is wrong with our health if we clean up our diet.

Try to be aware of what you are eating.  Become a label reader. Open your eyes to what is going on in the world of food.  I’ll do my best to keep you informed and you let me know when you find out things too.

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