You hear it over and over again, “You are what you eat.” Do you believe this? If not, we need to a conversation, because it is true. Our diet has changed over the years, and in fact, over the centuries. Over 100 years ago, we used to eat a diet that was very non-processed. We ate from our gardens and from the land. Our meat was as “free range” as it could possibly be. No one came home and opened a box of cookies or a bag of chips.
Convenience. With progress comes a serious reduction in time. Because we have less time, we look for convenience foods. That would include all the fast food restaurants popping up like mushrooms after a rain. It also includes all the food that needs no preparation.
Did you ever stop to think what was in those boxes and bags of food that are so conveniently ready for you?
I’m not a big processed food consumer, but I just pulled 2 things from my pantry. Let’s see if you recognize any of these words:
- High fructose corn syrup
- Partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil
- Mono-and diglycerides
High-fructose corn syrup is a sweetener and a preservative made by changing glucose into fructose. It extends the shelf life of processed foods and is less expensive than sugar. It is found in sodas, fruit-flavored drinks, and processed foods.
Partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil is added to processed snacks. (Mine was in a box of cookies.) While it’s not entirely hydrogenated, it still isn’t a very healthy choice. It has triple the saturated fat of canola and safflower oil. It contributes to chronic inflammation that contributes to a number of diseases. In small amounts, it’s probably OK, but pay attention to your consumption level of this stuff.
Mono- dyglicerides are added to processed foods to act as emulsifiers that help oil and water to mix. As you know, they don’t blend very well.
These are just 3 things that you might not recognize in your pantry. Pull out foods you and your family eat on a regular basis and evaluate whether what you are eating is really food or whether it came out of a chemistry lab.
Good health for your body, mind, and skin comes from eating more naturally. We’ll be giving you hints in the future about which foods you should start to really incorporate into your diet as you begin to loosen the hold processed and fast food might have on you and your family.