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Good Health Is a Choice
Learn How to Choose it
A Production of God’s Healing Word
Lesson Four:
Become a Food Savvy Consumer
Lesson Four Topics:
1. Food producers and your health
2. How to understand and use the nutrition facts label on food items
3. Rating food products by their Glycemic index
4. Commercially Processed Food is Not Food
5. Food additives:
High Fructose corn syrup
Artificial sweeteners
Trans Fats
6. GM Foods
7. Trendy fruit drinks
8. Healthy food alternatives
9. Field trip to grocery store
1. Food Producers and Your Health
Anyone over 60 years of age has seen many changes in how our culture grows and
markets food, not to mention the kinds of food and processed food offered in
commercial grocery stores. Most consumers, particularly younger consumers, have
no sense of where their food actually comes from or how and who produces it.
Health is a Choice
In farming, many independent family farms have been replaced by factory farms.
In food retailing, “mom and pop” corner grocery stores have been replaced by
regional grocery stores that are now being replaced by national super-centers.
Franchises and fast food joints are displacing locally owned restaurants. On the
processing side, giant food processing and distribution firms have replaced
independent food processors. And these giant firms are now being merged into
five or six global corporations.
Americans eat half of all their meals away from home in such places as
McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco bell and Pizza Hut. The so-called food
in these fast food establishments is mostly junk. It is not food. Also, Were people
to read ingredient food labels of the food they buy in grocery stores, they would
learn most food items are loaded with ingredients the body cannot assimilate
without causing harm.
What this all means is that there is a big difference in the quality of the food our
grandparents ate and what we eat today. What we eat today offers little by way of
nutrition. In fact, the standard American diet (SAD) is killing our children.
Obesity is at an all time high and climbing.
The Great Food Deception
When the front label of a food package says “98% fat free,” should you believe it?
No! In fact, you should never, ever, believe anything you read on the front label of
food packaging. Why?
The purpose of food producers is to get you to buy their products. They will tell
you anything that sounds good to get you to buy their products. In other words,
just because they say their product is “all natural,” doesn’t mean it is necessarily
all natural. What you need to understand is: Deception is the standard operating
procedure. More on this later.
2. How to Understand and Use Nutrition Facts Labels
If you want to be a savvy food consumer, you must learn how to read Nutrition
Facts Labels required on all processed food packaging.
Disregard anything you see on the front of the package. For example, when was
the last time food on the inside of the package came out looking as good as its
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Health is a Choice
picture on the front food label to you? If you want to know the facts of what you
are eating, you must know how to read Nutrition Facts labels, and understand what
each ingredient is in the ingredient list.
The following graphic explains the different parts of a Nutrition Facts label. Each
section is colored to help you identify those areas you want to know about. Actual
food labels are not color-coded.
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Health is a Choice
Serving sizes are standardized to make it easier to
compare similar foods; they are provided in familiar
units, such as cups or pieces, followed by the metric
amount, e.g., the number of grams.
The size of the serving on the food package influences the number of calories and
all nutrient amounts listed on the top part of the label. Pay attention to the
serving size, especially how many servings there are in the food package.
Then ask yourself, "How many servings am I consuming"? (e.g., 1/2 serving,
1 serving, or more) In the sample label, one serving of macaroni and cheese
equals one cup. If you ate the whole package, you would eat two cups. That
doubles the calories and other nutrient numbers, including the %Daily Values as
shown in the sample label.
2. Calories and Calories From Fat
Calories provide a measure of how much energy you get from a serving, many
people consume more calories than they need without meeting recommended
intakes for a number of nutrients.
In the example, there are 250 calories
in one serving of this macaroni and
cheese. How many calories from fat are
there in ONE serving? Answer: 110 calories, which means almost half the calories
in a single serving come from fat. What if you ate the whole package content?
Then, you would consume two servings, or 500 calories, and 220 would come
from fat.
To determine the exact percentage of fat in one serving, divide the number of
calories from fat by the total number of calories. In the example above, calories of
fat per serving = 44% of the total calories per serving.
3 & 4 The Nutrients…How Much?
Limit these nutrients. The nutrients listed first are the ones Americans generally
eat in adequate amounts, or even too much. They are identified in yellow as Limit
these Nutrients. Eating too much fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, or
sodium may increase your risk of certain chronic diseases, like heart disease, some
cancers, or high blood pressure.
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Health is a Choice
Get enough of these nutrients. Most Americans
don’t get enough dietary fiber, vitamin A,
vitamin C Calcium and Iron in their diets. They
are identified in blue as get enough of these
nutrients. Eating enough of these nutrients can
improve your health and help reduce the risk of
disease. Eating a diet high in dietary fiber promotes healthy bowel function.
5. The Footnote at the Bottom of the Label
Note the * used after the heading “%
Daily Value” on the Nutrition Facts label.
It refers to the Footnote in the lower part
of the nutrition label, which tells you “%
DVs are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.”
This statement must be on all food labels.
But the remaining information in the full
footnote may not be on the package if the
size of the label is too small. When the full footnote does appear, it will always be
the same. It doesn't change from product to product, because it shows
recommended dietary advice for all Americans--it is not about a specific food
Look at the amounts circled in red in the footnote. These are the Daily Values
(DV) for each nutrient listed and are based on public health experts' advice. DVs
are recommended levels of intakes. DVs in the footnote are based on a 2,000 or
2,500 calorie diet. Note how the DVs for some nutrients change, while others (for
cholesterol and sodium) remain the same for both calorie amounts.
How Daily Values Relate to % DV
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Upper Limit - Eat "Less than"...
The nutrients that have "upper daily limits" are listed first on the footnote of larger
labels and on the example above. Upper limits means it is recommended that you
stay below - eat "less than" - the Daily Value nutrient amounts listed per day. For
example, the DV for Saturated fat (in the yellow section) is 20g. This amount is
100% DV for this nutrient. What is the goal or dietary advice? To eat "less than"
20 g or 100%DV for the day.
Lower Limit - Eat "At least"...
Now look at the section in blue where dietary fiber is listed. The DV for dietary
fiber is 25g, which is 100% DV. This means it is recommended that you eat "at
least" this amount of dietary fiber per day.
The DV for Total Carbohydrate (section in
white) is 300g or 100%DV. This amount is
recommended for a balanced daily diet that is
based on 2,000 calories, but can vary,
depending on your daily intake of fat and
Quick Guide to Percentage of Daily Value
Look at the purple section. 5% or less is low.
20% or more is high. Those nutrients you
want to limit (e.g., fat, saturated fat,
cholesterol, and sodium), or for those that you
want to consume in greater amounts (fiber,
calcium, etc). As the Quick Guide shows,
20%DV or more is high for all nutrients.
Example: Look at the amount of Total Fat in one serving listed on the sample
nutrition label. Is 18%DV contributing a lot or a little to your fat limit of 100%
DV? Check the Quick Guide to %DV. 18%DV, which is below 20%DV, is not
yet high, but what if you ate the whole package (two servings)? You would double
that amount, eating 36% of your daily allowance for Total Fat. Coming from just
one food, that amount leaves you with 64% of your fat allowance
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(100%-36%=64%) for all of the other foods you eat that day, snacks and drinks
3. Rating Food Products by Their Glycemic Index
The principles of the Glycemic Index relate to a
ranking of how carbohydrates in foods affect your
blood sugar levels. Swap out High GI foods for Low
GI foods as an easy way to begin benefiting from the
principles of the Glycemic Index. With smart carbs
(low GI) causing only a gradual rise in blood glucose.
Carbohydrates with a low GI (0 - 55) help you feel
fuller, have more energy, and can lead to weight loss
and reduced risk of diabetes. High = GI of 70+ (Avoid). Medium = GI of 55 to
69. Low = GI of 0 to 54.
Glycemic Index Chart
Vegetables and Beans
Baked Beans, 4oz.
Kidney beans, 3 oz.
Lima beans, 3 oz.
Navy beans, 3 oz.
Pinto beans, 4oz.
Soy beans, 3 oz.
Beets, 3 oz.
Tomato Sauce
Sweet Corn
Broccoli, cauliflower, celery,
GI Score
Dark rye, 1.7 oz.
French baguette, 1 oz.
Hamburger bun, 1 bun
Kaiser roll, 1
Pita bread - whole wheat, 1 slice
Sourdough, 1 slice
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Fruit Bread
White bread, 1 slice
Wheat bread - stoneground, 1
Whole wheat, 1 slice
Bagel, plain, 2 oz.
Wholegrain Bread
Multigrain Breads
see below for more comments
Sweet & Sour Chicken with
Lean Cuisine, French style Chicken
Beef casserole
All-Bran Kellogs, 1/2 cup
Bran Flakes, Post, 2/3 cup
Cheerios, 1 cup
Cocoa Krispies, 1 cup
Corn Chex, 1 cup
Corn Flakes, 1 cup
Corn Pops, 1 cup
Cream of Wheat, 1 oz.
Frosted Flakes, 3/4 cup
Grapenuts Flakes, 3/4 cup
Mini Wheats, 1 cup
Multi Bran Chex, 1 cup
Museli, 2/3 cup
Raisin Bran, 3/4 cup
Rice Chex, 1 1/4 cup
Shredded Wheat, 1/2 cup
Smacks, 3/4 cup
Special K, 1 cup
Total, 3/4 cup
Barley, pearled, 1/2 cup
Couscous, 1/2 cup
Instant, 1 cup, cooked
Uncle Bens, converted, 1 cup
Long grain White, 1 cup
Short grain, white, 1 cup
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Graham crackers
Oatmeal cookie, 1 cookie
Vanilla wafers, 7 cookies
Rice cakes, plain, 3 cakes
Stoned wheat thins, 3 crackers
Water cracker, 3 crackers
Ice cream, vanilla, 10% fat
Low Fat Ice Cream
Milk, whole, 1 cup
Milk, skim, 1 cup
Milk, chocolate, 1 cup, 1%
Pudding, 1/2 cup
Milk, soy, 1 cup
Tofu frozen dessert, low fat, 1/2
Yogurt, nonfat, fruit, sugar, 8
Yogurt, nonfat, plain, artificial
sweet, 8 oz.
Yogurt, nonfat, fruit, artificial
sweet, 8 oz.
Custard, 3/4 cup
Apple, 1 medium, 5 oz.
Apple juice, unsweetened, 1 cup
Apricots, 3 medium, 3 oz.
Banana bread, 3 oz.
Banana, 5 oz.
Cherries, 10 large, 3 oz.
Cranberry juice, 8 oz.
Grapefruit, raw, 1/2 medium
Grapes, green, 1 cup
Kiwi, 1 medium
Mango, 1 small
Orange, 1 medium
Orange juice, 1 cup
Peach, 1 medium
Pear, 1 medium
Pineapple, 2 slices
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Health is a Choice
Plums, 1 medium
Prunes, 6
Raisins, 1/4 cup
Watermelon, 1 cup
Fettuccini, 6 oz.
Linguine, 6 oz.
Macaroni, 5 oz.
Ravioli, meat, 4 large
Spaghetti, white, 6 oz.
Spaghetti, wheat, 6 oz.
Spaghetti, white
Spiral, durum, 1 cup
Tortellini, cheese, 8 oz.
Vermicelli, 6 oz.
Lasagna, beef
Vanilla wafers, 7 cookies
Sponge cake, plain, 1 slice
Snickers, 2.2 oz. Candy bar
Pretzels, 1 oz.
Potato chips, 14 pieces
French Fries, 4.3 oz.
Popcorn, light, microwave
Pop Tarts, chocolate, 1 tart
M&M's Chocolate candy,
Granola Bar, chewy, 1 oz.
Graham crackers, 4 squares
Corn chips, 1 oz.
Coca-Cola, 1 can, 12 oz.
Gatorade, 8 oz.
Fanta soft drink, 1 can, 12 oz.
Snacks and Chips
* Meats - There hasn't been as much research on meats & poultry as it relates to
the Glycemic Index. By it's nature, the Glycemic Index rates carbohydrates - so
true meats will have little to no carbs so are generally omitted from the above.
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While fat has a low or 0 GI score, it is recommended you avoid body fat, and high
saturated fat content in meat & poultry.
4. Commercially Processed Food is Not Food
All commercially processed food contains “food products,” food which is heavily
processed. For the most part, food products are foods that are far removed from
their natural state. To be accurate, the more a food is processed, the more it is
NOT food. Your body was designed to eat natural foods as they are found in
nature, not artificial substances that are created in a lab. To compare the difference
between natural food and food products study the comparison below.
Natural food, food not processed is:
· Grown
· Messy
· Variable quality
· Goes bad fast
· Requires preparation
· Vibrant colors, rich textures
· Naturally flavorful
· Strong connection to land and culture
While “Food products" are:
· Produced, manufactured
· Neat, convenient
· Always the same
· Keeps forever
· Instant results
· Dull, bland
· Artificially flavorful
· No connection to land or culture
Said another way:
· If it didn't exist until after 1903 (when the hydrogenation process was
invented), it's probably not food.
· If it's wrapped in layers of plastic, cardboard and foil, it's probably not food.
· If it requires heavy advertising to sell it, it's probably not food.
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Avoid Commercially Processed Meat:
Do you eat these meats?
Hundreds of cancer researchers took part in a five-year project spanning more than
7,000 clinical studies designed to document the links between diet and cancer.
Their conclusion, published in the World Cancer Research Fund's report, Food,
Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective
(2007), states that all people should immediately stop buying and eating
processed meat products and that all processed meat should be avoided for life!
Processed meat has many ingredients and is usually packaged for long-term shelf
life. These products almost always contain sodium nitrite, a cancer causing
chemical additive used as a color fixer to turn meat products bright red. Here’s a
partial list of processed meat products that contain sodium nitrite:
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Beef Jerky
All Deli meats
Sandwich meat - including
those served at restaurants.
Meat gift products
Meat in canned soups
Lunch meat products
Meat used in ravioli and
spaghetti products
Health is a Choice
Two other unhealthy ingredients often found in processed meat is monosodium
glutamate (MSG) and processed salt. MSG will be addressed later in this lesson.
If you want to avoid sodium nitrite in your diet, there are only two places in your
grocer’s store to find it: 1. In the fresh meat department where you find whole cuts
of meat. 2. In the frozen food section where you can find nitrite free meat
products. In all cases, read the food label when buying processed meat and look
for sodium nitrite or sodium nitrate. If either of these ingredients is listed, DO
NOT BUY that product. Avoid these products for the health of your family.
Boycott these meats for life. This is not easy and requires understanding and a
commitment from each family member. When you are at a pizza party, if there is
meat on the pizza, do not eat it: Not because it is meat, but because the meat is
most likely processed and contains sodium nitrite and MSG. Again, this is
difficult, but necessary if you are committed to God and want to honor your body
as a temple of the Lord. Anyone who knows about processed meat and continues
to eat these products over the course of decades can expect to be eventually
diagnosed with cancer.
Remember: Processed food of any kind is not really food at all.
The McDonald’s French Fry Experiment
Try this experiment at home. Buy an order of McDonald’s French Fries. Next, peel
and cut a potato into fries and fry them as you normally would. Third, place the
McDonald’s fries into a sealed glass container. Do the same with the home-made
fries, dumping them into in a separate container. Mark the date on each container
and set the containers on the counter out of the way. Keep the glass containers side
by side exposed to daylight for 8 weeks, and watch the changes.
At the end of eight weeks, the McDonald fries will look the same as the day you
put them into the container. The home-made fries will be blackened and covered
with a fuzzy mold. Why is this?
While food in its natural state decomposes, processed food does not. So what does
this experiment teach you? If the McDonald’s fries do not decompose, of what
good are they to eat? Your body CANNOT assimilate heavily processed foods food that is not natural. This is why so many Americans are chronically ill.
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“Every day, 7 percent of the U.S. population visits a McDonald's, and 20-25
percent eat fast food of some kind,” says Steven Gortmaker, professor of society,
human development, and health at the Harvard School of Public Health. As for
children, 30 percent between the ages of 4 and 19 eat fast food on any given day.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg. About 90 percent of the money that
Americans spend on food is processed foods. If you doubt that figure, the next
time you are standing in the check out line at the grocery store, look at the grocery
carts around you and notice all the cans, bags and boxes.
Think about it. If it comes in a box, can, bag or carton, it's processed. The fact that
these foods are so readily available, and, often, of such poor quality, is why nearly
two of every three Americans suffer from one or more chronic forms of illness.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains a list of over 3,000 chemicals
that are added to the processed food supply. These compounds do various things
to food: add color, stabilize, texturize, preserve, sweeten, thicken, add flavor,
soften, emulsify and more.
Some of these additives have never been tested for safety--and require no
government approval. Instead, they belong to the FDA's "Generally Recognized as
Safe" (GRAS) list. An item is "safe," as defined by Congress, if there is
"reasonable certainty that no harm will result from use of an additive."
Some compounds that are known to be toxic to humans or animals are also
allowed, though at the level of 1/100th of the amount that is considered harmful.
This brings us to the subject of food additives.
5. Food Additives: Food to Avoid
The average consumer is not aware of the changes in the foods they eat. All they
know is that can of vegetable soup has vegetables in it. They are unaware of added
flavor enhancers, preservatives and thickeners also present that can create a host of
ailments and health conditions.
Food additives, such a sugar, have come a long way from their beginning with
commercial food processing. A hundred years ago the average person consumed
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about 4 pounds of sugar per year. Today the average person consumes about 129
pounds of sugar per year (a 2500% increase). We know from controlled studies
that there is a direct relationship between the amount of sugar in our diet and
criminal behavior, propensity toward violent acts and anti-social behavior.
So why is sugar increasingly being added to food products? Sweets sell!
Food companies typically sweeten cereal to attract more customers. In fact, the
amount of sugar they add to many of their products have nearly doubled. In 1978,
Kellogg's Special K contained about 10 grams of sugar for every 100 grams of
cereal, but that amount has now increased to 17 grams, very close to the sugar
level of vanilla ice cream.
Over the same period, the sugar per 100 grams in tomato soup has increased from
less than 3 grams to more than 6 grams. Processed foods contain some of the
highest sugar content, often with levels close to or higher than 20 grams of sugar
per 100 grams of food.
Although sugar does not cause diabetes, excessive calories do. Excess caloric
intake usually results in overweight and obesity - which is the main risk factor for
According to the USDA, people consuming 2,000 calories a day should eat no
more than about 10 teaspoons of added sugar. USDA surveys show that the
average American is consuming about 20 teaspoons of sugar per day.
Soft Drinks:
According to government and other studies, soft drinks are currently the leading
source of added sugars in the daily diet of young Americans. David Ludwig,
Director of the Optimal Weight for Life Program at Children’s Hospital Boston
said, "It is not uncommon for teenagers to receive 500 to 1000 calories per day
from sugar sweetened drinks.
A 12 ounce can of regular Pepsi contains 41 grams of sugar. Those 41 grams of
sugar are equal to 9.19 teaspoons of refined sugar (Each teaspoon equals 16
calories). That's a lot of sugar. I mean, would you add that much sugar to the same
amount of coffee or tea? Most people would not, yet many of us think nothing of
drinking two three or more large servings of soft drinks a day. To put those
numbers into everyday language, here's a formula to figure sugar consumption:
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Formula to Determine Sugar Consumption
Look on the Nutrition Facts label of the food item where it says “sugars.” Multiply
the number of grams of sugar by 0.22433. The formula works for any food
product, but take a Pepsi for example. A 12 oz can of Pepsi has 41 grams of sugar.
Using the formula above, 41 grams x 0.22322 = 9.19 teaspoons.
So how much sugar does soft drink consumption add to your diet? Multiply the
number of teaspoons in one can of soda, times the number of cans you consume
per day, x 365 days
Let's assume you drink two 12 ounce cans of soda per day with 9.19 teaspoons of
sugar in each can. Multiply 9.19 x 2 x 365 days = 6,708.7 teaspoons of sugar.
48 teaspoons =one cup. 1 lb. of sugar = two cups.
6,708.7 teaspoons divided by 48 = 140 cups of sugar. 140 cups of sugar weighs 70
lbs. So if you drink two Pepsi's a day, you will have consumed 70 pounds of sugar
in one year.
Said another way, 6,708.7 teaspoons of sugar equals 419,293 calories. Since 3,500
calories are needed to create one pound of fat, 419,293 calories will add 119
pounds. Again, you can use the above formula to figure sugar consumption of any
food product. Now you can see the importance of reducing sugar intake.
NOTE: As an aside, too insure we get our share, soft
drink manufacturers have over the years increased a
serving size from 6 ounces to 20 ounces. Convenience
stores, like Seven-Eleven, promote "Big Gulps" which
weigh in at an astounding 68 ounces. The average
youngster today knows nothing about 6 oz. cola’s, they
think 20 oz. cola’s are a normal serving size.
Here’s what happens in your body when you consume a
12-ounce Coke:
Within the first 10 minutes, 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. This is 100
percent of your recommended daily intake, and the only reason you don’t vomit as
a result of the overwhelming sweetness is because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor.
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Within 20 minutes, your blood sugar spikes, and your liver responds to the
resulting insulin burst by turning massive amounts of sugar into fat.
Within 40 minutes, caffeine absorption is complete; your pupils dilate, your
blood pressure rises, and your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream.
Around 45 minutes, your body increases dopamine production, which stimulates
the pleasure centers of your brain – a physically identical response to that of
heroin, by the way.
After 60 minutes, you’ll start to have a sugar crash.
Source: Nutrition Research Center October 24, 2007
High Fructose Corn Syrup:
Until the 1970s, most sugar was sucrose derived from sugar beets or sugar cane.
But sugar from corn, especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is now more
popular because it is much less expensive to produce. It is cheap to produce,
sweet and easy to store. It’s used in everything from bread to pasta sauces to bacon
to beer as well as in "health products" like protein bars and "natural" sodas.
It also contains nearly twice the fructose of the sugars that came before it.
Between 1980 and 1994, average fructose consumption rose from 39 pounds per
year to 83 pounds per year.
Fructose contains no enzymes, vitamins or minerals, and it leeches micronutrients
from the body. Unbound fructose, found in large quantities in HFCS, can interfere
with the heart's use of minerals such as magnesium, copper and chromium.
Fructose also reduces the affinity of insulin for its receptor, which is the principle
characteristic of type II diabetes. Because it is metabolized by the liver, fructose
does not cause the pancreas to release insulin the way it normally does. Fructose
converts to fat more than any other sugar. This may be one of the reasons
Americans continue to get fatter. HFCS has also been implicated in elevated blood
cholesterol levels, and it has been found to inhibit the action of the immune
system's white blood cells.
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One or two pieces of fruit per day is fine, but commercial fruit juices and any
products containing high fructose corn syrup are more dangerous than sugar and
should be removed from the diet.
Know the ingredients of the food you buy. Here are some other names HFCS hides
behind which you will find in food ingredients.
'iso glucose'
'glucose-fructose syrup'
'dahlia syrup'
'tapioca syrup'
'glucose syrup'
'corn syrup'
'crystalline fructose'
Artificial Sweeteners:
As an educational tool, watch the video Sweet Misery by clicking on the link
below. This 90-minute video documentary will take you on a journey across the
U.S. interviewing highly respected doctors, neurosurgeons, federal health officials,
and individuals who lay out clearly the high risks of ingesting excitotoxins like
aspartame (trade names NutraSweet, Equal) and MSG. They describe in detail a
major cover-up by elements of government and industry to keep these risks out of
the public eye.
If you care about your health and the health of your family and friends, Sweet
Misery is a must-watch video, which can empower you to make a difference.
Your body does not do well with regular sugar, let alone synthetic sugar
substitutes. About 70 percent of our population suffers from an excess of insulin,
which is often marked by excess weight, high blood pressure, diabetes or high
While there have been several artificial sweeteners introduced into processed
foods (I.e., Aspartame, NutraSweet, Equal, Splenda, Sucralose), none of them are
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healthy to consume. Sucralose is another name for Splenda. Because Splenda has
become the premier artificial sweetener, we will focus on it for discussion.
Only six human trials have been published on sucralose. Of these six trials, only
two of the trials were completed and published before the FDA approved sucralose
for human consumption. The two published trials had a grand total of 36 total
human subjects…The longest trial at this time had lasted only four days and
looked at sucralose in relation to tooth decay, not human tolerance.
Splenda can now be found in virtually every food category: Here’s just a partial
Carbonated beverages
Gelatins, puddings and fillings
Still beverages
Sweet sauces, toppings and syrups
Chewing gum
Powdered beverage mixes
Nutritional products
Baked goods
Specialty products
Dairy products
Confectionary products
Microwave popcorn (kettlecorn)
Breakfast cereals
Your job is to diligently search food ingredients, if you wish to avoid eating
Splenda would like you to believe that it is natural because it is made from sugar.
Well this simply isn't true and the Sugar Association sued them for this marketing
strategy. Although the process for developing it starts with a sugar molecule,
chlorine molecules are added to it. Splenda shares many similar characteristics to
pesticides like DDT that can accumulate in your body fat and tissues. It is
impossible to predict the long-term consequences of ingesting this substance over
many years.
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Splenda has been linked to a number of toxic side effects including shrunken
thymus glands (up to 40 percent shrinkage), enlarged liver and kidneys, reduced
growth rate, aborted pregnancy and diarrhea.
Following is a list of symptoms that many times disappear after eliminating
artificial sweeteners from the diet.
Flushing or redness of
the skin
Loss of interest in
usual activities
Burning feeling of the
Feeling forgetful
Dulled senses
A panicky or shaky
Unexplained crying
Acne or acne-like
Blisters on the skin
Stomach cramps
Altered emotional
state, i.e. feeling
irate, impatient,
Pain (body, chest)
Bloated abdomen
ying in focus
Panic attacks
Feeling depressed
Feelings of food
Dry heaves
Seeing spots
Becoming withdrawn
Mental or emotional
Feeling faint
6. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
One of the primary reasons why processed foods should rarely touch your lips is
because they’re typically loaded with monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG is
used as a flavor enhancer in countless processed foods. But while it works
enhancing your food’s flavors, it is also at work damaging your brain and body.
MSG is an excitotoxin, a type of chemical transmitter that allows brain cells to
communicate. The problem is that excitotoxins literally excite your brain cells to
death. You know what a toxin is: A poison. An excitotoxin is a substance that
excites or causes brain cells to fire impulses very rapidly. They appear normal, but
within one hour they die. They die because they become exhausted. Now it’s not
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all cells in the brain, just certain ones that are subject to excitotoxins. Aside from
harming your brain, MSG has also been linked to eye damage, headaches, fatigue,
disorientation and depression. In the eye, MSG destroys nerve cells in the retina.
It is very difficult to really know whether MSG is in your food because it has so
many aliases. To avoid ingesting this toxic additive, you’re best off choosing
fresh, unprocessed foods or becoming very familiar with the hidden names for
When a manufacturer tells you there is no processed free glutamic acid in a
product that made you ill, ask the manufacturer to back up his claim by providing
you with a "free amino acid" assay. If there is any free glutamic acid found, you
can assume that the product contains MSG.
When a manufacturer tells you that any MSG in his product couldn't possibly harm
you because it is "naturally occurring," inform the manufacturer that both arsenic
and hydrochloric acid are "naturally occurring," too.
Since free glutamate can be a component part of certain food additives, such as
autolyzed yeast or hydrolyzed protein, the FDA allows it to go into food unlabeled
as MSG. A label may say "yeast extract", "calcium caseinate", or "beef flavoring",
but the product still contains varying amounts of "free" glutamic acid. This makes
it very difficult for consumers who are trying to avoid it. It is also very dangerous
for those who suffer severe reactions to it. Glutamate is even sprayed on
conventional produce. It called AuxiGro.
Warning: Do not believe a food product label that claims it “Contains no MSG.”
Often times the food item will contain MSG disguised by a different name (See
our MSG list of names document). The law allows them to do this, so long as the
MSG is less than 99% pure.
MSG has many bad health effects, but the one that concerns me the most comes
from pregnant women who eat it. Unborn children are four times more sensitive to
MSG than their mothers. MSG and its other names can be found in baby food,
toddler’s food and baby formulas. Researchers suspect this is why so many young
children are being diagnosed with ADD. The accumulative effect of MSG over the
years sets the stage for a short life span.
The bottom line is to eat whole, fresh, unprocessed food to insure you are eating
natures finest. This is the only way to insure you are not eating dangerous food
additives like MSG.
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Trans Fats
Trans fatty acid, also known as trans fat, is an artery-clogging fat that is formed
when vegetable oils are hardened into margarine or shortening. Trans fat is not
found in nature, it is a man-made chemical formed when vegetable oil is heated to
high temperatures.
Food processors learned trans fats increase the shelf life of products, which is why
they introduced trans fats into the food we eat. The problem with trans fat is that
your body is not equipped to digest it, so trans fats end up making a mess of your
body. For example, when trans fat enters the blood stream, it clings to interior
artery walls, eventually clogging the flow of blood.
Several large studies in the United States and elsewhere, including the Nurses
Health Study, show a strong link between premature death and consumption of
foods high in trans fatty acids.
If the food label ingredient states it contains “hydrogenated oil” or “partially
hydrogenated oil,” that product contains trans fat.
One point you should be aware of is the loophole used by many food companies to
get around the labeling requirements for trans fats. See, they can still claim their
product is trans fat-free if it has less than 500 mg trans fat per serving. So many
have decreased their serving size to the point that the ratio of trans fat falls below
500 mg.
6. Trendy Fruit Drinks
Trendy nutrient-infused drinks like Diet Coke Plus and VitaminWater may be hip,
but are they healthy?
The trendy drink is an especially appealing alternative during those hectic days
when you didn't have time to eat properly, because drinking VitaminWater is just
like eating food -- minus the hassle of chewing.
In the article "Unhappy meals," published on Jan. 28 in the New York Times
Magazine, food philosopher Michael Pollan described the faulty assumption
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underlying "nutritionism" as the belief that "the key to understanding food is
indeed the nutrient." He continues:
"Researchers have long believed ... that a diet high in fruits and vegetables confers
some protection against cancer. So naturally they ask, What nutrients in those
plant foods are responsible for that effect? One hypothesis is that the antioxidants
in fresh produce -- compounds like beta carotene, lycopene, vitamin E, etc. -- are
the X factor ... Yet as soon as you remove these useful molecules from the context
of the whole foods they're found in, as we've done in creating antioxidant
supplements, they don't work at all. Indeed, in the case of beta carotene ingested as
a supplement, scientists have discovered that it actually increases the risk of
certain cancers. Big oops."
Pollan's broader thesis was not to say that vitamins are insignificant, but rather that
the vitamins in food work in far more complex ways than we might imagine -- that
the orange may be healthful for more reasons than just having vitamin C. But what
inevitably happens when purchasing processed food is a sort of nutritional
synecdoche where a certain amount of a vitamin stands in for a food item -- e.g.,
as much vitamin A as in four spears of asparagus.
Plugging the nutrition-infused drinks, a Washington Post article states that a bottle
of VitaminWater's Formula 50 has "as much folic acid as 2 1/2 cups of cooked
broccoli." Who needs broccoli anymore? The future of eating has arrived. And it
comes in bottle form.
The question begs…"Why people are choosing the VitaminWater? If they need the
vitamins, then they are potentially not eating an adequate diet. And if they're
eating an adequate diet, then there is no need for VitaminWater."
So if VitaminWater could never replace a balanced meal, then what are people
getting out of it? A bottle of Formula 50 has 32.5 grams of sugar and 125 calories,
which doesn't actually make it so different from a regular can of Coca-Cola, which
has 39 grams of sugar and 140 calories. As for a side-by-side comparison with tap
water, while it might not have vitamin C, tap water also doesn't have any sugar.
Nutrient-laced drinks potentially prevent people from adopting healthier eating
habits and lifestyle changes by virtue of their ability to "replace" food. More to the
point, one requirement for a healthy diet has remained constant: eat more fruits
and vegetables. And no amount of vitamin fiber sugar water is going to change
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Health is a Choice
7. Genetically Engineered Food
Genetically engineered food is genetically
modified food. These are foods which
have been artificially changed by
scientists in a laboratory.
In the past, plants have been improved by
breeding them with other, better plants - a
natural process which takes years. But
with GM foods, it's done quickly and
artificially, and lots of people are worried
about it. Rightly so.
manufacturers and the biotech companies
want you to know if your foods have been
genetically engineered?
Answer: Because if they are labeled, you will start asking questions such as
"Have these genetically engineered foods been safety tested on humans?" The
answer to that question is NO!
Question: How much of the food I buy in the grocery stores contain genetically
engineered ingredients?
Answer: Since genetically engineered soy and corn are used in many processed
foods, it is estimated that over 70 percent of the foods in grocery stores in the U.S.
and Canada contain genetically engineered ingredients.
Question: Are people all over the world eating genetically engineered foods?
Answer: No, all of the European Union nations, Japan, China, Australia, New
Zealand and many other countries require the mandatory labeling of foods that
contain genetically engineered ingredients. As a result, food manufacturers in all
those countries choose to use non-genetically engineered ingredients.
Question: Are you telling me that people in the United States and Canada are
eating a lot more genetically engineered foods than in many other countries in the
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Answer: Yes, citizens in the United States and Canada are engaged in the largest
feeding experiment in human history and most people are not even aware of the
Question: What countries are growing genetically engineered crops?
Answer: There were only five countries that grew about 98 percent of the $44
billion of commercial genetically engineered crops in 2003-2004. Those five
countries were: the United States ($27.5 billion), Argentina ($8.9 billion), China
($3.9 billion), Canada ($2.0 billion) and Brazil ($1.6 billion).
Supporters of biotech foods often try to argue that we have been genetically
modifying our foods for centuries, through a process known as hybridization, or
interbreeding. But that process is far different than the recombinant DNA splicing
used in modern agricultural biotechnology.
In Europe, genetically engineered foods are more commonly referred to as
genetically modified foods, genetically altered foods or GMOs (short for
genetically modified organisms).
It is interesting to note that the eleventh edition of the Merriam-Webster
Collegiate Dictionary added the word "Frankenfood" as another term to describe
genetically engineered food.
Listing of food brands and foods with GMO ingredients
Would you like to know which food brands and products contain genetically
engineered foods? For instance, which brands of baby food and products contain
GM foods? Here’s a link to a website which offers a guide of GM foods.
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It may not be long before someone actually discovers
pharmaceutical drugs in their cereal.
Shrouded in secrecy, biotech companies are genetically engineering
crops to produce pharmaceutical drugs in numerous undisclosed test
plots around the country.
Among the many potential environmental hazards, nobody knows
what impact “pharm” crops will have on birds and animals that
consume them in open fields.
Contamination of the food supply would appear to be inevitable if
pharm crops are grown commercially. Scientists and ecologists have
established that corn pollen can drift for miles. If the U.S. Dept. of
Agriculture allows these crops to be commercially planted, it is
practically inevitable that pharmaceutical drugs will end up in the
human food supply.
8. Healthy Food Alternatives
Eat whole foods, foods that have not been
processed, foods that are locally grown. Many
locally grown vegetables, fruit and meat found at
a farmer’s markets are organic, though the
grower may not meet stringent organic standards
to call their food organic. Never-the-less, most
local growers rely on natural means to raise their
crops. They rely on crop rotation, composting
and other natural methods of farming. The beef, poultry and eggs they raise also is
also fed grass and allowed to free range.
Best of all, you can talk to the grower and learn how they raised their food. You’ll
find t his kind of shopping to be a wonderful experience.
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Rediscover your kitchen and buy some food recipe books. Learn how to cook. I
did. It really isn’t hard and it is lots of fun.
Finally, avoid buying fast food. It may seem convenient, but convenience will not
keep you healthy. But more than that…You harm your body each and every time
you eat those french fries, burgers and fried chicken. They may smell delicious
and look good, but they are not fit for consumption.
9. Field trip to grocery store
Once you get serious about eating healthy, wholesome foods, you will want to do
all you can to avoid eating unwholesome foods. Since most of us buy our groceries
from grocery stores, it’s important you take what you learn here to the grocery
Until you know what to look for and the tricks food producers play, you’ll want to
take along to the store a cheat sheet of what to watch out for.
Take time to read the Nutrition Fact label and
ingredient list of every item you pick up. You will
quickly learn which foods and brands to avoid and
which foods and brands to place in your grocery
Generally speaking, the middle aisles (roughly
90% of the store) you’ll learn to place off limits.
These are where most of the processed foods are
In the can section of the store, you’ll find some items to be okay to buy. These
comprise certain vegetables and fruits, but again. Be sure to read every label of
every can you pick up.
If you like ice cream, find a brand and flavor whose only ingredients are cream,
egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. Anything else added (other than fruit) is classified as
junk. Opt to eat Kefir and Yogurt. But watch out for the Yogurt. Many brands of
Yogurt include high fructose corn syrup, Modified corn starch, carrageenan
(another name for MSG), and colored food dyes in their ingredients.
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The deli meat section you’ll quickly learn is of limits if you are trying to avoid
MSG, nitrites and nitrates. Better to buy whole cuts of meat from the fresh meat
There will be certain kinds of deli meats that you like available in natural health
food stores. Check one or two of these stores out for yourself. But remember:
Natural health food stores sell things like monosodium glutamate and Canola oil,
so ALWAYS read those labels.
Tip: The best way to buy beef and poultry is from a local meat processor or meat
locker as they are called. Look in your phone directory or on the Internet for
sources. Expect to buy a large quantity to get the best prices and freeze the meat.
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