Saturday, April 13, 2013

How the Food Industry Hijacks Your Health

Eat 'real' food!
Please Note: The following is reprinted with permission from the author, Stacey Curnow. I receive Stacey's Special Delivery ezine (link at bottom) and recommend that you sign up, too.
- and Ways to Protect Yourself
Do you ever think eating real foods in the right amounts and at the right times can be a lot of work?
Well, yes, it is work.
Making healthy choices takes energy – but as I've said before (and I'll probably say again), whether you take steps to address them or not, problems generally require you to expend mental energy no matter what (in this case, by making you stress about your weight and body image), so you might as well apply that energy to a solution.
So if you're worried about your diet, why not expend that energy in an area that'll lead to more benefit for you and your health? It does mean doing some work, but it doesn't mean you'll have to struggle. And it DEFINITELY doesn't have to be confusing.
Why won't it be confusing? Because eating – the most natural thing in the world – only becomes confusing and difficult when we have external rules to follow and we aren't following the wisdom of our own bodies.
So my suggestion for you is for you to forget every food "rule" you've ever heard and just remember this truth: You can trust your inner wisdom when it comes to fueling your body with the right food, at the right time and in the right amount.
So why does it seem so hard? One of the main reasons is that we get DISCONNECTED from our bodies' natural wisdom. We go on complex diets, we agonize over calories, we even subject ourselves to a lot of sophisticated medical tests to see if we're allergic or sensitive to the foods we eat. But none of that is necessary if we reconnect with our bodies. Make that connection, and all you have to do is pay attention after you eat.
Of course, the industrial food industry has made paying attention very difficult. They do better when you eat more of stuff that's cheap to produce. And so they've tinkered with some very unhealthy foods to make them taste absolutely delicious and practically addictive.
So the first step to getting connected with your body is cutting out all processed food. Once you've done that, you can become a research scientist investigating food. Pay attention to what happens to you after you eat – how you feel, how you act – and you'll soon reach some conclusions about the best foods for fueling your body. Trust me – if you don't know now, the knowledge will come as you put your food to this simple test.
As you make your discoveries, don't be blinded by preconceptions about "good" or "healthy" food. Not any one diet is ideal for everyone. I have friends and clients who eat widely varied diets – from vegan, to mostly raw (but including wild-caught fish and beef from pasture-fed cows), to Paleo (meaning mostly meat, nuts and veggies, and practically no grains), to Mediterranean (my choice). All of these diets involve eating vastly different "fuel foods," and all are perfectly healthy.
They do have a common thread, though. Look these diets over, and you'll see that a good fuel food is whole (meaning unprocessed, meaning probably NOT out of a package), is fresh, and tastes great.
That said, there are some foods that tend to be very problematic, so I want you to pay special attention if you eat them.
There are not many times when I say NEVER do something, but this is one. I would like you to NEVER consume these two things: Diet Soda/Artificial Sweeteners and Specially Prepared "Fat Free" or "Diet Foods."
Why not? First the skinny on diet sodas and artificial sweeteners:
There is TONS of research that PROVES that sodas make people fat and sick.
And that diet drinks may be even worse than regular sugar sweetened sodas!!
How does that happen? Well the upshot is that artificial sweeteners are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar. That's a good thing, right? No. These sweeteners activate our genetically programmed preference for sweet tastes more than any other substance. Then they trick your metabolism into thinking sugar is on its way. In response, your body pumps out insulin, the fat storage hormone, which lays down more fat. Yikes!
This sweetener-fueled insulin boost also confuses and slows your metabolism down, so that you burn fewer calories every day. It makes you hungrier. It makes you crave even more sugar and starchy carbs like bread and pasta.
Bottom line: Diet drinks are not good substitutes for sugar-sweetened drinks. Artificial sweeteners increase cravings, weight gain, and Type 2 diabetes. And they are addictive.
Okay. Now for the "Low/No Fat" or "Diet Food" Industry. This is what you need to know: Eating Fat Does NOT Make You Fat. The diet and food industry has brainwashed us to think fat-free foods help keep us from getting fat, which seems like common sense. Eating fats makes you fat. Right? But the science tells us otherwise, i.e. not ALL calories are created equal.
And even though fat has more calories per gram (9 calories versus 4 calories for carbs and protein), eating good quality fat can help you lose weight. This low-fat idea was based on bad science. But the food industry was happy to respond by creating a flood of fat-free foods.
The big problem is that the fat is replaced with flour and sugar, and eating large amounts of flour and sugar wreaks havoc on our hormones, like insulin, and correlates with diabesity – that's obesity coupled with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, a combination that – according to integrative physician Mark Hyman – now affects one in two adults and one in four teenagers.
Bottom Line: The key point here is that all calories are NOT the same. Swap out sugar and starch for good fats such as nuts, avocados, olive oil, and grass-fed animal products or wild fish. Focus on quality real food and the rest takes care of itself.
NOW: Having talked about the foods that I believe you should absolutely eliminate from your diet, I want to talk about the 7 Foods that you may want to eliminate or greatly reduce from your diet because many, many people tend to be "Highly Sensitive" to them. They are:
  1. Wheat
  2. Dairy
  3. Eggs
  4. Soy
  5. Corn
  6. Peanuts
  7. Sugar
If you eat any of them frequently, I would recommend that you eliminate them from your diet for two to three weeks (if this seems impossible, then eliminate one at a time), and document closely how you feel.
If you notice an improvement in your digestion or your metabolism, or overall feeling of well-being within a week, I would ask you to eliminate them from your diet from now on, or add them back in small amounts as a "test."
If you notice a return of unpleasant symptoms, and you want to feel completely well, you know what to do, right? Will replacing them require some work? Will it require some energy? Yes. Could replacing them give you more energy than you've ever had? Yes, absolutely.
One last thing: I have eliminated most of the foods I mentioned above, with a notable exception being sugar.
So why haven't I eliminated sugar, given all the evidence against it?
Well, because I enjoy it too much, and I think "joy eating" is a happy and healthy part of my diet. I'd say it makes up about 10% of my food intake on a daily basis.
And until I have more problems – or really, ANY problems – with my health, I'm not going to eliminate it.
But BELIEVE ME when I tell you that if I had even so much as the sniffles, or I felt it brought me down into a consistent brain fog, or it led to perpetual mindless eating, I would.
And that's my last word on this subject. If you feel that more than 10% of your daily intake of food falls into the "joy eating" category, then the simple fact is you need to look to other areas of your life for joy.
I promise, as soon as you add more joy to your life away from the table, you will no longer look to food for joy.

Stacey Curnow
Midwife for Your Life

Reprinted with permission from the author, Stacey Curnow. If you like this article and you want to give birth to your BIG dreams, sign up to receive her FRE*E eZine, Special Delivery, at

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