BLOG 130 PROCESSED FOODS
We live in a world that has turned fast-paced, favoring convenience and time efficiency into priorities. We have learned to compromise nutrition for what is easier, and have created an entire new realm in grocery stores with an abundance of processed foods. And these products have quite the shelf life once you get home. Not exactly “fresh” by any means, but readily available and assessable for sure. So let’s take a look at how processed foods have bombarded our eating habits.
Let’s always start with the definition. Here it is: “ ‘The term processed food includes any food that has been purposely changed in some way prior to consumption,’ says Torey Armul, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “It includes food that has been cooked, canned, frozen, packaged or changed in nutritional composition with fortifying, preserving or preparing in different ways” (http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/nutrition/nutrition-facts-and-food-labels/avoiding-processed-foods). Think about how much of these types of food are part of your daily regime or have been before. How many frozen pizzas have you had in your lifetime?? For example, I never even considered all the sodium canned corn or kidney beans contain in order to preserve their shelf life. Pretty disgusting and they need to be rinsed off to help. Which then made me think about all the salad bars or restaurants where I have salad and thought I was eating totally clean and making a great choice, when in fact, most of the vegetables probably came out of can. More bang for your buck I get that part on the business side, but our bodies can only take so much of this and the growing obesity rate is a reflection.
Not all are as bad as others and I found a good reference to consider. Here it is:
Processed food falls on a spectrum from minimally to heavily processed:
• Minimally processed foods — such as bagged spinach, cut vegetables and roasted nuts — often are simply pre-prepped for convenience.
• Foods processed at their peak to lock in nutritional quality and freshness include canned tomatoes, frozen fruit and vegetables, and canned tuna.
• Foods with ingredients added for flavor and texture (sweeteners, spices, oils, colors and preservatives) include jarred pasta sauce, salad dressing, yogurt and cake mixes.
• Ready-to-eat foods — such as crackers, granola and deli meat — are more heavily processed.
• The most heavily processed foods often are pre-made meals including frozen pizza and microwaveable dinners.
It seems as though the concept of eating food to nourish our bodies is lost. We have to look out for added sugars and sodium that’s for sure. It is odd that we are eating “altered” food. Food has become industrialized. Bottom line it’s about money: “First, most of the processed food created is not food in its conventional meaning. Food is our source of energy and nutrition, without it we can’t survive. However not all of the modern foods are created for that purpose. They are created to allure you, excite you and addict you to become a consumer of their product. The food companies’ goal, just like any other company, is to make more money” (http://www.myfoodandhappiness.com/processed-food-and-why-is-it-the-main-cause-of-obesity/).
The truth is that it is hard to avoid processed foods at some point in your eating be it beverages or condiments. Looking back, I ate plenty of foods out of a box, especially cereal. The more informed we are, the better choices we can make (purpose of my Blogs). Fresh is best and hey it might take a little time, but treat your body like a temple because you only get one and you have to live in it for the rest of your life.
BLOG 129 USEFUL TOOLS FOR YOUR FITNESS JOURNEY
As we become more educated and find what works best on our fitness journeys, we realize that this lifestyle change is sustainable. Some of us are numbers driven and want to see statistics and data. Others of us are emotionally tied to this journey by how we feel in terms of energy, clothes fitting, and liking what we see in the mirror. Wherever you fall on the pendulum, the information I’m providing below entails answers to common questions I’m asked frequently.
MILE = 2,000 steps and if we are recommended to walk 10,000 steps per day this is equal to 5 miles
1 cup = 8 ounces (Liquids)
1 cup = 4.5 ounces and 128 grams (Dry goods)
1 pound = 3500 calories (Fat)
1 pound = 2500 calories (Muscle)
Recommended Calorie Guide:
How to Read Nutrition Label:
Body Fat Percentage Chart:
Feel free to ask me for any other tools you feel could be useful. Trust me, I’ve got books and books and more books about all this fun stuff ?
BLOG 128 PLACES ON EARTH WITH THE LARGEST PEOPLE
So I hate the term “fat”. Just bothers me and is derogatory. Yet, I recently read an article on CBS.com and wanted to share what I found. We know that Americans aren’t getting any smaller and this seems to be a global epidemic. Let me count down for from number 21 to #1 location with the largest folks.
#21 CANADA: 51.9% of Canadians are overweight
#20 CHILE: 59.7% must be the chile ?
#19 SEYCHELLES: never heard of this place but 60.1% of its residents are obese
#18 BARBADOS: 60.4% of its islanders are obese
#17 MACEDONIA: models are considered “shapely” here hence 60.4% of the population is obese
#16 UNITED KINGDOM: fish and chips has led to 61% obesity
#15 BAHRAIN: this tiny island doesn’t have tiny people with 61% being obese
#14 CROATIA: coming in at 61.4%
#13 ISREAL: their population 61.9% obese
#12 MALTA: this is a highly populated location that has 62.3% obesity rate
#11 NEW ZEALAND: 62.7% obesity rate here
#10 BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINIA: 63% in these locations
#9 KUWAIT: 64%
#8 EGYPT: 66% are obese here
#7: GERMANY: the beer and brats have led to 66.5% being obese
#6 UNITED STATES: here were are; glad to say not number one at 66.9%
#5 PANAMA: 67.4% of Panamanians are obese
#4 SAUDI ARABIA: comes in at 73%
#3 FRENCH POLYNESIA: 74% is a pretty big percentage
#2 KIRIBATI: never heard of this location but they come in at 82%
#1 AMERICAN SAMOA: 94% of its people are overweight
Although I have not heard of all these areas, I’m sure that diet, wealth, and activity level come into play. Food means luxury and prosperity and when this is combined with a sedentary way of life, the numbers speak for themselves. Just think of all the health issues that may arise from all this too. I think they need me in some of these places ?
BLOG 127 WHAT THE HEALTH
So I watched it. Netflix version of scared straight to NOT eat meat or daily. This documentary, What the Health, was an eye-opening look into how diet is related to health in so many ways. Although the reality of what the film shares is not a lifestyle most can uphold, my mind was intrigued with our government, diet, and health.
The onset of statistics was sickening and attention grabbing. One in four deaths in the USA are from cancer and 2/3 of our adult population are obese. $1 in every $3 Medicare dollars is spent on diabetes. And according to What The Health, this is from the food we are eating. Sugar and carbohydrates have long been the chosen culprit for these illnesses, but the evidence know points to meat and dairy (again this is all from the film).
A plant based diet is the safest form of nutrition for our bodies. Even shopping organic isn’t going to make the meat any better. If 4 cows pass the food line in one minute, that’s 15 seconds of inspection per cow. How can this be a thorough look at what we are putting in our mouths?? Other sources don’t seem to be any better since fish are filled with pesticides and fungus.
Most people are far from protein deficient. All protein comes from plants. Only plants can take nitrogen and covert it amino acids for protein. The strongest animals are herbivores. Gorillas and elephants chomp on greens for all their food.
Our bodies don’t seem equipped to digest dairy, thus leading to health problems. Statistically, 73% of African Americans are lactose intolerant as well as 95% of Asians, 70% of Native Americans and 53% of Hispanics. Milk barely has any protein in it.
But the reality is that the government and our food industry are closely related. If diary is related to cancer, then why is Yoplait a sponsor of the Susan G. Comin foundation?? The American Diabetes and Cancer Associations are sponsored by Dannon and Tyson. Companies keep this information from us. The government encourages these mixes messages we receive through advertisements and commercials. The more we eat, the more money they make from the adverse health effects. Children are targeted because they’re the spenders of the future. Younger ages are more impressionable and are the future adults who will spend their money on these products. The Common Sense Consumption Act and Cheeseburger Laws go so far as to stating that a person can’t sue a company for eating their food and blaming them for their obesity.
A plant based diet is said to reduce inflammation and prevent these diseases. Realistically, this form of eating can be difficult and not readily available. It seems worth a try based on your fitness goals. Watch this film yourself and maybe the eating plant based portion won’t interest you, but there’s no doubt that the government and food industry are on the same team.