Monday, February 25, 2013

A Mini-Discussion: Be a Smart Cookie! Change the World!

Flour and sugar are addictive and metabolically toxic.
Two mini-discussions in a row ... well, the situation is precarious out there, with Girl Scouts winsomely and industriously pulling at your heartstrings, conscience and sweet tooth!

I'll keep it short.  There are posts all over the place about giving the diminuitive Girl Scout sales reps money, but declining the cookies.  Or sending the cookies overseas to our troops.  Or giving them to friends.  But really, if we're going to change anything about the starch-, sugar-, and high-fructose-corn-syrup-driven products the food industry is exploiting us for, we have to STOP BUYING THEM!

You can and do donate to whatever causes you feel strongly about.  But as for feeding the beast ... supporting the marketing and production of damaging foods and products ... ONLY YOU can change what is offered.  The Girl Scouts, and their leaders, are a bunch of smart girls and women.  If you stop buying their cookies, they WILL come up with something less damaging to sell.

When approached, I smile at the Scouts and say, "Thank you, but I don't eat flour or sugar."  If they offer the option to donate but not take the product, that can prompt a mini-discussion about the sale of products that are useful, not unhealthful.

You realize I come by this thinking hereditarily.  My mom called the local middle school when they sent kids around selling chocolate-chip cookie dough laden with so many amazingly toxic ingredients that she felt compelled to comment.

The future of food is in our hands, dear readers! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Mini-Discussion: Just Put it Back

We humans are wired to devour processed carbohydrates because they are a dense energy source.  You know the feeling:  Eat a cookie, instantly crave another ... and another.  

Add to this our inclination to overindulge in hyperpalatable foods, and it's not surprising that an industry was born and is sustained, not by providing nutrients, but by creating addiction, thus guaranteeing endless repeat purchases.  Manufacturers have staffs whose entire job is to figure out how to make you crave their products and buy more, more MORE of it!   And they're very good at  their jobs.

Not to let the food marketing successes go unexploited, other industries provide diabetes drugs and supplies, obesity surgeries and countless weight loss books, classes, videos and programs, and still more fakey packaged "foods" to "help" you lose weight and regain health.  Why not think a little about keeping our health, insteading of having to regain it?  Isn't it better to maintain than to salvage?  To do that, we have to be aware that the "food" industry is sabotaging our best intentions and exploiting our weaknesses.

Case in point.  The other day at Costco I noticed the long finger of hyperpalatibility (also known as hyperprofitability) beckoning me... caramel popcorn and cheese popcorn mixed in the same bag!  Cheese and caramel!  Whee!  Who doesn't love a salty/sweet crunchy snack!  (Just ask the kettlecorn folks, who rake in big bucks selling you bags of their sweet/salty, addictive product!)

You know and I know that heart disease and cancers are driven by high circulating blood insulin.  Refined sugar isn't a necessary nutrient, and is in fact damaging to the body.  This is commonly known.  Hence, refined sugar is surviving totally on its addictive power these days.  Even armed with nutritional information that has reliably curbed my sugar-driven impulse buying for over two years now, I  fondled this bag ... and it felt so ... cheesy ... and caramelly ... and soft ... and tasty.  It was hefty, like all bags of snacks are at Costco.  I wanted it. 

G.H. Cretors - Chicago Mix
Picture from the G. H. Cretors website.  The Costco bag weighed about a pound and half.
Now, I know that in a situation like this, you're going to check the ingredient label right away, like me.  And the manufacturers know that, too.  So they're going to use words like "brown" and "cane" and "brown rice" in front of the words "sugar" and "syrup," so you'll feel all comfy and cozy about this product, and slip it into your cart with only a fleeting moment of guilt.
Nutrition Facts
And see that 300g carbohydrate recommendation for a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet? One gram of carbohydrate has 4 calories, so what the nutrition "experts" are telling you is to eat 1200 of your 2000 calories as carbohydrates.  The human body simply was not designed to handle that, despite the sugar, grain and hyperpalatability food industry profits from getting you to believe it was.
As well, I know and you know that we can't eat just 1.25 cups of this stuff.  We'll eat at least (and admit it, probably even more than) three times that when we get home from the store.  Now we're talking 51 grams total carbohydrate, 30 grams of it from refined sugars. Top that off with 18 grams of fat from inflammatory sunflower oil and corn oil.
But sunflower and corn oil are good for you, right?  Wrong. We know now that seed (and legume) oils are one of the best-known sources of inflammatory Omega 6 fats in the history of mankind. Nature knew what it was doing by locking up those oils in seeds where we couldn't get more than a chewy mouthful at a time, with a fair amount of labor to find, gather and shell the seeds in the first place. 

One of the worst things we do to ourselves is to consume refined carbohydrates along with fat.  Picture doughnuts.  Greasy burgers on white bread buns.  Oreo Blizzards.  Cheesecake.  Fettuccini Alfredo.  Refined carb/fat eating bombs your metabolism with a one-two punch, creating accelerated glycation end products that inflame and infuriate your body. 
G. H. Cretor knows that you'll be thinking about these things.  But if you really  think about these things, you won't buy their product!  G. H. Cretor must distract you from the true nutritional wasteland that is this popcorn product.  Hence, they say:  
"All Natural…Naturally!
  • We use Brown Rice Syrup
  • No artificial flavors or colors
  • No gluten ingredients
  • Made with fresh creamery butter
  • We use natural sweeteners
  • We use locally grown Non-GMO popcorn"
What they don't say:
  • We know you like the word "natural," so we use it liberally, even though it's completely meaningless and there are no labeling regulations for it!
  • Brown rice syrup, brown sugar and cane sugar are going to hit your pancreas up for a huge insulin surge!  Your body will be madly trying to process this colossal refined-carb attack and will undoubtedly store most of it for future use ... on your belly.  Want to avoid obesity and diabetes?  Avoid our product! 
  • We know you're concerned about health, so we added no artificial flavors or colors!  And we know gluten is bad for lots of folks, so we left it out!  This knowledge, clearly, should be sufficient to distract you from the ingredients we DID use! 
  • Fresh creamery butter is yummy and good for you!  Even many doctors now admit that real saturated fats are healthy and not to be feared!  So we powdered the butter and mixed it in with so much salt and sugar you'll greedily devour this popcorn and come back for more! 
  • Concerned about GMO food? You should be! And we know you like to use "locally grown" foods, too. Rest assured our popcorn, though still high in starchy carbohydrates and lectins, is locally grown and non GMO! Never mind that in this case, "local" means "wherever." Relax already!
You're going to think I'm extreme.  But this type of "food" product is precisely what will slowly sicken and fatten you.  How do I know?  Because I used to eat stuff like this regularly, and I was sick and heavy.  When I replaced it and its ilk with whole foods, I got well and became slim.  My triglycerides went down, my HDL went up, 25 pounds came off,  joint pain vanished, and my Hashimoto's antibodies disappeared.  The only reason I'm writing this post is perhaps to help someone else along the road to feeling better.  There is no "moderation" with foods like these.  Why tax your entire metabolism year after year for the few moments of pleasure G. H. Cretor is offering?  Every ingredient in their "Chicago Mix" popcorn, except salt, is a substance you're better off not ingesting.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Costco and saw a very plump lady exiting the store, clutching the 26-ounce bag of this popcorn.  Nay, she was cradling it.  It was her only purchase. 

Just put that stuff back on the shelf.   If I can, you can.