I feel like blogging a bit of a rant. I guess it’s Easter and all the candy associated with holidays in general that get me a bit worked up. You see, I suffer from several chronic illnesses (IBS in my 20′s, migraine, ovarian cysts and endometriosis – all inflammatory related illnesses), and I wonder what my body would be like, had I never been exposed to such wildly processed foods (many containing high fructose corn syrup – HFCS) like Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Oreos. What kid (and many adults) didn’t gorge themselves on these sometimes? I know my parents knew it was better to feed me a carrot than a Ding Dong but I also know that they had no idea that my after school snack could lead to chronic health issues and obesity. I am in no way suggesting that these foods are directly related to my health issues but, how many studies does it take before we start doing something about the craziness that is in our “foods”?
I get really insulted by the HFCS commercials that have one parent telling another parent that “It’s natural, made from corn, and just like all sugar, it’s fine in moderation.” Actually, it’s not natural, it’s uber-processed and unlike regular sucrose, which is stored as carbohydrate, it is stored as fat. For more details about the difference between HFCS and table sugar see this link to a Princeton study.
The Princeton research is great and I found another wonderful article that talks about the real life connection between processed foods and inflammatory illness. Below are just a couple key points from Dr. Dwight Lundell’s article on the real cause of heart disease – our nation’s number one killer. I highly suggest you take a moment to read the article I linked to above. It may save your life!
“While we savor the tantalizing taste of a sweet roll, our bodies respond alarmingly as if a foreign invader arrived declaring war. Foods loaded with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet for six decades. These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone.”
“To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, Alzheimer’s disease, as the inflammatory process continues unabated.”
Anyway, this is why I am so stubborn when it comes to not giving my kids candy and processed foods. I’m sure they get some when we go out to eat but I really make an effort to use whole foods. I read labels. If they get a treat, it’s usually organic or made with REAL sugar. This Easter my kids got a modest Easter basket. They got a shirt and shorts/leggings and three large eggs filled with “special treats”. The treats were Happy Baby yogurt bites, Annie’s Bunny Graham Friends, and Annie’s party mix. They were thrilled. I’m attempting to keep them from becoming addicted to processed foods and sugars and, will continue to educate them about what those foods can and will do to their bodies, when they are old enough to make these decisions for themselves. These food companies are getting away with way too much. Would you reconsider buying Oreos if they had a label that stated “Consuming this food may lead to obesity and heart disease as well as addiction.”?
Ok, rant over. Please resume your regularly scheduled blogging….