Many people joke about America being the fattest country, but I find it embarrassing. Most blame the digital age, kids playing video games instead of being active outside…people working at a desk all day long, etc. We’ve all seen the evolution chart parody with the monkeys evolving into a human and then into a human sitting at a desk on a computer. It is true that we weren’t as active as we used to be, but the food industry is the main culprit here. Americans are not eating the same food they were 30 years ago.
I’m really not into politics, but when it comes to the food industry in the US, I get pretty cranked up. In the 70’s, high fructose corn syrup was invented as a replacement for sugar in processed foods that is cheaper and has a longer shelf life. The thing is, it’s been added to things that never had sugar before, even wheat bread. There are foods in the grocery store that have ingredients you can’t recognize, let alone pronounce, but the FDA has deemed them “safe.” These days, foods are laced with add-ins and preservatives. Your food should not outlive you! We are drinking more calories than ever, with all these fancy energy drinks, “healthy” juices, lattes…the list goes on. Even our meat isn’t as healthy as it used to be. Animals are raised in factories, injected with hormones, and fed god knows what.
The worst part is, many Americans aren’t aware that this is a huge problem. They see processed foods as a cheap, convenient way to squash hunger. We are hardwired to eat fruit, vegetables, and lean protein, but over the past 50 years, processed foods have taken over. Now we are sugar addicts, carbohydrate junkies, and fast “food” fanatics. Who could blame us for getting so fat, how are we supposed to know that more than half the grocery store should not be edible? If it’s sold in stores, it must be safe right? Let me ask you, are cigarettes healthy? No, obviously. Yet they are still making the tobacco industry big bucks every day. It’s the same with processed foods…all about money. No, those crackers won’t kill you, but just because they slapped a “low fat” label on the box doesn’t mean they are healthy for you. They don’t have all the nutrients a piece of fruit or vegetable could provide.
Don’t believe these claims. Apples don’t come with labels that say “FAT FREE!” or “40% less sugar!” You can trust an apple. Almost everything that has an obnoxious statement on it is not trustworthy. If you google image search “reduced fat” you will find products with a green label that says “reduced fat” in letters as big as the product name. They want you to think you’re getting something better, and they have to practically scream it at you to get you to notice. They just want your money. Chances are, the brands you’ve never heard of are probably healthier. When was the last time you saw a Teddie Peanut Butter commercial? When was the last time you saw a Jif Peanut Butter commercial? Guess which one is healthier. Exactly. Check out the ingredient comparison:
When I was younger, I was told to eat my fruits and veggies and to drink my milk. I was taught that cookies and cake were junk food. I never knew exactly why junk food was bad and I certainly didn’t know how threatening the leading brand of peanut butter could be. When I started dieting years ago, I thought I was making the right choice by having Lean Cuisines for lunch and a 100 calorie pack of cookies for a snack. Obviously I’ve since then expanded my knowledge on the subject, and learned that 1o0 calorie packs are still cookies or chips or whatever’s inside and just because its 100 calories doesn’t make it a good choice.
You have the power to choose what you eat. You can choose to eat healthy, whole foods that will fuel your body and create a lean figure and positive mood. Why would you choose anything else?