And Why We Should Stop Feeding Them to our Families
One of the best ways to stop eating unhealthy foods might seem a little obvious...but we're just gonna say it. And being the delicate, well-mannered women that we are, raised on proper etiquette and social grace, we're going to say it in the gentlest, most lady-like manner possible....
QUIT STINKIN' BUYING IT!!!
Goodness, gracious. Pardon that little outburst. We certainly didn't meant to shout.
If one of your kids (or your spouse. ahem.) is frantically scavenging for snacks in the pantry, and can't find any DORITOS...guess what?
"But MOoOoOoOoOoM!... (You know the whine I'm talking about)...Where did you put the chips?!" La la la la la la la la la la la. Junior is on the verge of a Poltergeist head-spin...but YOU, my friend, are in your happy place. Did you say something sweetheart? Calm and serene, you are the kindred spirit of that long-ago Roman Emperor, performing a lovely concerto on your fiddle, even as the flames lick your face.
You watch with interest as sparks shoot from his eyes. But you and your bad self have long anticipated this tween-angst meltdown, and YOU...are prepared. With a knowing smile, you calmly open the fridge to reveal a bountiful supply of fresh, nourishing, and delicious snacks.
You are welcome, little Padawan.
And you know what? If your pantry's not full of JUNK...chances are.....when Junior grows up, his won't be either.
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Below we've put together a list of the five NASTIEST foods we feed our kids (and ourselves). YES, we will describe the most heinous ingredients in each of these foods...but more importantly, we will tell you WHY they're so bad, and WHAT you can eat instead. (Note: you *might* not wanna read this over your lunch break).
NASTY FOOD #5: FRUIT LEATHER & FRUIT SNACKS
Example: Betty Crocker Fruit by the Foot - Berry "Tie Dye" Fruit Leather
Heinous factors: Corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1, sugar out the wazoo.
(We are not sure this product contains any real food).
Research: Is your child hyper? Recent studies suggest a link between food coloring and ADHD. Here's an EXCELLENT article from CBS called Food Coloring Linked to ADHD? Check out the slide show, where innocent kids stuff their faces with food dye.
Alternatives: Real Fruit, Fruit Smoothee, Kashi Granola Bar, Banana w/ Nut Butter
Food for thought: Regular consumption of empty calories can lead to obesity. And BTW, have you seen anything growing on God's green earth that looks like TIE DYE? When thinking about food coloring, it might be worth reconsidering things like Fruit Loops, Cupcake Frosting, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Sno Cones, Kool-aid, and Popcicles (among many others).
NASTY FOOD #4: SODA(especially diet)
Example: Diet Coke
Heinous factors: Caramel Color, Aspartame, Potassium Benzoate (a preservative), Caffeine
Research: Over 90 side effects have been associated with aspartame...some of the worst being: headaches, pain behind the eyes, decrease in vision quality, and ringing of the ears. A research study in the UK revealed that aspartame-fed rats had an "exceedingly high incidence of brain tumors." Also, drinking 1-2 sodas a day (Diet OR Regular) increases a person's risk of obesity by 32% (study by U. of Texas), and their risk of diabetes by 44% (Journal of American Heart Assoc.).
Alternatives: Green tea, 100% juice in moderation (we like Simply Orange), water (w/ lime is good).
Food for thought: Just ONE can of soda per day can add 10 pounds of weight in a year....a sobering fact that the New York City Health Department effectively drove home with this campaign in 2009:
"Man Drinking Fat" Ad Deters New-Yorkers from Drinking Soda
"A man opens a can of soda that looks more like a mix between Manhattan clam chowder and vomit. He gulps it down and follows it up with a smile." (Pix II).
NASTY FOOD #3: DOUGHNUTS
Example: Krispy Kreme Devil's Food Cake Doughnut
Heinous factors: Just two of these little sugar bombs contain a whopping 780 calories and 50 grams of fat. Did you catch that? SEVEN-HUNDRED AND EIGHTY calories. Big Mac? 540. And the doughnuts are 50% NOTHING. They've got BIG HOLES in the middle. The other bad thing about doughnuts? When we fill our tummies with empty calories, we're not getting the fiber and good stuff we need.
Research: The New England Journal of Medicine found a strong and reliable connection between trans fat and coronary heart disease. This year in the United States, 785,000 trans-fat eaters will die from cardiac arrest. I don't miss doughnuts that much. Except for the holes.
Alternatives: "Kind" bars from the gas station, our delicious Apple Muffins (freeze a large batch...then grab one for the road), Kashi Cinnamon Harvest (Yum).
Food for thought: If I eat one doughnut every day (and don't exercise), I will gain one pound every 10 days. That's 3 pounds a month, or 36 pounds a year.
Katie's Soap Box: Who is with me on coming up with new ways to raise money for our schools that DON'T involve feeding our kids massive amounts of sugar and trans fats (i.e. BAKE SALE)? These are the formative years. THIS is the time to teach them about healthy eating. What kind of example are we setting by pushing this stuff?
NASTY FOOD #2: FRENCH FRIES
Example: McDonald's French Fries
Heinous factors: Hydrogenated oil, sodium acid pyrophosphate, TBHQ (used to delay onset of rancidness), Dimethylpolysiloxane (an antifoaming agent). We hate it when our french fries start foaming, don't you?
Research: When potatoes are cooked at high temperatures, they form acrylamide, which causes tumors and neurological problems in lab animals. Acrylamide is also a bi-product of cigarette smoke. A study of 327,000 women in Holland showed a significant increase of endometrial and ovarian cancer for those who consumed acrylamide.
Alternatives: We LOVE sweet potato fries (baked in the oven at home. Not the greasy/fried restaurant version). We like to make these to accompany Morning Star Grillers. A great little meal. Also, If your kids MUST have McD's, order apple slices and milk instead of fries and soda.
And Finally....DRUM ROLL PLEASE......
NASTY FOOD #1: HOT DOGS
***Our Recipient of the MOST HEINOUS FOOD AWARD***
Example: Oscar Meyer Weiners
Heinous factors: Mechanically separated meat, Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Potassium Lactate, Sodium Phosphates, Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Ascorbate, Sodium Nitrite, Artificial Flavoring.
There's too much HEINOUS going on here to tackle all of it. So we'll just focus on the nastiest ingredient. And if you're eating right now, we suggest that you STOP.
***Seriously, put the Krispy Kreme down.****
We're about to show you a picture of what goes into a hot dog.
And there you go.
Yes, it looks like pink foam. Or a worm. Or Pepto Bismol Ice Cream....but alas, it is NOT. What is it? Mechanically separated chicken, turkey, and pig.
Our friends at "Fooducate" write:
"Someone figured out in the 1960s that meat processors can eek out a few more percent of profit
from chickens, turkeys, pigs, and cows by scraping the bones 100% clean of meat. This is done
...by passing bones leftover after the initial cutting through a high pressure sieve. The paste you
see in the picture above is the result."
And here's a quote from Michael Kindt:
"There's more: because it's crawling with bacteria, it will be washed with ammonia... Then,
because it tastes gross, it will be reflavored artificially. Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be
dyed with artificial color."
Research: Over FIFTY-EIGHT scientific studies have confirmed beyond reasonable doubt that the more hot dogs a person eats, the higher their risk of colorectal cancer. Just ONE 50-gram serving of processed meat per day (including hot dogs, deli meat, bacon, etc.) increases a person's risk of cancer by 21%. (American Institute for Cancer Research).
In fact, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine was so concerned about the 16 billion hot dogs that Americans consume each year, that they launched a campaign: "Eating Hot Dogs is as Risky as Smoking Cigarettes." Here is their billboard:
Alternatives: Here are some options if you're invited to a cook-out: 1. Eat before-hand and munch on veggies when you get there OR 2. Offer to bring something more appetizing and less carcinogenic: i.e. grilled chicken, tabouli, tossed salad, fruit salad.
Katie: As a mother of three, I have to choose my battles with my kids. So yes, they can still enjoy "pizza day" at school. But if saying NO to hot dogs makes me a "mean mom," then mean I shall be.
My kids don't know what hot dogs are made of, or what the word "carcinogen" means. But tonight, after dinner (long, LONG after dinner), they're going to find out.
...Because if I don't teach my kids about eating healthy and avoiding disease, I don't know who will.
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