Have you been reading the labels on your packaged foods that you buy? It has not ceased to amaze me how much I see sugar, HFCS, fructose, evaporated cane juice, or agave nectar listed in everyday items we buy. The more I read labels, the more I’m disgusted with the food industry. I want to throw things at the TV when I see advertisements that are lying to us in regards to food. Yet, I still keep looking and I keep passing it on.
I used to buy a lot of Kashi products. They promote themselves as being healthy, pure, natural, whole grains. You get the picture. You may have even seen their commercials. Evaporated cane juice is their sweetener of choice. It’s the second ingredient in their oatmeal and their Crunch! Honey Almond Flax Cereal. I find that highly upsetting that a cereal with honey in the name has evaporated can juice as the second ingredient and honey is way down the list near the end. Their 7 Grain crackers and original waffles have it listed around the middle. This is a leading health food company. Imagine what’s in the stuff in General Mills or Kellogg’s foods.
I’m not trying to dis Kashi. They have an amazing social movement behind their brand. If you go to their website, you’ll see that they support the Kokua Festival in Hawai`i. They are trying to move people into more natural, whole foods. They have a great message, but I don’t like what I see in the ingredients of their products.
If you haven’t been convinced by my previous posts about the dangers of sugar to our bodies, check out Dr. Mercola’s article on sugar. There is an interview on that site that I haven’t listened to, as well as the video for Sugar: The Bitter Truth. I’ve heard some good things about the latter. I just haven’t had the time to sit down to watch it yet. If you aren’t convinced by the first part of his article, keep reading until you get to the list of the 76 additional dangers of sugar. It is an eye opener. I knew about most of them, but the ones I didn’t know about were “wow” moments for me.
I’ll say it over and over again, too. Stay away from stuff with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It is not fine in moderation like the ads would have us believe. It’s more dangerous to our health than regular sugar. It’s one of the major causes of obesity in this country. It’s one of the major causes of diabetes. It is hidden in more things than you realize so make sure you are reading those labels! I posted the other day about Pepsico starting to remove HFCS from its products. This is a huge step in the right direction. If you go to the Jason’s Deli website, they have a video about working on making sure there is no HFCS in their drinks. Several years ago they stopped using trans fats and now they are making a change from HFCS. I applaud them for that. It made me want to go get dinner from them when I saw that video. A friend that I’ve made recently from the Saving Dinner show just posted a website with a list of HFCS-free foods. Take it with you when you go shopping. But, still read the labels!
I used to be a sugar fiend and it’s never easy giving up something you love. Sure, there are times I want something sweet. But I go for the fruit or really dark chocolate when I’m in that mode, which is much less often than before. The times I have gone for that really sweet treat, I’ve found myself turned off because it is too sweet. It may hurt you to do so mentally, but just try going sugar-free for a while and see how you feel. Once you get used to being sugar-free, you won’t crave it. Well, if you’re an emotional eater faced with some stressors, you might want it when you’re feeling stressed, but if you plan for that, you’ll be fine. And when I say sugar-free, I mean no artificial sweeteners either. Those will mess up your body even more. If you don’t think you can give it up, try tapering off. Just be warned that eating sweets triggers your body to crave more sweets.
You only have good health to gain and fat to lose by making a change like this.