Are You Addicted to the Food You Eat?
Written By Renee Haxby
According to recent studies, one third of all Americans are either over-weight or obese. The term “Globesity” has been used to describe this ever-growing epidemic on an international scale.
According to a 2012 report, 22.3 million Americans are affected by either Type 1 or Type II diabetes. 246,000 diabetes-related deaths were reported last year, and $245 billion was spent to treat diabetes-related health problems. Obesity is also responsible for the growing problem of heart disease, kidney failure, gout, blindness, and soaring health care costs.
You’d think that these alarming statistics would move our nation to appropriate and positive action. Instead, U.S. foods manufacturers, such as, Kraft, Nabisco, and Kellogg’s are fueling an obesity epidemic with addictive ingredients, and are diligently at work to manipulate processed foods to ensure you become hooked. The more you eat their products, the more money these giant corporations make. Modern processed foods are engineered in laboratories with no regulations or control in marketing. There is a conscious effort to create food products that actually trick your brain into thinking you are hungry even though you are over-eating. This condition reflects in an over-fed, under-nourished society of fat and sick people. People have become mindless eaters. Food addictions develop an obsessive- compulsive relationship with food.
The “Bliss Point”, is the term scientists who manufacturer these foods use to describe the perfect balance of ingredients and packaging that make it irresistible.
Sugar, fat, and salt are the three primary ingredients that make processed foods so addictive. Scientists spend a lot of time figuring out the right amount of sugar, fat and salt that creates the “Bliss Point.” The optimum percentage of fat is added in order to create the perfect “Mouth Feel”, a satisfying sensation which affects the pleasure centers of the brain similar to the way sugar does. Salt adds extra flavor and also acts as a preservative. The preservative qualities of salt ensure that manufacturer’s products are able to stay on store shelves for months without expiring. Processed foods are engineered to survive a long shelf -life, not a long human-life. This fact alone causes me to ask myself some very important questions.
Scientists have known for years that sugar is highly addictive. Sugar is the most addictive food substance, similar to a drug because of the effect it has on pleasure centers of the brain. Did you know there are fifty different names for sugars used in processed foods?
The guiding principle behind the processed food industry is known as the “Sensory-Specific Satiety. The “Vanishing Calorie Density” is a term used to describe to what degree foods melt in your mouth. “Cheetos” are a perfect example of a food that vanishes in your mouth, tricking into consuming hundreds of unhealthy chemical-laden calories.
In recent years, companies have developed who have patented chemical “flavor enhancers”, and are not required to list the ingredients. Instead, these “secret ingredients” are advertised as “artificial or natural flavors.” This could have worse consequences in future because there is no telling what these ingredients are made from.
For instance, the popular snack chip “Doritos” is made with thirty six ingredients. Unless you looked up what each individual ingredient was, you might recognize only two of them are used to make nachos from scratch. The other thirty four ingredients are genetically engineered and modified ingredients designed to keep you addicted. One ingredient, MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a preservative that deliberately inhibits the hormone Leptin, an appetite regulating suppressant.
Recently, an U.S. initiative failed to pass that would’ve forced food manufacturers to label their products as GMO. A recent article states that politicians and scientists alike have opted to not use the products they engineer, yet sell to willing consumers who readily swallow them down. The dangers are a serious and very real problem.
So, what can you do to protect yourself from the cumulative health risks of these “Franken-foods and ingredients?
The first advice I would give you would be to stop eating on the run. Stop choosing fast ready-made processed foods loaded with chemical preservatives. Stop trying to multi-task each day if this puts you in a position to eat at fast food restaurants. Stay away from frozen foods and many canned foods loaded with sugars, salts, and unhealthy fats. Secondly, try to make the time to include whole food preparation as 90% of your regular diet. Stay away from artificial sugars, non-fats, and ingredients you do not recognize. If you don’t know what they are, chances are your body doesn’t either!
By Renee Haxby
I have always been athletic and competitive. In the 1970’s I was one of the first internationally recognized female bodybuilders. Over the years, my face and physique have been featured on magazine covers, numerous popular editorials and several television commercials. I have worked in the health club industry in both Seattle and Los Angeles, and also as a personal trainer for successful Seattle clients.
Education: BA in Social Sciences and a Formal Minor in Business Administration from Washington State University. I have certifications in food psychology, wellness, and life strategies from The Spencer Institute, NESTA, and the International Sports Science Association.
I own and operate PRO.Fit by Renee Haxby in the Pacific Northwest area.
My business motto is “Because I’ve Gone Through it, I’ll Help You Get Through it!”
Image Courtesy: News One
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Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only. The author, Drew Canole, and the associated www.fitlife.tv are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury.
Drew Canole is a rockstar in the world of fitness, nutrition and mindset, with a huge heart for others and doing his part to transform the world, one person at a time.
As the founder and CEO of Fitlife.TV, he is committed to sharing educational, inspirational and entertaining videos and articles about health, fitness, healing and longevity. He is also a best selling author and the founder of Organifi, an organic, incredibly delicious greens powder, chock-full of superfoods to make juicing easy no matter your busy schedule.
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