Currently, two-thirds of American adults are overweight and one-third obese, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means that 58 million are overweight, 40 million obese, 3 million morbidly obese, and all are at serious risk for virtually all chronic disease.
Why is everyone getting so fat?
There are several identifying factors behind the recent surge of obesity, but one of the major contributors is toxic food choices. Diet-induced diseases, including obesity, account for the largest burden of chronic illnesses and health problems worldwide. The current Western diet, characterized by foods that are highly processed, deficient in nutrient quality, and high in energy density, has Americans fatter and sicker than ever before. More Americans each day are forsaking healthy home-cooked meals, and are gorging on calorie-rich, nutrient-poor snacks, sodas and sweets when the dinner bell rings. In fact, 90% of the money Americans spend on foods goes toward processed foods.
Why are processed foods so toxic?
Very simply, your body is unable to express optimal health when it is fed unnatural food. Your body knows exactly what to do with food that grows from the ground and is found in nature, but it becomes confused when faced with mechanically altered foods.
The modern convenience foods of today – sugar and white flour products with hydrogenated vegetable oils – are key factors in the alarming rate of chronic degenerative diseases, learning disabilities, and dental disease. These denatured, processed foods do not provide sufficient nutrients to allow anyone’s body, especially children’s, to reach full potential of health, nor the proper functioning of the immune, nervous, skeletal, digestive, and reproductive systems.
The heart of the problem: Sugar. Refined sugars, or simple carbohydrates, provide no nutritional value to your body other than to provide calories. When we consume processed carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar, it is absorbed rapidly into our systems and needs relatively no digestion time. Our blood and cells get flooded with sugar/insulin, and the result is a physical disaster.
Many researchers believe refined or processed, high glucose foods are the major dietary cause of all degenerative disease. The sugar surge depletes, replaces and uses up important vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. It quadruples adrenaline output, inhibits immune functioning, lowers metabolism, raises cholesterol, and increases triglycerides. The glucose that is produced from refined foods gets stored as fat. The conversion process not only causes fatty deposits on your body, but also in your cells, on your arteries, and on your heart. Fat is even deposited in your liver, kidneys and other organs. The constant bombardment of blood sugar raises your risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, premature aging, and cancer.
According to the USDA, people consuming 2,000 calories a day should eat no more than about 10 teaspoons of added sugar. USDA surveys show that the average American is consuming about 20 teaspoons of sugar per day.
What are some characteristics of non-toxic foods?
• Been around for thousands of years and eaten by your ancestors
• Grown from the ground or tree
• Animals that graze freely
• Variable quality
• Spoils quickly
• Requires preparation
• Vibrant colors, rich textures
• Authentically flavorful
• Strong connection to land and culture
What are some characteristics of toxic foods?
• Produced, manufactured, and likely only been around for a short period of time
• Made in a laboratory or factory
• Animals that are raised in captivity and fed unnaturally
• Always the same
• Keeps forever (ever seen a Twinkie go bad?)
• Ready for instant consumption
• Dull, bland
• Artificially flavorful
• No connection to land or culture
Here are a couple more suggestions:
• If it didn’t exist when hunter-gatherers were around, it’s probably not food
• If it’s wrapped in layers of plastic, cardboard and foil, it’s probably not food
• If it requires heavy advertising to sell it, it’s probably not food
• If it has a label, it’s probably food you should consider carefully before eating
Be sure to check out the The Top 10 Never Eat Foods list.
Remember, addition is the first step toward making lasting change. So find some foods that fit the non-toxic criteria, and give your body what it needs to be healthy, age gracefully, and feel great.