Time to read: 7 minutes
Everything in the store is “low sodium” or “no transfats” or “fat free” or “low sugar “or “lite”… yet we’re all getting heavier. Fact. Child obesity rates have more than tripled since 1980. Fact. Constipation in children is a growing problem. Fact. You can blame evil marketers and their manipulative ways or you can join me in DOING something about these trends. Let’s “call bull” on food that isn’t food. Ok — if you read the following weight loss tips for kids and constipation tips you’ll be more successful at raising healthier children. I promise. Stand with me and say, “hey, that yogurt and bread isn’t yogurt OR bread!” Let’s quickly take a quick look at why you should — and HOW you can — help treat child obesity and constipation in children — by doing what you’ve always wanted to do. Dump fake “food” and say yes to healthier kids.
To keep it simple, I’m listing off my top “good foods gone bad.” We’ll discuss how to avoid them without going totally insane. Ready? Go!
Open your fridge…
Open your fridge. See that cheese that isn’t cheese? You know, the stuff that our government reluctantly insists marketers call “cheese food.” Toss it! And while you’re at it take a closer look at other faux foods like most yogurts that aren’t yogurts, pizzas that aren’t pizzas, canned soups that aren’t soups, sliced breads that we all know aren’t bread and cereals that we’ve always known aren’t cereal.
Ok — I promised you that this wouldn’t make you insane and by now you might be wondering, “is she one of those organic ‘food Nazi’s?’” I’m not asking you to “go organic.” I’m asking you to act on what you KNOW is true.
When we indulge on foods that we willingly believe are good and healthy for us — when deep down in our hearts we know otherwise — we’re lying to ourselves.
As Dr. Phil likes to say, “and how’s that working for you?” (lying to yourself) For most of us, the results are ugly.
Solve the health care crisis: Stop eating junk
According to a new report adult obesity is also increasing in 23 states. Here’s the worst part: is not decreasing ANYWHERE. Not a single state in the past year, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009, a report by the Trust for America’s Health. The percentage of overweight children is at or above 30 percent in 30 states.
The report warns that half of America will be dangerously obese by next year. Literally. We are facing national crisis if we continuing to act on ignorance — or look the other way. If you’re looking for an answer to the national health care crisis it’s right here. We are what we eat. So what do we eat?
Food that isn’t Food
There are a lot of causes of obesity — many are psychological. Today, I’m aiming my gun at food itself. Fish, cereal, yogurt and other basic foods can be very healthy — until they’re corrupted by mass manufacturing.
The more food is processed, the less nutritious (unhealthier) it becomes.
The name sounds patently silly doesn’t it? Ever think about that? Fish is considered a healthy food — and it is. Mass produced fish sticks are usually made of pollock… rather healthy. The “stick” part seems to be the remaining TWENTY ingredients listed on the box which typically aren’t healthy.
Solution: Fish is healthy food when the ingredients list contain mostly one ingredient: FISH
Where I grew up people made their own yogurt: essentially milk fermented with certain bacteria. Done! This is high in protein, calcium and vitamins. We humans do not have the the necessary enzymes to digest the protein in milk — and yogurt’s properties make it a better choice.
Next time you find yourself in the diary section browsing packages (because that’s how most of us buy our bacteria+milk) get a grip! What’s sold in mainstream American supermarkets under the name “yogurt” is not yogurt — by definition. It’s a dairy dessert loaded with (you’ve convinced yourself it’s ‘complimented by’) high fructose corn syrup (or sugar if you’re real lucky!) and processed fruit. It’s labeled as a healthy food when, in fact, it’s damn un-healthy and in many cases dangerous.
Not to mention the price of the stuff! We’re paying a premium on fake “healthy food.” You’re welcome!
Solution: Invest in an in-expensive yogurt maker. They exist! It takes 5 minutes to bring the milk to a boil, mix it with yogurt starter and leave it it overnight at 90 degree temperature. You are both in control of what’s in the yogurt and saving money.
Soup is remarkably healthy, inexpensive and easy to make. A lunch of hearty homemade soup and bread, cooked in bulk and frozen in individual containers for the week, will cost less than a dollar a day. Nearly all canned soups, on the other hand, are un-nutritious concoctions of salt, fat, artificial additives, preservatives, water and maybe part of some vegetables (with their color so fadeed that they do not look like veggies). One serving typically contains 1,000 milligrams of sodium — about half your daily allowance. Makes sense right?!?!
Solution: Invest 15 minutes of your time and make your own home made, fresh soup and be in control of all the flavors — and save money.
The most common form of bread in America is the mass-produced white, soft doughy bread in plastic bags with a shelf life of weeks. Nutritionists agree it is often a major contributor to obesity and diabetes.
True bread is flour and water with a pinch of salt and yeast. Yes, you need to chew it — I’m sorry. Some people even like it that way!
Most packaged white bread contains flour and our good friend sugar (or high froctose corn syrup) — and plenty of it. Oh, and often a dozen other ingredients. The processing creates a food product that, once eaten, is quickly converted to blood sugar, called glucose. This causes the pancreas to work overtime and ultimately destroys the organ. Even mass-produced whole wheat breads are unhealthy because they are made palatable by a rather unholy trinity of sugar, salt and softening additives. Palatable to those of us who are trained to only eat cake — oops… I mean, processed white bread!
Solution: Buy bread. Real bread. The ingredients list contains the following: Wheat flower, salt, yeast, oil and water (any seeds are fine too).
The word “cereal” has been hijacked! Yes, once again by food producers who make tiny, crunchy breakfast cakes out of true cereal with the addition of sugar, corn syrup, salt, food dyes and preservatives. Because what good is cereal if it goes bad in a few months right? We apparently need more than a year to eat cereal??!!
Hey… this is probably why this “cereal” is so expensive too. They contain all these ingredients that shouldn’t be there. Real cereals — like wheat, barley, rice and oats, to name a few – are and have always been the most important food of the human race.
Solution: Real cereal is far healthier and far cheaper. If you want the healthy benefits of a cereal buy the real stuff. Just read the label. Get ready to bypass plenty of boxes on the shelf at the store!
I’m sad that most Americans have never eaten pizza and confuse it for the junk food advertised on television and in the frozen section. In Italy there are laws defining pizza — which set allowances on the type of flour, tomato, mozzarella, olive oil, basil and oregano. Kinda like Champagne. You’d not buy fake Champagne would you?
Pizza is inherently nutritious and filling. Street corner pizza shops in Philadelphia, New York and other large cities kept close to the original idea of simple, fresh ingredients. Then came the pizza chains which put most local shops out of business. Fresh ingredients were replaced with preservative-laden, cheap and fatty ingredients that could be mass-produced, frozen and shipped across the country. Commercial pizza is now a high-calorie, high-fat, high-sodium, low-nutrient food.
So next time when you thing of a nutrition breakfast, lunch or dinner for your child spend 30 min. to prepare real food. And don’t look at those 30 minutes like wasted time because it’s not. You are investing time to serve your child and your family nutritional needs. Pay with your time and save big time on your doctor’s bill.
Remember — the healthiest foods have no list of ingredients. They are what they are. Got questions? Think I’m a crazy person? Get in touch with me.