The Great Weight Gain Addiction Game, Part 5

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
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    Read Part 1

     

    Part 4 of the Great Weight Addiction Game took a look at a few things that the food industry would prefer we not know. Part 5 of the series will look at a few more.


    The Food Industries the "Less Said the Better" Greatest Hits


    Processed foods are simply foods that have been altered from their original state using methods such as canning, freezing, refrigeration, dehydration and aseptic processing.


    Not all processed food is bad for you. For instance, minimally-processed frozen vegetables will preserve most vitamins and minerals. But those processed foods made with trans-fats, saturated fats, or large amounts of sodium and sugar are unhealthy. Among these are snack foods such as chips and candies, packaged cakes and cookies, sugary breakfast cereals, and processed meats.  

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    Unfortunately for our health, unprocessed foods like fresh fruit and vegetables do not translate into a tidal wave of cash flow. On the other hand, government-subsidized commodity crops like corn, wheat, and soybeans that make their way into fast foods, snack foods, and beverages do indeed produce the desired tsunami of dollars that the food industry wants. These high-profit products are usually high in calories and low in nutritional value. 


    Foods that are less processed are generally more filling than foods that are highly processed. The fibers and nutrients contained in fresh apples are terminated after they are processed into applesauce. The number of calories goes up and up once sugar and other sweeteners are added but the applesauce does not become more filling.


    Processing also removes fiber and nutrients from other items such as apple juice and highly refined white bread.


    Even those foods that are advertised as being healthier are not much better than the foods they replace. For instance, while some of the more significant beverage manufacturers agreed to remove sugary sodas from school vending machines their lobbying efforts convinced lawmakers to allow many types of sports drinks and vitamin waters to remain filled with sugar and calories.


    Labeling


    It is often suggested that consumers read the labels on those products that they mean to purchase. While terms like “contains no trans fats” are reassuring, the product can still be unhealthy if it is filled with salt, sugar or saturated fat and fiber and nutrients are nowhere to be found. Although the no trans fat assertion is accurate, the bad news has been snuck in through the back door.

     

    Deceptive labeling efforts go so far as to picture oranges and pineapples on labels to encourage the belief that the product is made from fresh fruit. The truth of the matter is that main ingredients can be corn syrup and sugar. Although efforts are being made to establish guidelines for what is seen or read on the front of labels, regulations are yet to be established.  


    Part 6 of the Great Weight Gain Addiction Game will continue to focus on those bits of information that the food industry would rather have left unsaid.   

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    References:
    About.com
    US News 

Published On: November 17, 2013