We know that food advertising is often designed to entice us to over spend on something we don't need! To help prevent being duped (and paying the price with your health), here are five deadly food lies and what they really mean:
Lie 1: It's "Natural" therefore good for you
‘Natural’ implies that the food comes directly from nature, is not processed or made from artificial sources. BUT:
- The meaning of ‘natural’ varies by country or region. For example, in the US, there is no legal definition of "natural" on food labels...it can mean whatever the food manufacturer wants it to mean.
- Food labelled as ‘natural’ isn’t always good for you. Animal meat treated with artificial hormones is often labelled ‘natural’, as is meat injected with saline solution (to add flavour and weight). Food containing "natural flavors" such as processed proteins can legally sport the label ‘natural’.
- Another case in point is Aspartame. Although aspartame may technically be called "natural" because it's made from two amino acids, those 2 amino acids are not found anywhere in nature in the same concentration or specific combination as they are in aspartame. Instead it's a lab creation with a growing list of harmful health effects
Lie 2: ‘Sugar-free’ is good for weight loss
When the sugar is taken out, artificial sweeteners, often based on toxic high fructose corn syrup are put in.
Not only are these harmful to your health, but studies have shown that they make you crave carbohydrates and actually make you eat more!
Indeed as mentioned in the blog ‘Food Addiction: Personal Choice or Biological Craving?’ artificial sweetners are neurotoxins which tantalise your taste buds and unbalance dopamine and serotonin levels leading to addictions and severe health consequences.
Lie 3: ‘Low fat’ is good for weight loss
When food manufacturers take fat out of food products, they typically replace it with sugar. Usually it's not even real sugar but poisons like HFCS.
A moderate amount (2-3 tablespoons) of good fat each day is vital to your health (especially your brain and nervous system)...and it can help you lose pounds.
Good fats include olive and coconut oils (preferably extra-virgin, cold pressed), avocado, butter (not margarine), flaxseed oil, fish oil, nuts and grass fed hormone free lean meats and free range (if possible) eggs.
These fats may help you lose flab by turning off your body's hormone messengers that direct fat storage, especially around your midsection. In fact, we have had reports from customers claiming that they have lost weight due to what they believe was an increased intake of our Omega 3 fish oils.
Healthy fats also help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels without lowering HDL (good) levels. Plus, regular moderate consumption of them can help lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancers.
Lie 4: Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are healthy and safe to consume
Nature has a history of "cross-breeding" within species of plants, usually by the wind or insects carrying pollen and spreading it across plants that produce seeds. The result is sometimes a new "improved" species with advantages over traditional ones, both in terms of nutrition and hardiness.
But now scientists are trying to fool Mother Nature by cutting bits of a living organism's DNA and splicing it into a completely unrelated species known as a genetically modified organism.
Firstly, genes are very complex and by altering the genetic code of living organisms, engineers are really manipulating life's processes. The result is new life forms that we know very little about.
Second, genetic engineers aren't just splicing "plant to plant." Chicken genes have been inserted into potatoes and fish genes into strawberries. Bacteria and viruses have been put into cucumbers and tomatoes. Mouse genes have been spliced into tobacco. Chemical pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are spliced into the plants.
Fancy some Weed-B-Gone with your salad?
The multi-billion dollar companies marketing the new crops contend that GMOs are safe, but there have been VERY few tests proving this. If you consume them know that you are a human guinea pig courting serious health consequences.
For the consumer the challenge is that GMOs are not easy to spot. It's not like your grocery store will have a neon sign flashing ‘GMO’! Instead you have to be a careful label reader. The tiny little code stickers you see on produce will tell you all you need to know:
- 4-digit code: Your regular old traditionally grown produce
- 5-digit code: Look at the first number. If it starts with a 9, it's organic and safe. If it starts with an 8, stay away: it's a GMO
Lie 5: Irradiated foods are safe
Irradiation is a process where food is quickly passed under gamma rays. The idea is the energy from the rays kills harmful bacteria, parasites and fungi on the food, making it safer to eat.
But irradiation doesn't destroy ALL the toxins formed from some bacteria and molds. Plus, it kills nutrients in the food, especially the B vitamins, vitamins A, C and E and some unsaturated (good) fats.
There is also a chemical called 2DCB that is formed when certain meats, fruits, eggs and other foods are irradiated. 2DCB has been shown to cause genetic damage when it is fed to rats and in human cell cultures that have been exposed to it.
As with GMOs, the safety of irradiated foods simply has not been thoroughly tested. Many scientists believe that the effects of irradiated foods on humans will not become clear for a number of years.
You can identify irradiated foods by the label. Look for expressions like "treated with ionizing radiation" or "treated with ionizing electrons."
To avoid the food lies, use your common sense, avoid processed foods and buy organic as much as possible. Initially you may think this will be more expensive. But how expensive do you think your medical bills will be when poor nutrition leads to severe illness?