Bad Foods in the North American Diet

Bad Foods in the North American Diet

With the mass production of food to feed an ever-growing population, consumers, now more then ever, need to be aware of what to look for in their ingredients, both to eat and avoid. The following are the key players in the hall of shame food list. Some of these foods that have virtually no nutritional value, but there are a few on the list, scary as it may be, that aren’t even real food.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Fructose is a sugar found naturally in such foods as honey and fruit. High fructose corn syrup, on the other hand, is an extremely concentrated form of fructose that can’t be found naturally. It was created by the Corn Refiners Association of America to replace sugar in many mainstream foods as a cheaper and sweeter alternative. What is really so bad about eating a little extra sugar? HFCS doesn’t produce insulin and since the body can’t break it down, it converts readily into fat. HFCS also inhibits a chemical called peptin, one of its functions being that it tells the brain when to stop eating. This can lead to overeating resulting in weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Mass Produced Meats and Dairy

It makes sense that if a chemical or toxin enters a food chain, the concentration levels will be higher the further up the chain you go. Many people are aware of high levels of mercury that are plaguing fish stocks. What may appear to be low levels in the bottom fish species equate to toxic mercury levels for species at the top of the chain, such as dolphins and whales. This is exactly the effect humans have when consuming meat and dairy. The end product is an accumulation of pesticides, hormones, steroids, and antibiotics, resulting in mad cow disease, bird flu, swine flu, salmonella, E. coli and of course, mercury poisoning.

Simple Carbohydrates

Simple carbs simply have no nutritional value. They consist of white bread, white flour, white rice, white pasta and white sugar. White flour, even white enriched flour, contains virtually no nutritional value because most of the grain’s nutrients are destroyed during the refining process. They enrich the flour by first stripping it of all nutrients and then adding a little bit back to make it seem not so bad. Instead of buying white, opt for whole grains and foods that contain complex carbohydrates such as fruit, brown rice, and legumes.

A person’s health, energy, and often overall happiness have a lot to do with their diet. Eating foods that are nutritious and as fresh as possible is one the simplest ways to not only improve health but the overall quality of life

Categories: Diet, Health, Nutrition