In the news this week three reports caught my eye. The first one is about an all-out campaign by the Coca-Cola company to protect their diet soda empire. The second report is about how the government is taking more interest in the 4-billion dollar gluten-free industry and finally a new report this week gives us even more reason to get to and live at a healthy weight rather than living obese–obesity kills more people than was previously thought–three times more.
Coca-Cola Defends Diet Coke
Diet Coke plans to defend its use of artificial sweeteners in a series of new print ads, as part of an effort to reassure consumers about the safety of its products amid sagging sales.
Diet Coke sales are down 3% compared to last year. Diet Pepsi sales are down 6%.
I believe what’s occurring is consumers are becoming more and more educated about the perils of chemical additives. The addition of chemical additives (i.e., antibiotics, steroids, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers) begins even before a seed is planted or the calf (any animal we eat) is born. As the plant grows and the calf matures farmers use additional chemical additives to speed growth and keep the plant or animal alive until maturity. After the plants are harvested and the animals are processed food manufacturers add more chemical additives (i.e., artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, sweeteners etc.). By the time many of our foods arrive on traditional grocer shelves they are a Frankenfood–a real chemical slurry. Awareness of the chemical-additive dangers is only just now being revealed and consumers are paying more and more attention.
In the case of Diet Coke the chemical additive drawing attention, and which they are defending, is the artificial sweetener Aspartame. Aspartame is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It’s been researched for decades. Some studies indicate it’s safe. Other studies indicate it causes cancer, neurological disorders and hijacks the brain disturbing natural hunger and fullness signals.
I think the bottom line here is consumers are moving toward natural and organic and they are paying more attention to what they are putting in their bodies. From starch-collared ivy-league scientists to Internet fear mongers the subject of aspartame has been discussed to death. The consumer is confused about aspartame, doesn’t know who to trust for sure, and rightfully so. So instead of waiting 10 years for MORE research to come forward confirming that we’ve been lied to for decades by the producers of aspartame and manufacturers of aspartame-containing products we’re simply voting against aspartame with our pocketbooks. I think that’s awesome!
Continue to vote with your pocketbooks. It’s making a difference. Skip all soda of all kinds and drink more water.
Gluten-Free Foods Being Scrutinized More
According to the Mayo Clinic …
Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
If you have celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response in your small intestine. Over time, this reaction produces inflammation that damages the small intestine’s lining and prevents absorption of some nutrients (malabsorption).
The intestinal damage can cause weight loss, bloating and sometimes diarrhea. Eventually, your brain, nervous system, bones, liver and other organs can be deprived of vital nourishment.
In children, malabsorption can affect growth and development. The intestinal irritation can cause stomach pain, especially after eating.
There’s no cure for celiac disease — but following a strict gluten-free diet can help manage symptoms and promote intestinal healing.
Current evidence indicates about 1% of the population suffers from true celiac disease. However, food producers have globbed onto the growing trend of consumers moving away from wheat- and grain-based products as a whole. In addition, once again, there is likely some innate wisdom among we consumers who believe we don’t have to be full-blown celiacs to benefit from abstaining from gluten-based foods. To assume one can not benefit at all from eating gluten-free if one is not a celiac is like saying you can’t benefit at all from eating an orange if you don’t have scurvy (a Vitamin C deficiency).
You may not be a celiac but you may not tolerate gluten so you may do well to avoid it anyway. You may not have scurvy but you can benefit from eating oranges so eat them anyway.
In this news report you can see in the video the U.S. government has taken notice of the $4-billion dollar and growing gluten-free industry. After more than a six-year delay, the Food and Drug Administration has set a new standard for labels that will make shopping easier for consumers on gluten-restricted diets. Until now, the term “gluten free” had not been regulated, and manufacturers made their own decisions about what it means.
I’m not a fan of gluten-free packaged products. If you’re a celiac I’m a fan of you not eating something that will cause you pain or even death. But I’m not a fan of anyone eating a lot of gluten-free packaged products thinking they are making great strides toward better health and/or a slimmer waistline. And again I come back to chemical additives.
At some point the conversation is going to turn from calories, carbs, proteins, fats and gluten to ALL CHEMICAL ADDITIVES.
You may think you have an intolerance to gluten and so you move to packaged gluten-free products. The problem is the packaged gluten-free products are oftentimes still LOADED with harmful, chemical additives. Even the original wheat-based food you were trying to avoid were wrapped in chemical garbage. So was it the wheat to begin with? Or was it the artificial colors, preservatives, flavors and sweeteners or another chemical not mentioned? It’s so hard to say. It’s all Frankenfood. It kind of looks like real food but it’s not and it certainly doesn’t function like real food in our bodies.
We’re Focused on the Wrong Things
A funny scene from the movie “The Jerk” with Steve Martin really sums up nicely how I see our so-called media scientists. In this scene Martin, not real bright, thinks that a sniper hates the oil cans he’s standing in front of at the gas station where he works. In the scene Martin exclaims “He hates these cans!” In reality? The sniper wanted HIM dead – not the cans.
While the people who routinely get their faces in front of television cameras, get their articles published in all print media, get the book deal, and have their voices heard over airwaves keep talking about the overconsumption of calories, sugar, salt and fat they are no different than Steve Martin in the movie. It’s not the overconsumption of calories, sugar, salt and fat per se as much as it’s the total chemical-additive load from all sources. Beginning with the planting of a seed or the conception of an animal to the pretty, glitzy, enticing product on a store shelf our food supply is overloaded with chemical additives.
IT’S THE ADDITIVES DUMMY! NOT JUST CALORIES, SUGAR, SALT AND FAT.
Let me be clear. Sure we over consume calories. Sure we eat too much sugar. Sure we eat too much of the wrong fat. Sure we consume too much sodium. But the conversation has GOT to move beyond these elements and toward the bigger picture. Our health, our weight and all things good and bad that happen within our bodies are predicated not solely on the calorie, sugar, salt and fat loads but instead on the totality of the chemical load.
So you eat wheat-based products and you feel like garbage every time you do. Are you sensitive to the gluten in the wheat or are you sensitive to all the other chemical additives your wheat-based product comes wrapped in? If all you do is drop the wheat by going gluten free but you don’t drop the chemical additives you can feel just as bad and continue to feed the appetite of obesity just as voraciously.
It’s NOT just the gluten. It’s NOT just the calorie overload. It’s NOT just the sugar. It’s NOT just the wrong fats. It’s NOT just the salt. It’s all of that plus the totality of the load of chemicals you ingest from every food and drink.
A packaged food loaded with chemical additives is still a garbage, Frankenfood regardless of what health claim the food-producer makes or what niche they are trying to satisfy. If you want to do yourself the best good you’ll eat real food:
What is real food?
- Single-ingredient foods (including animals) grown as natural and healthful as we know how
- Grandmother multiples (foods that contain multiple ingredients but that you would have found in your Grandmother’s kitchen)
Obesity Killing More People Than We Thought
Every now and then a report will surface that taunts the misinformed obese into believing it’s really just not that unhealthy to live obese. As tantalizing as that is to over-sitting, over-lying, food users, abusers and addicts the overwhelming evidence indicates obesity to be a disease promoter, a life-shortener and a killer.
And ya I totally GET and BELIEVE that there are obese people who are healthier than some of their skinny counterparts. Lifestyle choices are monumental in determining overall health. There is no single-bullet fix for creating wellness (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual). It truly takes a village (beyond diet and exercise). But by and large obesity isn’t typical among those who follow otherwise healthy lifestyles so I’d rather focus on the 90 percent than the exceptional 10 percent who are living super wellness but who just barely fall in the obese category.
In a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health titled “The Importance of Age and Cohort Factors in Population Estimates,” researchers found that obesity is a lot more deadly than previously thought. Across recent decades, obesity accounted for 18 percent of deaths among Black and White Americans between the ages of 40 and 85, according to scientists. This finding challenges the prevailing wisdom among scientists, which puts that portion at around 5%.
By using a new, more rigorous approach, the new research shows that obesity is far more consequential than previously recognized, that the impact of the epidemic is only beginning to be felt, and that some population groups are affected much more powerfully than others.