Could, or would you take the pledge to go 10 days without any processed foods. Perhaps you're already doing it?
I've joined Fit's Give It Up Challenge and I've said sayonara to sugar and processed foods for two weeks. I grocery shopped the day I set the goal so my meals have been extra fresh and delicious, and so far it has been a painless exercise. My first unexpected temptation came in the form of a salty bag of chips that came with my deli sandwich yesterday. They would have been a delightful compliment to a veggie sammie, but knowing they are the classic processed food trap, I left them in the office kitchen for someone else to snack on. Halfway through week one and going strong!
Way to go, Angelica! Don't just read about it, join the challenge. It's a chance to turn over a new leaf as the seasons change. Give up a vice or a bad habit for two weeks and see how your life improves. Tell us what you're giving up in the Get Fit For 2010 community group.
Kraft, the largest food maker in the US, has announced plans to cut sodium levels in its North American products by 10 percent over the next two years. The move, which will affect over 1,000 products, will eliminate more than 10 million pounds of salt from some of the country's most recognizable foods, like Oscar Mayer Bologna, Velveeta, and Easy Mac. Kraft's attempt to reach health-conscious consumers follows a plea that First Lady Michelle Obama gave Tuesday to corporate food giants, urging them to produce more healthful food.
It's hot on the heels of other food makers, like Campbell's Soup, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Dr Pepper, that have pledged to slash sugar and salt. This is a timely move as Americans grow increasingly concerned about sugar and salt intake. Yet, I can't help but think about how food titans should've done this many years earlier, and by much more than 10 percent. Are you worried about your sugar and salt intake?
Source: Flickr User Clean Wal-Mart
The Institute of Medicine says just 1,500 mg of sodium a day, a little less for older adults, is enough to regulate the body's fluid balance. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of salt is 2,300 mg, yet the average American consumes between 3,300 and 4,000 mg of sodium a day. So some say it's time for the government to get involved with what we're consuming.
Public health specialists are pressuring the Food and Drug Administration to require food makers to cut the sodium, calling such government intervention, "Crucial for fighting heart disease." What's more? The American Medical Association says cutting half the sodium in processed and restaurant foods within 10 years could wind up saving 150,000 lives annually.
This whole ordeal sort of reminds me of the whole trans fat drama and whether or not it was OK for the government to tell food makers to cut the trans fat — and so the saga continues, just with another heart stopping vice.
If you're the kind of person who likes to snack on a Twinkie every now and again, I'm sorry to say you may want to rethink that snack. Steve Ettlinger, the author of Twinkie, Deconstructed states that there are 39 ingredients in a Twinkie, and all but one are processed. The list, which includes cellulose gum, calcium sulfate and polysorbate 60 are used in sheetrock, shampoo, laundry detergent and even rocket fuel.
It took Ettlinger over five years to track down the source of every ingredient found in a Twinkie. Along the way he discovered that the vitamins, artificial flavors and colorings come from petroleum and sorbic acid is made from natural gas.
When asked about the findings, the folks at Hostess said:
"Deconstructing the Twinkie is like trying to deconstruct the universe. We think the millions of people would agree that Twinkies just taste great."
Oh and one other thing that blew my mind — although really I should've realized this — the creamy middle? According to Ettlinger, that's mostly Crisco shortening.
And while all of this sounds terrible, I'd like to add that these ingredients aren't just found in Twinkies. Many other processed foods contain the same ingredients. Makes you think twice about what you eat, no?
Thanks to GiggleSugar for sending this info on to me!
We all know salt enhances the flavor of food, but too much sodium... well that is a different story all together. If you excessively salt your food, please read this post to learn some of the danger of sodium.
Sodium in small amounts is definitely essential since it:
- Helps maintain the right balance of fluids in your body
- Helps transmit nerve impulses
- Influences the contraction and relaxation of muscles
Your kidneys help to regulate the sodium in your body. If levels are too low, your kidneys conserve sodium, and if levels are high, the sodium gets excreted in your urine. However, when your kidneys can't keep up with your sodium intake, the extra sodium starts to build up in your blood. Since sodium holds water, your blood volume increases, making it harder for your heart to move blood through your blood vessels. This in turn increases pressure in your arteries (high blood pressure), which can cause heart failure. That's an attention getter isn't it?
Do you know how much sodium is too much? To find out read more
geeksugar pointed me to a very interesting article that I had to share with all of you. I've never been a fan of processed foods, I have an occasional Cheez-it or Oreo every few months, but in general I avoid those aisles at the supermarkets. Thank goodness, because the article discussed a few fun facts about Twinkies.
- Ingredients include boiled down human urine and limestone.
- Both Twinkie cream and rocket fuel derive their slippery sheen from a fun substance called cotton celluse.
- Despite urban legend after a nuclear war Twinkies will last only 24 days.
I guess I didn't need to know these facts to not eat these "desserts," I knew it all along. Perhaps after reading this you will never again eat a Twinkie or other processed desserts, but up until this moment, what processed desserts did you eat?
Source: Twinkie Deconstructed
Organic seems to be the way to go these days. Problem is, it's expensive. So what do we really need to buy that is organic?
Recently there was a great article in the Wall Street Journal detailing when it is a good idea to buy organic and when it is a good idea to save your money.
- Apples, peaches, bell peppers, strawberries, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce, potatoes and carrots
- Milk and dairy products
- Meat and poultry
- Baby food
- Foods you eat a lot of
Not Worth it:
- Broccoli, bananas, frozen sweet peas, frozen corn, asparagus, avocados, onions
- Some processed foods such as bread, chips, pasta, oils
- Foods you eat only occasionally