Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Read the Ingredients!

Found this interesting: The 20 Worst Non-Healthy "Health" Foods.

Buyers, beware!

While I'm not so worried about the saturated fat content (fat is good for you!), the sugar, massive calories, fake fat (trans fat) and excessive unsaturated fat should make us all recoil in horror-- unless, you're knowingly indulging for an ultra-rare treat. :) Which are always nice. (there's a reason weddings lasted 7 days in Biblical times. There are times when we're supposed to be eating (and drinking) lots and enjoying it! Thanking GOD for it!)

** For those confused about why I mention saturated fat as not inherently evil, read here, here, or here.


Jacquita Banana said...

Thanks for this eye-opening link! I knew about some of those sugary, fatty, foods, but I didn't realize that some of the others were that bad (I LOVE Arnold Health Nut bread...sad times).

As for fat, it's the unsaturated fat that's good for you, not the saturated. Polyunsaturated fat is the best, although monounsaturated fat isn't bad in moderation. Saturated fat, and as you said, fake yucky trans fats are the worst.

Just thought I'd share my thoughts while sitting in my Nutrition class. =)

Wakenda said...

You may want to revisit the'fats' analysis in this post. Saturated fats are the 'bad' fats and are higher in cholesterol. Unsaturated fats are separated into monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats with the latter being the healthiest. The 'saturation' rating has to due with the chemical bonds building the fats, which is why the names seem counter intuitive to nutritional values. Hope that helps.

Eowyn's Heir said...

You know, Jacqui & Kendi, I used to agree 100% with you. After reading more research and spending a lot of time looking into stuff, I now stand by my original posting. Saturated fats such as those found in natural coconut oil, palm oil, lamb & other red meats, and in eggs, are HIGHLY nutritious, and do not translate into too-high-fat content in human blood. Looking at traditional cultures whose diets are HIGH In these, yet who have no or very low instances of heart disease, shows that what we are always told, that intake of fat= too much fat in arteries, isn't true. There's a lot more to it. Think of it this way-- God's way is always best. If you're eating whole foods, and you're getting nutritional fats in them, why switch to a man-tweaked "healthier" version?
I know- it's totally different from what we're fed today by popular medicine and even the media. But it's stuff that kept traditional societies healthy and free from lots of diseases... read up at the Weston A. Price Foundation, or in Jordan Rubin's books, for more info.

Eowyn's Heir said...

of course it's a complex issue-- nobody would say that it's healthy to sit around eating nothing but tallow and lard, and watch TV. Everything must be done with balance. Traditional societies DIDN'T have refined grains or sugars, they soaked or sprouted all their grains & nuts, they marinated their meat and ate some of it raw, and they ate fruits & veggies in season. Fermentation was a huge part of how they preserved food- pickling, cheeses, yogurt/kefir, wines, even fruits & meats. Hispanic societies had an advantage over American southerners as far as their corn, as they soaked their cornmeal in lime water. This kept them from pellagra... Anyway, I could go on, and I totally bucked against it the first time I heard this, but after reading and researching and analyzing based on what the evidence says and what I know of the human body, it's pretty convincing. Check it out!

Eowyn's Heir said...

one more thing- right around the time when Americans moved away from eating real fats (butter, red meat), originally b/c of the wars, but later because of popular nutrition (margarine, etc.), was when heart disease in this nation started going UP!! At first this couldn't be attributed to a more sedentary lifestyle, because Americans were still by and large active and keeping their own gardens. Now, that CERTAINLY makes it worse. But despite low-fat everything, heart disease still ranks as one of our top killers for both men and women. Something to think about.

Wakenda said...

Just for the record. The article you posted was talking about processed foods and the possible health risks they contained. In that vain, saturated fats are the less healthy. Natural fats will almost always be healthier for the body than processed fats, I am not arguing that position; ut rather that processed saturated fats are less healthy than processed unsaturated fats. As for the sources you cited, you may want to look into some of their research for yourself. Growing up in an agricultural area specializing in dairy I well understand the benefits and the negatives of "Raw Milk" to give one example of how theses sources may not be providing the whole story. Also, you may want to consider that according to the world health organization, cardiovascular diseases are also on the rise in countries who's diets rely primarily on the sources you indidcated.

Jacquita Banana said...

Being thoroughly confused, I shared this info with my Biochem/Nutrition professor. This is what he had to say:

"I took only a quick look myself, and given I haven't read it all carefully, I would comment the following way:

1. I thought this statement a bit odd:

The following new-fangled fats can cause cancer, heart disease, immune system dysfunction, sterility, learning disabilities, growth problems and osteoporosis:

All hydrogenated oils
Soy, corn and safflower oils
Cottonseed oil
Canola oil
All fats heated to very high temperatures in processing and frying

The only thing 'new fangled' is hydrogenation - people have been eating all the others, and cooking stuff as well, for thousands of years. Even canola oil is used in europe, as we talked about in class, as far as I can tell, the 'toxic' effects have been eliminated by breeding, and even that particular fat was not super toxic, apparently.

2. In any case, it's interesting, I'll have to read through some of those papers (later!), but my first comment is = most of them citing no correlation between animal fat and atherosclerosis are all old, from the 60s-70s. That doesn't invalidate them, but I think the correlations may well have changed, as those probably do not take into account the massive obesity epidemic. My guess is that what will finally come out is that too much of ANYTHING is bad, but in particular, it is probably true when people are taking in too many calories, and living more sedentary lifestyles, that animal fats are on average worse then plant fats.

in terms of cholesterol, unless you have a specific genetic defect, I think your liver makes enough, and the problem again is that people eat way too much, and that just exacerbates excess cholesterol. The serum levels I think are probably not yet written in stone, but again, prudence would dictate that in a world of overeating, the lower the better, since the low value is still probably well above what we all evolved with through millenia of starvation conditions."

Eowyn's Heir said...

Kendi- good point about the sources of saturated fat.

Jacqui- way to go looking into it and even getting your professor dialoguing on it! I hope it's beneficial for both of you, and even your whole class!

Eowyn's Heir said...

oh, and as far as I know, "canola" oil is a modified version of rapeseed oil. Its manufacturers knew that rapeseed oil wouldn't sell too well in the US, so they marketed it here under its acronym CANadian Oil Low Acid, which is how it was tweaked to be different from regular rapeseed oil. That may be whence the "newfangled" title...

Jacquita Banana said...

You are 100% right about Canola oil. It was tweaked in part because of the name, in part because pure rapeseed oil is actually somewhat toxic. The "modified" version is far less toxic and is considered among the healthiest oils on the market. Nonetheless, when you can go for something natural, it's almost always better to do so--I think we can all agree on that.