Friday, September 19, 2014

Sweet Truth

I have always been pretty health conscious and have been pretty careful about my diet.  I gave up gluten over 2 years ago, I don’t eat fast food/junk food, and I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.  Not bad for an everyday American.  My mother wanted to lose a little weight.  As many of you know, it is hard to be motivated to stick to a diet, so I decided to do it with her to keep her on track. 

I am the one who researched which diet plan we should start.  I have friends who have had success with everything from low carb to liquid diets, but none seemed  to last long term.  So, I turned to my health-guru friend with the long term perfect body for help.  She suggested the “Whole30” diet….no gimmicks, no food to “buy”, just clean eating for 30 days.  I have to say, when I saw the “don’t eat list,” I almost thought about having her sanity checked. No gluten, no corn, no rice, no beans, no peanuts, no dairy (NO DAIRY???? Black  coffee?????ugggg!!!!) No sugar, no sugar substitute.  Basically, I could eat protein, veggies, eggs, nuts and fruit. Ok, I thought, a 30 day detox off of sugar, I can do it…game on.

First of all, I was shocked at how many products have added sugar. Bacon, smoked salmon, pasta sauce, almond butter…sugar was hiding everywhere!  Before this diet, I was drinking cappuccino like an addict, and adding sugar to it.  How much sugar was I actually eating? The answer is….more than I ever suspected.

Over the summer a documentary was released called “Fed Up.”  It’s sort of like “Black Fish” for food and the food industry.  As a conservative, I do believe Americans have the right to make choices, but this got me to question everything.  How can Americans make choices about food when they aren’t getting all of the facts.  Americans have gotten misinformation about how sugar processes into fat when consumed.   Americans have been lied to.  As the movie points out, they have been told that 160 calories of Coke is the same as 160 calories of almonds.  We now know this isn’t true, the body processes the almonds completely differently from the soda. The soda spikes your insulin levels at such a high rate that the response from the body is to turn it into fat.  The movie talks about this, and the “Whole30” book talks about this too.

Not only have Americans not gotten the real story on sugar, the food industry has contributed to the confusion by promoting items loaded with sugar as “healthy.” Americans are reading ads on the front of packages, thinking they are buying healthy food for their family and they are doing the opposite.  As the movie points out, if there are a bunch of ingredients on the package that you don’t understand, you probably shouldn’t be eating them.

I don’t think that the government should impose limits on soda, or make people count their French fries, but I do think that companies should be forced to come clean with the public, just like big tobacco was forced to do.  Worst than tobacco which was sold to adults, the food industry directly targets kids, and are partnering with our schools. The numbers are staggering.  In the 80’s “Fed Up” points out that there were no kids with type 2 diabetes, today there are over 57,000 kids diagnosed.  This is a public health crisis, and our kids are counting on us getting full disclosure on our food.

I finish my “Whole30” in 2 days and I have to say, I feel great.  I have definitely lost weight, but more than that, I feel fantastic.  I have learned that I can drink my coffee black and enjoy it, eat salad without cheese, and guacamole can make great salad dressing. I really encourage all of you to watch the documentary “Fed Up” and even to read the book the “Whole30.”  If nothing else, your eyes will be opened to what the food industry is hiding….loads of sugar.


Link to the Fed Up trailer and info:


Link to Whole30:


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