Before the Victoria’s Secret angel, Miranda Kerr, knew she was going to succeed in modeling she studied nutrition in Australia. Kerr has repeatedly made the analogy of white sugar becoming equivalent to “white death.” It sounds a bit on the extreme side, but then why are other health experts (Kimberly Snyder, Kris Carr, Melinda Hemmelgarn—to name a few) quick to agree? Here I will explain the mystery behind the powerful white molecule along with some other gimmicks these food companies think consumers are too stupid to question.
-Sugar is as addictive as crack. I mean, I’ve never actually tried crack but I had to get you to listen up. Sugar activates dopamine—the neurotransmitter associated with feelings of well-being in your brain. This is why your cravings for sugar increase during times of stress and sadness; your brain is craving that quick high. Unfortunately, the feeling of well-being is temporary, so in order to feel it again you will crave and eat more sugar. Hence the craving for a gallon of ice cream when watching your favorite but depressing chick flicks—The Notebook, anyone?
-Unused white sugar is converted straight to fat- These days, sugar is added to almost everything. Our bodies are consuming more today than they ever have in the past, and they don’t know what to do with it all. Sometimes our pancreas gets fed up with our minds not listening to our bodies and diabetes comes along. Our minds crave sugar because sugar is the first source of energy our bodies will use to fuel our bodies. Therefore, our ancient ancestors loved sugar because they needed energy to hunt, to gather, to live. Our lifestyles have evolved to cubicles and sitting at desks. Our bodies no longer need tons of sugar, yet we continually overwhelm our systems with it, so our systems convert the excess to fat.
-Sugar is NOT just sugar- Few things get me mad in this magical world, but the commercial of the people in beautiful orchards with the sun shining down while some actor tells its viewers “sugar is sugar. Your body can’t tell the difference,” in hopes you will consume more high fructose corn syrup gets me going. Our bodies are INCREDIBLY intelligent. In fact, I can’t help but be utterly fascinated during every Biology lecture. When sugar is consumed from foods made by mother earth, such as fruits, mother earth also makes those foods full of fiber. The fiber slows down the process of the sugar getting converted to fat in your body so you have time to utilize it. It also keeps you feeling full. You can consume a whole aisle of cookies. You can’t/wouldn’t want to consume an orchard of apples.
-“Lite” refers to texture of the food particles; “Light” indicates ½ the calories of the original.
-“Natural” has no legal definition- any food company can slap on the word “natural” and all of a sudden people think it’s from the earth and good for you. There is no law monitoring what constitutes as natural and what doesn’t, but when I think natural I tend to think earth-made not man-made. So why should food companies even try to slap on the “natural” label. If all foods aren’t natural, then what the hell are they…?
-“Low-fat” really means twice (sometimes three times) the sugar- it’s a gimmick. Don’t buy into it. Besides, some fats are really good for you—and your beauty (more on that in a different post).
-“Cage free” doesn’t mean a happy—or healthy—chicken- the space is still overly crowded, the chickens are probably still in windowless factories, the chickens are still sitting in feces with little to no room to walk and too large to support their own genetically engineered body weight.
Well, those are the first gimmicks that came to mind. Do your own research, try eating new things, and see which foods make your body feel better. We are creatures of habit. We crave what we’re used to eating. So make a habit of eating food rather than food-like substances, filling your body with tender love and care, not lies and greed, and live your healthy, happy life!
All info was obtained through Carnegie Mellon’s F.A.R.M. presentation by Melinda Hemmelgarn on 10/24/12, Treasure Yourself by Miranda Kerr, hungryforchange.com, Eating Animals by Jonathan Saffron Foer, and Crazy, Sexy Diet by Kris Carr.