Jewish Journal


May 7, 2012

What’s Fake and What’s Real?



We all need food. Not because it tastes good or because it makes us feel good, but because it provides vital nutrients and energy for our bodies. Food has one true purpose: to keep us alive, healthy and functioning; to provide us with the fuel and body rebuilding nutrition we need to avoid illness and death. We believe things should be simple, and being smart means avoiding things that will lead us down that dangerous path.

The first and easiest way to do that is to avoid boxed foods, junk foods, fake foods, or foods that are altered during processing. Junk foods contain very little real food. They’re usually composed of hydrogenated fats, chemicals, preservatives, and white flour. Canned breakfast drinks, sugary cereals, donuts and soda are prime examples. Fake foods such as bacon bits, dehydrated soups and instant coffee are composed primarily of chemicals, and oftain contain gum and sugar fillers. Processed foods are made from real foods, but have been put through chemical processes and infused with preservatives. They are often cooked at very high temperatures, which destroys any vital nutrients, and are loaded with sugar, salt, stabilizers and color enhancers. Yuck. Processed foods are also altered and stripped of nutrients through a process called “refining”. White bread is a prime example. These foods fill you up with useless calories, but provide no vital nutrients. Instant oats, white sugar, and white rice are also refined foods.

As if that weren’t enough, these processed foods are also preserved, and salt is one of the top preservatives. You’ll notice this rampant in canned foods and bread, but also in beef jerky, canned teas, jam, and hot dogs, among other foods. Diets high in sodium are linked with heart and kidney disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and weight gain! The bottom line is that once a food is altered from its original state, it has lost all of its real value to the human body. So, to keep it simple, follow my #1 principle:

READ THE INGREDIENTS. I believe that if you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t eat it. Stick to food with ingredients that you recognize.

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