May 14 2012

7 Foods You REALLY Don’t Want To Eat

I often preach about the benefits of buying organic, especially when it comes to fresh produce. A few days ago, I came across an interesting article that talks about the dangers of consuming some other staple pantry items…

If you eat: canned tomatoes, corn-fed beef, microwave popcorn, conventionally grown potatoes, farmed salmon, milk produced with growth hormones* and conventional apples, the article below is worth reading.

The truth is, there are many foods that we consume on a daily basis that pose health risks. Are these related to the increases in cancer and autism, the decline of the bee population, rise in obesity, etc.? Researchers are still trying to figure out correlations and new information becomes available everyday. My philosophy is you can never have too much information. An educated consumer makes the best consumer.

*If you would like to re-read my article from 5-4-11 on rBGH and milk, please click here.

May 8 2012

The Obesity Epidemic

A terrifying statistic was released yesterday: by 2030 42% of all Americans will be obese, up from 36% as of 2010, according to researchers at Duke University.

We know that heredity can play a huge role in obesity, but what about refined sugars and grains that drive up insulin levels and can actually increase our appetite? Or too large portions in toxic environments such as fast food joints (“supersize me”) or national chain restaurants.

I’m not saying that indulging in your cravings every once in awhile isn’t okay. Hell, I went to culinary school and lived on bacon and butter and an unlimited lunch buffet for a year. But I paid the price – 10 pounds or 10% of my body weight, in less than a year. I have since lost that excess weight by going back to my healthy eating habits: lean proteins, complex carbs, healthy fats, lots of fruits and veggies and smaller, more frequent meals.

I still indulge on weekends and when I go out for a special meal. I still have have a glass of wine every night with dinner.  For me, life is just not worth living without delicious food and cocktails.  But the phrase “everything in moderation” really rings true.  Portion control plays a huge role in weight, something the Europeans understand and America has not caught up with yet.

If being really fat is not enough to deter you from that second doughnut, what about all of the health issues that are associated with obesity? Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, joint and skeletal issues, etc. The financial implications of these medical conditions  is staggering… $550 billion over the next two decades, according to the study.

A documentary, Weight of the Nation, will be airing on HBO next week and may prove to be a huge shock to Americans who regularly indulge in processed foods, large portions and a nightly snack.

The beautiful thing about this health crisis – it can be averted. If the issue of obesity is to be resolved in America, it will take a tremendous amount of financial, economic and social support. We have to start where the problem lies…educating our children at a very young age and helping them develop healthy eating habits early on.