The Demonization of Food

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Whole wheat good, wheat bad…..fat bad, fat good……water good, plastic water bottle bad……coffee bad, coffee good…..salt bad, unrefined salt good…..fruit good, fruit sugar bad……soy bad, fermented soy good……margarine good, margarine bad…….eggs bad, eggs good…..butter bad, EAT BUTTER……coconut fat bad, coconut amazing…….dairy good, pasteurized dairy bad……saturated fat bad, oh sorry we were wrong…….cholesterol bad…..oh sorry we were wrong…….gluten bad, celiacs can eat sourdough……..oatmeal good, oatmeal has gluten so bad……aspartame bad, no evidence bad…….vegetables good, vegetables covered in pesticides…….corn good, GMO corn bad…….bacon bad, bacon ok……honey bad, raw honey good……fish good, farm-raised fish bad…….grains will wipe us all out!

fad diets

One of the most disturbing trends in our society since the cholesterol and fat-free craze of the 1980’s and 1990’s has been the media’s manipulation of the American people and the “demonization of food.”  The idea that certain foods are good or bad has reached almost comical levels but has seriously left Americans more confused than ever.

I can remember the explosion of fat-free products when I was a kid and all of a sudden everyone around me was eating fat-free cookies, cakes, pastries, crackers, dairy etc. like it was ok to eat as much as you wanted because it was fat-free.  Everyone started to really get big in the ‘90’s yet everyone was eating much less fat.

Fat is so vital to our health that it’s no wonder people started feeling worse and gaining weight.  Fat keeps you feeling full in between meals so the only people who benefited were the food companies producing these fat-free products because everyone had to eat more of them just to feel satisfied.

Saccharine had it’s war with aspartame and aspartame came out on top but the freaks in the alternative medicine world waged war against artificial sweeteners making claims like, “aspartame causes brain cells to explode” and “aspartame causes cancer.”  Really?  That’s actually not what the research shows when aspartame has been thoroughly evaluated for safety.  So if someone wants to have one Diet Coke a year with their birthday cake they are doomed?

Butter was replaced by margarine which we now clearly know that hydrogenated fats are definitively linked to heart disease, which was the very reason for replacing butter with margarine in the first place.  A recent TIME magazine cover photo showed a big piece of butter stating “Eat Butter” finally vindicating such an evil demon.  A demon that everyone used to love putting on their morning toast.

But wait a minute!  Don’t put that heavenly vindicated butter on that evil slice of hell we know as toast!  Toast contains gluten which will destroy your insides and explode out of your stomach like an alien.  Given the fact that only 2% of the population has celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity is something we are just beginning to understand not to be a black and white issue, perhaps we need to take a deep breath and talk more about the quality of the bread and how it is made.

All bread used to be sourdough bread before quick-rise yeast exploded on the market which allowed manufacturers to pump out massive amounts of loaves much faster and at a lower cost.  The process of making sourdough bread actually removes a significant amount of gluten from the bread into a much more easily digestible and nutritious loaf.  In fact, a study in 2004 showed that people with celiac disease could eat a specially formulated sourdough bread without a single side effect or health issue.  There is a big difference between a loaf of Wonder Bread and a loaf of sourdough bread made from local organic grains put through proper sour-leavening.

Poor saturated fat and cholesterol.  Talk about a lynching like we’ve never seen before.  But recently a report came out admitting that conventional medicine was wrong and that these evil twins were actually innocent bystanders in a world of trans fats and refined carbohydrates.  Saturated fat and cholesterol are both vital parts of our body and diet functioning as antioxidants and precursors to all of your reproductive and adrenal hormones.

So what is the point of all this?

Stop following trends and media hype and stop reading fanatic internet info written by people with agendas and products to sell.  Food is about quality and quantity.  Eating too much of anything is bad no matter how “healthy” it is known to be.  Water can kill you if you drink too much of it.

One of my all time favorite sayings is, “The more doctored your food, the more doctoring you will need!”  If it comes in a box and has ingredients you can’t pronounce, you probably shouldn’t eat it everyday.  But it’s OK to eat it once in a while.

“Eat food that spoils but eat it before it does” is another great common sense quote.  If the expiration date seems a little to distant in the future, you may not want to eat a lot of it all the time.  But it’s OK to eat some every now and then.

Are you catching my drift?

Moderation is the key is an old cliche but it’s great advice.  So stop stressing yourself out about what foods may be “bad” or “good” for you and start enjoying your life.  Use common sense and eat mostly whole foods that we were meant to eat and you’ll be a much healthier, happier person.

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by - Laura