Wednesday, July 17, 2013

obsessed with processed foods

We live in a society that is addicted and obsessed with processed foods. It is hard to escape it. Even those who are on "special diets" still can't escape the call of  packaged/processed foods. They make it so simple to grab and go.

Just this last week on facebook I saw a call for help. It went something like this. I gotta go gluten free for three weeks. Which products do I choose and which packages do I avoid? I loved one of the first comments. "Eat food that God made". A call to go gluten free is really a call to avoid processed foods. The problem comes in the way we approach it. My husband comes home this week and tells me about a study he heard where going gluten free had no real effect on the majority of those who follow. It does not really supprise me. I am sure that those were the people that were going gluten free according to package labels, and not really changing the way they ate.

I see all those who jumped on the low carb/Atkins diet a number of years ago. You would see people eating eggs and bacon three meals a  day. Or a big greasy hamburger without the bun. How can this be healthy?  I read the book. It  talked about eating good proteins as the main part of the meal. It was eating low carb fruits and vegetables. It added in some whole grains and other good foods like nuts and seeds. It was not eat piles of processed meats, although that is how it became interpreted my many The book was advocating real food, with a few rules, for helping you keep the processed carbohydrates low by eating fruits and vegetables. People do not want to really give up the foods they love for fruits and veg nuts and seeds. We have gotten to where processed carbohydrates are such a part of us, that parting with them is really hard.  You could eat processed carbohydrates as long as you offset it with fiber. So all these "low carb" processed foods had a high amount of processed fiber additives. They added all kinds of fiber stuff to make it "low carb friendly". The other thing about the low carb was the sugar substitutes and alcohol sugars. These things really caused havoc on peoples bodies. It is no way to live for the long haul.

Vegan diets. Avoid all animal products. OK I get that. There are some good reasons to get rid of conventional animal products. There is alot going on with our system that I do not agree with, but the extremes that people go to on a vegan diet amazes me.  I imagined that people on vegan diets were eating mainly things like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. What I have found with vegans is things like Vegan hot dogs, cheese, and burger substitutes. Things like Oreo cookies and other processed foods that are vegan friendly. It  really kills me. I don't see how this can be healthy for your body. It is not real food, yet it is made with no animal products so therefore it is good?

Then comes Paleo/caveman diets. I understand the call to get back to basics. They ate whatever was available to them. I am understanding how going no grains can be beneficial considering what we have done to our food sources.  I think it is more how we process the grains with all our technology  and the fact that people think that wheat is about the only grain to eat. Again I see the paleo diet as a call to avoid processed foods, yet people don't get it.  I see all these paleo friendly dessert recipes out there made with peanut butter and coconut flour. I am thinking, caveman did not eat like this. People are missing the point.

There are a ton more diets out there that I could go on about it all day, but the point is..... People are taking these things to the extreme. So many of these diets have so many rules, regulations, and guidelines. Don't eat this, don't do that. It is counting carbs, fat grams, calories, fiber grams, sugars etc and the list goes on.  People are taking these general rules  and guidelines and making them the gospel truth, and usually they are picking only one of the rules to live by. They take these rules and look about to see how they can still eat the foods they are addicted too and still make it fit into "the rules", and not getting the fact that the rules were intended to help guide you to whole foods and a change in the way you eat.  The large food manufacturers want your business. They want you to be addicted to their processed foods. They want to keep you coming back and buying these products. They will do all they can to somehow fit their products into your rules  or thoughts about eating. 

Is this the way your grocery bag looks,
full of fruits and vegetables?

My take on all this. Get out of the fast food/ boxed food mentality. Get away from what I can't or shouldn't eat. Look for what you can eat. Start eating whole foods. Buy fruits and vegetables and then eat them. Find ways to cook and prepare them in a way that you will enjoy. Learn about whole grains that are available. Eat real food as it is grown. Grains, beans, nuts and seeds are good food and are meant to be the staple. Eat beans more than the twice a year that most people eat them (as baked beans at a summer barbecue).  Make eating whole foods, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts the main event. Make these things the rule rather than the exception to the rule. You can still eat the other stuff, just in small amounts.  You will find that the boxed and bagged foods that you once loved will loose their appeal, and you will learn to love the good wholesome food. Try it and see what happens.


  1. Oh my goodness. You have read my mind, especially with the "vegan" dieters. I was vegan 2 years ago and only ate natural foods and nothing packaged or processed. I met other vegans and when we got to talking about what we ate their diets were full of vegan friendly foods like the imitation, packaged hot dogs. I could not believe it.

  2. Great post! When I went vegan 2 years ago, I expected to lose weight, but instead I gained 20 lbs!! All because I ate processed vegan foods, not whole vegan foods! I now eat a whole foods diet, including grass-fed meat and raw milk, and am starting to lose the weight. Eat what GOD intended, it's that simple.

  3. I loved your article, it was very informative...would love it if you hopped on by our blog hop on Sunday...The Homesteaders Hop.

  4. A wonderful dose of common sense. (Found you on the Barn Hop link up). I get a kick out of all these people going gluten free as if it's some kind of miracle cure. The only people who benefit from being gluten free are those with bona fide celiac disease. It's not a diet!! And yes, I was a vegetarian for 2 years. And let me tell ya, you can gain a lot of weight if you're motto is "as long as it's not meat, it's OK to eat".

    I now follow the advice that "if you're great-great grandparents wouldn't recognize it, it's not real food".