Health Food Store Items
Health food stores are gold mines full of organic fruits and vegetables, pastured meats, and wild-caught fish. But they also shelve other items like sugary snacks, sweeteners, and processed foods. Product labels say "organic" and "natural", but this doesn't mean that they are healthy. Avoid these foods and their false promises of good nutrition and weight control.
A box of cookies is still a box of cookies whether it has a certified organic seal or not. Many are led astray by a tree-colored box that is decorated with illustrations of leaves or frolicking animals. Package designs give the impression there are health benefits to eating these organic treats by the handful.
Organic crackers and cookies still contain refined carbohydrates, even if they don't have the unpronounceable chemical names found in conventional brands. Processed wheat and sugar boost your blood glucose to prediabetic levels. Insulin enters the scene to lower these levels by taking the glucose and feeding it to your fat cells, leading to stubborn abdominal fat that is hard to lose.
Organic candy is also a popular health food store item. Sugar is sugar, whether it's organic cane juice or high fructose corn syrup. They both contain high amounts of fructose, a sugar that increases body fat, contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes, and supports the proliferation of cancer cells.
Some prefer stevia; others prefer xylitol. Neither one of these choices is going to help you with your weight loss goals. Any sweetener will stimulate both your sweet tooth and your appetite.
Non-caloric sweeteners boost cravings by giving you a sweet taste without providing any calories. Instead of satisfying a sweet tooth, it does the opposite. The sweetness of a food or drink hits your tongue, and a message announcing that calories are on the way is sent to your brain.
After you swallow your food or drink and the calories aren't there, your body works to obtain them. You end up with cravings and hunger.
Agave nectar is a popular product because it doesn't spike blood sugar levels. Since it is mostly fructose, blood sugar levels remain stable. In order to create agave nectar, starch from the root of the agave plant is refined. This results in a high fructose syrup, much like high fructose corn syrup. The only difference is that agave has a higher concentration of fructose.
Vegetable and Seed Oils
Conventional wisdom says that animal fats should be avoided and vegetable oils should take their place. Vegetable oils and most seed oils are the highest sources of omega-6. They are used in most processed foods and recommended in recipes as a heart-healthy alternative to butter or lard. Science and experience continues to prove that the opposite is true.
Humans evolved consuming a balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. The average American consumes a lot of omega-6 and very little omega-3. Research shows that this leads to diseases and inflammation. Fish oil supplements are high in omega-3 and help to balance out the diet, which is why they are helpful for those who have conditions like heart disease or arthritis.
Health food stores carry wholesome and nutritious foods like organic vegetables, grass-fed beef, and sustainable seafood. Pass by the aisles of organic junk food and high omega-6 processed meals. True health food doesn't need a label.
Lustig, Robert H. "Sugar: The Bitter Truth." YouTube. University of California, San Francisco, 30 July 2009. Web. 27 Apr. 2012.
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Sclafani, A., and K. Ackroff. "The Relationship between Food Reward and Satiation Revisited." Physiology & Behavior 82.1 (2004): 89-95. Print.