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It’s Time To Cut The C.R.A.P.!

We all know it’s bad to eat crap, whether it’s literally, figuratively, or as an acronym. C.R.A.P. is a simple reminder that we should be picking healthier options when deciding our next meal (even though most of the time, we don’t want to).

Carbonated drinks. Refined sugars. Artificial sweeteners. Processed foods.

Basically, it’s anything with empty calories and saturated fats. Cutting back or even eliminating these items from our diet may seem like common sense. The documentary “Supersize Mehas even shown us the consequences of a man eating only junk food for a month...he gained over 20 pounds while suffering from heart palpitations that could have been fatal.

For some reason, we are still not alerted enough about the health-damaging food because…

As of 2015, every state has at least 20% of obese people, that’s almost one out of four people in any part of the US. These people are not just overweight; they are obese, unhealthy Americans who could be facing premature deaths any day!

Still don’t think that a diet full of junk food is that bad? Consider the following:

Carbonated Drinks – Did you know that the average American drinks around 56 gallons of soda per year? This means a family of four could fill a hot tub with the carbonated drinks they consume in just 12 months’ time! The high fructose corn syrup that makes up pop is the number one source of calories in America, surpassing burgers, fries and pizza!

Refined Sugars – Not only does sugar fire up the same areas of the brain that are triggered by cocaine, it’s actually eight times more addictive than the drug. A study done with rats has shown that when given cocaine or sugar, the rodents would choose sugar instead and suffered withdrawal symptoms like those from a drug withdrawal. There are also over 60 different names for sugar that can be hidden in food labels and packaging to mislead us into putting sugar into our diet. To make the matter worse, there’s the presence of artificial sweeteners…

Artificial Sweeteners – Artificial sweeteners were created with the idea of putting fewer calories into your body, but it’s actually more unpleasant than refined sugar! A sweetener like Aspartame is 180 times sweeter than sugar. Regular usage of sweeteners can cause you to be desensitized to natural foods like fruits and veggies, making you lose your appetite for food that doesn’t have high sugar content. An artificial sweetener withdrawal may include headaches, anxiety, change in appetite, concentration, depression, fatigue, and more, making it difficult to quit.

Processed Foods – Fast foods contain a lot of fat, but savoury processed foods contain mountains of sugar too. The list of unsuspecting culprits includes salad dressing, canned soups and sauces, microwaveable meals, and chips (especially the BBQ flavoured ones). Salt, sugar, and fat are the holy trifecta that keeps our love hate relationship with processed foods. Companies spend billions of dollars finding the “bliss point” of sugar in our food to give us that shot of high, the perfect content of fat for that soft texture, and what percentage of salt for that burst of “flavour”. It’s a highly calculated science aimed at getting us hooked for life!

 

 

References:

"Artificial Sweeteners: Sugar-free, but at What Cost?" Harvard Health Blog. Ed. Holly Strawbridge. Harvard Medical School, 16 July 2012. Web. 29 Dec. 2015.

Gunnars, Kris. "9 Ways That Processed Foods Are Harming People." Authority Nutrition. 1 Nov. 2015. Web. 29 Dec. 2015.

Lenoir, Magalie, Fuschia Serre, Lauriane Cantin, and Serge Ahmed. "Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward." PLoS ONE. Public Library of Science, 1 Aug. 2007. Web. 13 Jan. 2016.

Malone, Peggy. "Eat Less CRAP. Eat More FOOD." Dr. Peggy Malone. Dr. Peggy Malone | Health Coach, 10 Oct. 2013. Web. 29 Dec. 2015.

Mercola, Joseph. "The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food." Mercola.com. 21 Mar. 2013. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.

"Obesity Rates & Trends Overview." The State of Obesity. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Web. 13 Jan. 2016. <http://stateofobesity.org/obesity-rates-trends-overview/>.

Vartanian, Lenny, Marlene Schwartz, and Kelly Brownell. "Effects of Soft Drink Consumption on Nutrition and Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis." American Journal of Public Health. National Center for Biotechnology Information, 1 Apr. 2007. Web. 29 Dec. 2015.

Victor, Anucyia. "Raisins, Bran Flakes and VEGETABLE Juice: The Most Surprising Foods with High Levels of Sugar Revealed." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 8 Mar. 2015. Web. 14 Jan. 2016.

Zmuda, Natalie. "Coca-Cola Maintains Marketing Spend Amid Sluggish Demand." Advertising Age. 22 July 2014. Web. 13 Jan. 2016.

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