Guest post by Melissa Hathaway
It is no secret that the dietary health problems facing America are beginning to spiral out of control with more people than ever before in history suffering from illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. Given the advances in modern medicine and nutritional knowledge, it seems difficult to comprehend how we could be in a situation where we have more medical expertise than ever before, yet have a worsening state of health.
There is a battle going on between the food industry giants and researchers who are trying to highlight the extremely dangerous and addictive additives that are being placed into just about every every pre-packaged and fast food product.
No Legal Protection
The average North American is under the impression that food manufacturers are not putting ‘toxins’ and ‘addictive’ substances into products as there would surely be laws against such things as the government would want to protect the health and wellbeing of the nation.
This is simply not the case, and closer inspection of processed food labels will reveal a whole host of extremely harmful ingredients that have now become standard in our ‘foods’. Here are some details on just a few of the substances commonly found in foods:
MSG is present in a whole host of fast foods, chips and crackers, canned foods, and soups. It is a processed chemical additive which is used to enhance flavors, and researchers have discovered that it is a powerful excitotoxin.
These chemicals are responsible for a high level of brain reactivity to the foods being eaten, which is what is partly responsible for their addictive nature. Other bad side effects include possible carcinogenic properties which can have serious health implications if consumed in large quantities over an extended period of time.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
HFCS is a chemically produced sweetener that is made using corn starch as the base ingredient. Food companies use it as a cheap way of sweetening foods, without using natural sugars and it is a product that the body is ill equipped to deal with.
These days HFCS is present is the vast majority of processed foods including salad dressings, bread, fruit juice, sauces, cookies, biscuits, cereal, frozen foods, and soft drinks to name just a few.
There are many negative effects on health associated with high fructose corn syrup including increased risk of contracting type 2 diabetes and negative effects on the liver. HFCS is also extremely addictive, with some medical studies concluding that it had addictive qualities comparable to the illegal drug cocaine. It may sound extreme, but the ‘fake sugar’ gives the brain a rush of chemicals and this can become very addictive.
Beating Food Addiction
Food addiction may be a new term to you, but it is well documented in the medical and scientific professions. Just like any drug, the chemicals present in processed foods alter the brains chemistry and cause bodily reactions to its consumption.
Highly altered compounds such as as HFCS can trigger addictive tendencies as the brain enjoys the ‘sugar rush’ that it’s getting, and this can also create addictions to other chemical additives found present in these foods.
People usually associate addiction with smoking, drugs, and alcohol, but one of the biggest addiction problems in the US is actually food addiction.
There are numerous places that people can get help and advice on how to beat food addiction, including many local centers such as one for addiction treatment in Virginia. Centers such as this provide valuable help and guidance for overcoming addiction to food, but the best way to avoid becoming addicted in the first place is to be extremely careful about what chemical additives you consume.
Natural Whole Foods Offer the Answer
By consuming as natural a diet as possible, consisting of large amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables and organic produce, you will be limiting the aforementioned addictive chemical additives to a minimum.
Not only will this be beneficial for your short term health and wellbeing, it is also likely to decrease your chances of developing long term diet related illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, weight related health problems, and certain types of cancer.
Humans have lived for thousands of years on a natural whole diet, and the correlation between many of today’s most common health issues and the chemical ingredients present in the standard North American diet are clear to see.
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Elliott, Sharon et al. Fructose, weight gain, and the insulin resistance syndrome Am. J. Clin Nutr. November 2002 vol. 76 no. 5 911-922
Sanchez, Kevin New Research Suggests High Fructose Corn Syrup Triggers Addictive Consumption Similar to Drugs Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2013.
Copyright 2013 Melissa Hathaway
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