Nowadays it may seem very difficult to eat smart and healthy. We often tell ourselves, “just one more diet coke,” or “i guess i'll just go to McDonalds, or eat something quick and easy.” And while some have been trying to eat better, there is a unsettling reality that even what we think is healthy may in fact be bad for our health.
In our modern era, it's hard to really know what's inside the foods we eat. The chemicals and synthetic mixtures that make those sodas taste so good and those dorito chips so irresistible have much more troubling health effects than most people think. High fructose corn syrup, aspertame, cyclodextrin, erythritol, xantham gum, citric acid? Have you ever tried reading the ingredients on the side of a coke can or a bag of fritos? It seems like there's a chemistry set inside. Many of these ingredients come from genetically modified organisms (GMO's). The Non-GMO Project classified genetically modified organisms, as:
plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.
Many of these plant and animal materials are found in many of the foods we eat on a regular basis. These ingredients have been linked to preventable ailments such as type II diabetes, cancers, obesity, and other conditions that affect the body and brain.
There is lots of controversy surrounding genetically modified foods and how they affected the overall population. These ingredients are usually much cheaper and easier to manufacture, therefore better for business because it lowers costs. High fructose corn syrup for instance, is a synthetic sugar used instead of natural growing cane sugar. So while cane sugar comes from the ground, high fructose corn syrup comes from a factory. There are many theories for why high fructose corns syrup has replaced traditional raw cane sugar, one of them being convenience and market price. But the dangers of consuming high fructose corn syrup is just the beginning. There are countless numbers of genetically modified materials that are proliferating throughout the grocery stores that we all shop at.
Most GMO's are not considered industry safe, yet they are found in many of the foods we eat daily. In the U.S., GMO's are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food.
The problem with these ingredients being in our food isn't so much that they can cause type II diabetes and make us fatter, the problem is that nobody is talking about it. Many believe that the food industry is making sure this is not an issue that is brought up to the public; but this directly affects the public, you and me.
It is important to be mindful of what we put in our bodies. Next time you eat twislers or cheetohs, or even rice and beans, think about what's really inside. Realistically, it is very difficult to avoid these harmful ingredients, especially considering how common they are. Think about moderation. Are you eating chips and fast food multiple times a week? Are you really exercising on a regular basis? Resisting harmful ingredients and staying healthy is a long term investment, especially when the foods we eat on a regular basis might be the reasons why we're so unhealthy.
Whether GMO's will stop being pumped into our foods in the future is still up for debate. In the mean time, you can stay informed and shop smart.
Here is a list of ingredients that we should try to avoid, or at least be mindful of when considering what we eat, here.
For more information about genetically modified organisms visit the Non-Gmo Project, here.
And for a list of GMO-free foods, the Non-GMO project provides information, here.