Staff News

When Healthy is a Hoax

Blog-PetersLinda Peters,
Structural Engineer –

Have you ever really stopped to think about the food you put in your body?  But you buy the low fat peanut butter and diet soda… you must be doing something good for your body, right?  Or maybe you have a “meal replacement” shake because you’re trying to lose a few pounds (trust me, I’ve done this too).  Have you ever looked at the ingredients on the shake?  Is it a soy based protein instead of whey?  Is sugar or some variation of sugar the second ingredient?  And really, how many of the ingredients do you actually know or can you even pronounce.

Blog-HealthLet’s start there.  Next time you’re in the grocery store start to look at the ingredients on the back of all the products you’re buying.  Try to find lunch meat or bacon that doesn’t have added sugar in one form or another.  It’s meat!  Why can’t I get it without sugar?!  Other common ingredients include sodium nitrate/nitrites, BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), smoke flavoring, corn starch, aspartame, and excessive amounts of sodium, all of which have been linked to health issues such as diabetes and heart disease.  All I want is meat for my sandwich, is that too much to ask? Or let’s look at the back of the low fat peanut butter.  They’re just taking the fat out right?  Wrong!  They replace the fat with sugar.  A regular jar of peanut butter contains 3g of sugar while the “healthier” low fat version has 4g of sugar.

And really why is fat so scary?  It will make us fat, right?  Have you ever noticed that your body actually knows what it needs?  If your body isn’t getting the nutrition it needs it will actually retain as much as possible knowing that it is being “starved” of said need.  So, for example, if I go a couple of days where I drink little to no water my body will actually begin to retain much of the water that I do consume and I’ll become bloated.  However, if I keep my water consumption where it needs to be (approximately half of your body weight in ounces, 150lb person -> drinks 75 ounces) my body will realize that it has a constant supply of water and knows that it won’t need to retain any.  So why would fat be any different?  If you are depriving your body of the healthy fats that it needs, it will begin to store the fat that it does get.  Which pretty much defeats the purpose of trying to lose weight.  Be careful though, there is a fine line between too little and too much.  A healthy amount of fat at a meal is about 15 almonds or a table spoon or two of avocado…. So don’t go crazy!

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a piece of cake (or two) on Cake Day, but just start to be conscious of what it is you are putting into your body.  Pick items that you know all of the ingredients and do a little reading on Clean Eating.  You’ll feel better, sleep more restfully, and have more energy!

Here’s a thought-provoking article on 10 “healthy” things that aren’t.