Blog Entries, Fundamentals of Wellness, Nutrition Choices, Wellness

How prepared food is sabotaging our health…

I was in the store recently in a large city. It was a very nice grocery store, and most people who go there think highly of their merchandise. I do a lot of flipping packages around and REALLY looking at nutrition information. Because most of the time it just makes my blood boil. THE PREPARED FOOD INDUSTRY IS KILLING US!!

Here’s a perfect example!

Frozen Entree, ready to eat, just warm it up. Says “Clean Planet” on the label. Can’t be all bad, right? WRONG.

So, let’s break this down. 17 g of fat isn’t a big deal, but it depends on what oil source it is coming from. Looking at the ingredients, I have trouble figuring out where the saturated fat comes from since Chicken breast, Olive Oil and seasonings don’t have much. So that is perplexing.

Next is the carbs, and that is where they get you.

71 carbs in one 12 oz. serving, including 21 grams of added sugars? Woah! For comparison, A SNICKERS BAR has 33 gm of carbs… (and no, I’m not suggesting you eat a candy bar).

These ingredients all look fine until you get to Turbinado sugar, maltodextrin and culture dextrose…

What’s turbinado sugar?

It’s sugar. It just has a bit more molasses in it and is often called “Raw Sugar”… but it isn’t really. It is also highly processed. White sugar and turbinado sugar each have 16 calories and 4 grams of carbs per teaspoon (about 4 grams) but no fiber. EXACTLY THE SAME CARBS AS WHITE SUGAR, OK?

So what is maltodextrin?

Maltodextrin is a HIGHLY PROCESSED white powder made from corn, rice, potato starch, or wheat. First the starches are cooked, and then acids or enzymes such as heat-stable bacterial alpha-amylase are added to break it down further. The resulting white powder is water-soluble and has a neutral taste. Maltodextrins are closely related to corn syrup solids, with the one difference being their sugar content. Both undergo hydrolysis, a chemical process involving the addition of water to further assist breakdown.

Like sugar, your body can digest maltodextrin quickly, however, maltodextrin’s Glycemic Index is higher than table sugar (100), ranging from 106 to 136. This means that it can raise your blood sugar level very quickly.

Another reason to limit maltodextrin is to keep your gut bacteria healthy. Maltodextrin can change your gut bacteria composition in a way that makes you more susceptible to disease. It can suppress the growth of probiotics in your digestive system, which are important for immune system function.

The same study showed that maltodextrin can increase the growth of bacteria such as E. coli, which is associated with autoimmune disorders like Crohn’s disease. If you’re at risk for developing an autoimmune or digestive disorder, then avoiding maltodextrin may be a good idea.

Is this a healthy food? In a word, NO.

We all have choices in a grocery store. I would not make this one of your choices. The take-away here is READ LABELS. Don’t fall for words like healthy, natural, organic, READ THE LABEL. Carbs and high insulin cause heart disease, inflammation and a host of other problems. And if you are trying to watch your weight, this will be a definite sabotage.

If you want to get/stay healthy, you need to think of food as FUEL. Which fuel below has more nutrients? You be the judge. This is only 50 carbs, remember the meal above had 71… BEWARE.