Most of us think of malnourishment as something that happens to starving people in Africa or third-world countries, not here in America. But, my research shows that many here are indeed overfed yet under-nourished.
How can that happen in the land of plenty?
For one thing, we are eating too many of what some of us call “anti-nutrients”, which provide little nutrients themselves and also give you nutritional challenges that make you sick.
What are some of these anti-nutrients that are making us malnourished?
• Trans fat. It is bad for so many reasons. Trans fat gets into your cells and your brain. And, it blocks the receptor that controls your metabolism. Bottom line, eating trans fat will cause diabetes, weight gain, inflammation and even cancer.
• High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This is an extremely bad sugar. It produces high levels of insulin. And, it blocks an important hormone, leptin, that is responsible for appetite control.
Unfortunately, thousands of different products in the grocery store contain HFCS and trans fat.
Did you know that if a product has .5 mg or less of trans fat per serving the manufacturer can put “zero trans fat” on the label? For example, even though the Oreo cookie package says “zero trans fat” you are still getting trans fat. So, if you have 6 Oreo cookies you could be getting up to 1.5 grams of trans fat.
Did you also know that HFCS can be found in bottled salad dressings, ice cream, yogurt, prepared tomato sauce, ketchup, sports drinks…even breads and cereals? Frightening huh?
Here’s a few things you can do to make sure these anti-nutrients don’t make their way into your diet.
• Read labels on everything.
• Go to your refrigerator and cabinets and look for products that contain HFCS and trans fat and throw them in the trash!
• Avoid bottled, canned, and frozen prepared meals…they are some of the biggest culprits.
• Stay on the outer aisles of the supermarket where you will find whole foods—fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats (organic, grass-fed and free range if possible).
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, M.D.