Please Pass the Petroleum, Part 2

As promised, I have more research to share about everyday foods many of us are routinely eating.  As I said in Part 1, I am not a doctor, nutritionist, dietician, or any other professional in the food business.  I do not work for a competing food corporation and am trying to get you to buy any certain product or switch your brand of bacon.  As I said, I simply have a body and I eat so the subject interests me and I enjoy research.  I would encourage you to read Part 1 and pick this up as a continuum.  It will flow better that way.  Or not…

Energy drinks.  We think they keep us rolling.  I remember getting off at my full-time job, picking my kids up from daycare, swinging by the house, hugging on my kids, dropping them with their Muny and Papa and driving 40 miles to night school.  Although they tasted like what I would imagine flavored glass cleaner tastes like, those itty bitty hour energy drinks kept me awake, I thought.  It didn’t take long for me to quit drinking them. It wasn’t the product itself but the extra stop I had to make at the gas station and the money I had to scrape up that I really didn’t have to be spending on myself.  As I look back, I realize a better, nutritious diet would have gone a long way in itself.  When I was in high school I was sick.  I remember a professional on eating disorders was talking to me and said something to the effect that if you get too many vitamins or minerals it’s ok because your body will absorb what you need and the rest will just flush out.  I don’t believe that.  I believe too much of a good thing can be bad for you (unless it’s some Jesus).  One of the very popular energy drinks on the market today has 200% of the daily value of B vitamins in just ONE can that you body requires in a day.  If you ingest too much B vitamins you are looking at the possibility of liver failure, gastrointestinal problems, nerve damage, blurred vision, and certain skin conditions just to name a few of the side effects.  Taurine is another ingredient in many energy drinks.  Too much taurine and you are looking at dangerously low blood pressure (and you thought energy drinks pumped you up).  Another ingredient we all know about is the caffeine.  One energy drink contains as much of it as six cups of coffee.   Coffee (with no fillers and strained through a reusable filter and definitely not a bleached paper one) isn’t looking too bad.

Artificial sweeteners.  Well, I just said it.  They are artificial.  They are man-made, MANufactured.  The Coca-Cola website has a page in their ‘Product Facts’ that will explain to you how safe aspartame is.  Of course they do.   Some facts about aspartame are that, because it is sweet, it can trick the body into thinking it is processed sugar, which triggers insulin production and fat storage.  Diet sodas, in speaking, can also dehydrate the body.  Have you ever known someone to be addicted to diet soda?  Me, too.  I just try to stay away from it and it’s friends “pink stuff” and “yellow stuff”.  In 2010 the EPA declared the “pink stuff”, saccharin, no longer considered to be a “human health hazard”. I’m not sure what is more comforting…knowing that it was once considered a “human health hazard” or knowing it isn’t anymore along with all these other yummy things the FDA considers safe.  Pondering…

Maltodextrin.  Many of us are familiar with this ingredient because it is so widely used.  However, we don’t really know what the heck it is.  Speaking for myself, I didn’t know what it was besides the fact it was popular.  I have learned that maltodextrin is a food additive.  It is made from a starch so it can come from potatoes, corn, wheat, rice, etc.  That sounds naturally ok, right?  These starches come from nature.  God gave them to us.  But wait…there’s more.  Man gathers these wonderful starches and does something to them at the MANufacturing place.  It is called hydrolysis.  Basically, the starch is broken down into a sugar and, because it goes thru stages to transform into a thickening/texturizing agent for foods, it has just become a highly processed ingredient.  Boom.  Processed food.  You might check your “healthy” food labels.  Sometimes, when fats/calories are removed from foods they lose taste appeal and that is made up with maltodextrin.  Check your light peanut butter and other ‘diet’ foods.  Of course, it’s also found in non-diet foods.  Is a little going to hurt you?  Probably not but a diet high in maltodextrin can’t be good for you.  Here is a link to a little more about maltodextrin.   Maltodextrin

I feel deeply that many of our ailments can be treated with our diet.  I’m not against doctors or medicine.  I’m against chemicals in our food.  Being in a racecar family, I compare food to the body as good fuel to a car.  You get out of it what you put in to it.  Putting in the wrong fuel can cause a plethora or problems down the line.  I would encourage everyone to read labels and learn what those things are that none of us can pronounce. ♥

JP/Grace and Pink

Check out these great products from Hamilton Beach to help you out in the kitchen!