Way back in the Old West, there were salesmen that would travel in their covered wagons from town to town trying to sell their “magic” concoctions by making all kinds of health promises and duping people that didn’t know any better.
“Snake Oil Salesman” was the common expression used to described them.
But now that we’re in the “modern times” of 2012, snake oil salesmen don’t exist anymore, right?
There are even more of them now. And their boasts are even bigger.
They might not travel around in covered wagons hawking their worthless products that are supposed to appear healthy, but they’re very much alive and well.
They’re called processed food manufacturers.
Today’s snake oil
Food processors are the modern-day snake oil salesmen.
Who else in the world could generate TRILLIONS of dollars selling boxed, canned and bagged non-food “stuff” that not only does NOT nourish you but actually HARMS your health?
I mean, the horrific diseases and the numbers of people coming down with them is just staggering. At no time have people ever been sicker with major illnesses at young ages than they are now.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s in those packages on the store shelves –
today’s snake oil:
1- Thousands of chemicals produced in laboratories
The food industry routinely uses 2,000 different food additives in their processed creations.
These include some obligatory vitamins and minerals, plus emulsifiers, buffers, artificial flavorings and colorings, and enormous amounts of the two biggies–salt and sugar.
The average American eats nearly 150 pounds of these chemicals and additives each YEAR! This is broken down as follows:
* 130 pounds of sugar
* 10-15 pounds of salt
* 5-10 pounds of synthetic vitamins, flavors, preservatives and colored dyes
Many people in the world don’t even consume 150 pounds of FOOD in a YEAR — and yet the average American gulps down that much in chemicals alone!
Read that sentence again, and you won’t wonder why so many of us are sick, tired and die premature, ugly, painful, expensive deaths.
The thing is, your body wasn’t designed to deal with all these chemicals. It wasn’t designed for that — it cannot metabolize them. So they end up as acid wastes, taxing your liver, accumulating in your blood, organs and tissues and making you toxic, sick and diseased.
Plus, the acid wastes from these non-foods wreak havoc on your intestinal flora, greatly hampering your immune system.
2- Deadly fats
Processed foods are a great source of trans-fats (also known as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils).
Trans-fats are deadly–so deadly that they should be labeled with a skull and crossbones.
These poisons cling to your arteries and tissues, increase blood cholesterol, lead to atherosclerosis and inflammation and practically guarantee that you’ll have heart disease.
They also multiply like rabbits inside your body and reproduce themselves by the billions. This spurs the development of free radicals, which accelerate atherosclerosis and inflammation, contribute to countless chronic diseases and lead to premature aging.
Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies
The big question here is: HOW?
How in the world can companies sell products that do nothing but harm health and cause unbelievable suffering?
That’s easy, my friend.
It’s called marketing. (And greasing the palms of every politician within arm’s reach makes it all run like clockwork.)
Just like the snake oil salesmen of the old west, food companies use creative wording to make their products appear healthy. And we gobble it down, believing that we’ll be healthier if we do.
Here are some examples:
1) “All natural”
“All natural” implies something is from Nature and must be good for you, right?
Believe it or not, the phrase “all natural” means whatever food companies want it to mean.
It’s not defined by the FDA, and generally speaking, food makers won’t get in trouble as long as foods with this label don’t contain added colors, artificial flavors or synthetic ingredients.
But that still means that an “all natural” food CAN contain things like sodium and high fructose corn syrup.
This is a biggie. Dieters LOVE to guzzle sugar-free products because they
incorrectly believe that they’re lo-cal.
Sugar-free does NOT mean calorie-free or low-calorie. As a matter of fact, sugar-free products may contain just as many or MORE calories than the original version, and be loaded with fat to boot.
These products can also contain sugar alcohols like mannitol, xylitol or sorbitol which can cause diarrhea if taken in large doses…
…so don’t eat that whole box of sugar-free cookies in one sitting or you’ll be
sitting on the throne for a while.
3) “Zero trans-fat”
This is a sick joke…
First of all, products that say zero trans-fat can actually contain up to 0.5 grams of trans-fats per serving…so zero doesn’t mean zero.
Plus, even if products are not made with known trans-fats like hydrogenated oils and shortening, what most people don’t know is that trans-fats are also CREATED when polyunsaturated fats are heated.
So that means you can be buying supposedly “heart healthy” polyunsaturated oils like canola or safflower oil, but the second you heat them in your frying pan, you’ve got trans-fats.
And trans-fats are also created during food processing. Margarine manufacturers are notorious for this–they make their products with polyunsaturated oils and market them as “Trans-fat-free!”
However, during the process of creating margarine, the oils are always heated…so
that means it’s loaded with trans-fats, regardless of what the package label says.
This is a classic duping statement playing on people’s fears of fat, high cholesterol and heart disease.
Now, when fat is taken out of processed foods, in order for them to taste better than shredded cardboard, food companies have to make them tasty.
So they replace the fat with SUGAR.
That means you’re merely swapping one poison for another.
Gluten can wreak havoc on people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, so this labeling truly is vital for them.
However, gluten-free products are now being seen as the latest way to lose weight and that’s simply not the case across the board.
If someone has a gluten problem then eating gluten can impair their digestion and nutrient absorption which can cause weight gain. So if gluten is eliminated, then they can “potentially” take off pounds.
But if you don’t have a gluten problem to begin with, eating gluten-free is not likely going to result in weight loss.
6) “Serving size”
This is the downfall of many a dieter or health conscious person.
To make a product appear low in fat or calories, food companies often list nutrition information based on a serving size that wouldn’t even fill up a mouse.
Cereal is a great example here. The serving size listed on many cereal boxes is between 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup. (4 to 6 oz)
Tell me, when was the last time you ate just 3/4 cup of cereal for breakfast? Measure it out. There’s nothing there!
Ice cream is another.
That pint of Ben & Jerry’s is supposed to hold 4 servings–not one.
So before you think a food is low in fat or calories, look at how much you eat and do the math.
Stay out of the snake oil trap
Regardless of what sneaky statements food companies use to sell their products while
jeopardizing your health, one fact remains: If you want to maintain a normal body weight and live a long, happy disease-free life, you MUST eat REAL (not processed) foods. They are what your body is designed to take in. Real foods were put on the earth for us to eat. And your body knows the difference!
Here are 3 effective measures you can take to minimize the devastating effects processed food can have on your health:
1) Find alternatives
Read labels and find alternatives for any processed foods you feel the need to buy.
100% Organic products don’t contain harmful ingredients. Yes, they typically cost more than the traditional alternatives, but I bet they cost FAR less than your medical bills would be when you get heart disease or cancer!
2) Eat fewer processed foods overall
When you minimize processed foods and instead eat REAL foods in easy to digest
combinations, you will not only encourage efficient digestion and avoid common GI problems, but your body will be able to eliminate built-up, disease-causing acid wastes and shed excess pounds.
It’s so easy to learn…
Make ALL of your meals easy to digest, and give yourself meal planning guides incorporating delicious REAL foods including meats, poultry, fish, pastas, vegetables and more.
You’ll be amazed at how delicious real foods can be. And believe it or not, you’ll likely lose your taste for the processed stuff.
3) Help your intestinal flora recover
If you’ve eaten a fair amount of packaged foods, chances are excellent that your intestinal flora balance is all messed up, the “bad guys” outweighing the “good guys” by a wide margin.
Eating real foods can help restore a healthy balance, but many times that isn’t enough…especially if your only recent vegetables and fruits have been ketchup, French fries and jelly.
So it’s essential to give your gut a helping hand with a top shelf probiotic supplement.
Friendly bacteria that are robust and ready to take their place in your system. They’ll help fend off the bad guys, keep your digestion smooth and your gut wall strong, and beef up your immune system. You cannot get this kind of quality or dosage by eating yogurt. Again, just another bunch of overblown health claims by giant behemoths taking advantage of societal trends and making billions.
Don’t be blinded by fancy advertising or the misleading claims of the modern day snake oil salesmen — food companies!
All they care about is profit, my friend, your health be damned. Many of them are publicly traded companies who must make a giant profit or everyone at the top will be fired. So lying and downplaying the dangers of their products becomes a deeply ingrained way of life.
Take charge of your health by enjoying delicious food like you never have before and keeping your gut wall and immune system healthy and strong.
You’ll never regret it!