Some Practical Thoughts On Fast Food & Food Additives and 4 Simple Steps To Improve Your Eating Habits

Some Practical Thoughts On Fast Food & Food Additives and 4 Simple Steps To Improve Your Eating Habits

Fast food, or what is otherwise known as convenience food provides us with an immediate solution for our hunger without needing much thought or effort on our part.

But not only is fast food easy and fast to prepare, but it is also fast to be eaten and fast to be assimilated by the body, which is exactly the opposite of what nature intended for us.

Fast food is delicious, and it is intently made so through the use of food science, brain science and evolutionary science which make these foods as tasty and addictive as possible. Our limbic brains are attracted to sugar rich, fat rich and, salt-rich foods because these are the foods that ensured our body’s and our brain’s survival. Fast food sends signals of reward to our brains giving us immediate pleasure and make us crave for more. Today, big food companies fight over what is known as “stomach share” which is the amount of digestive room that any one food company can take from all the competition out there. 

But let’s take a look at the purpose of food: 

The purpose of food is to supply the wealth of nutrients to nurture our cells and allow our species to live, develop, multiply, and even thrive. Fast food does not really follow this definition.

But on the one hand, people choose their foods by what tastes the best and what makes them feel good while they are eating. But we know for sure that the tastiest foods, manufactured for our liking and our addiction are precisely those foods that will only lead to momentary pleasure but in the long term lead to lasting unhappiness, while the right foods may provide you with less pleasure while you are consuming them but will definitely make you feel good long after your meal. 

But why is healthy food less tasty for us? 

Human nature allows our very limited ability to consume something that does not taste very good. This is very natural. However, the problem begins with the food industry who knows this and provides us with carefully manufactured foods that are so tasty they actually affect our taste buds in the long term. Our taste buds have become accustomed to foods that have strong tastes which send strong messages to our brains to make us want more and more of them. We begin craving foods strong in texture and flavour making us addicted and making it more difficult for us to eat the natural, more “bland” foods. 

The fast food industry is making a conscious effort to make foods as addictive, cheap and convenient as possible, making fast food a bliss to consumers.

But, what are the consequences of the fact that our taste buds have become controlled by the fast food industry?

Today, one in less than three adults and one in four children is considered clinically obese, and 7 out of every ten people suffer and will die from chronic diseases that are associated with lifestyle and dietary choices.

In 2011, The New England Journal of Medicine published a study showing the reasons for weight gain in America. They found that every four years, the participants exercised less, watched more TV and gained an average of 3.35 pounds with the top contributors to weight gain included red meat and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages and potatoes, including mashed and French fries. But the largest weight-inducing food was the potato chip.

So long as we are living in a fast-paced society always striving for “more” of everything, it will be difficult for us to become much healthier and happier as a society.

Healthy food preparation takes time and eating real meals had become a thing of the past due to our fast paced lives. People seem to be skipping breakfast because they need to leave home early to avoid traffic. They skip lunch when they then need to finish a job on time, and they skip dinner when the children leave the house, and there are no longer enough people to cook for to be worth the effort. Meals are replaced with snacks that are mostly processed, cheap, effortless and addictive that make our mind think that they are low in calories because of the ways these foods behave in our mouth.

It is time to stop being followers of the food industry and start being path makers.

We have the control in our hands, but we need to stop giving it over to others who have no real interest in our health but rather have the interest to make money off of us, and this is absolutely understandable, but we don’t need to fall into this trap.

If we have the knowledge, our taste buds can be reprogrammed to love natural foods.  By taking the right steps, we can improve our health and ensure it for the long term. So how do we do it?

Here Are The 4 Steps To Improving Your Food Habits:

1. First thing first, is to find a good enough reason to change your diet. Having a good enough reason will help you persist with your efforts when the going gets tough, and it will at times. Whether your reason fear from illness, fear of getting a disease that runs in your family, feeling really disappointed with the way you look and having a good reason to lose weight, or perhaps just feeling bad and not having the energy to have fun, whatever your reason is, it must be strong enough to  give you hope of a better life. 

2. Next, you want to replace unhealthy snacks that are readily available for you at home and at work or any place you spend much of your day, with healthier, more natural options. Have natural nuts in boxes, seeds in small snack bags, whole grain crackers, rice cakes, vegetable sticks and fresh fruit readily available while ensuring unhealthy options are less available.

3. Third, you want to start to gradually remove processed foods from your diet. Start with salt and sugar. It’s not easy to reduce salt or sugar intake, but the real cravings last less than a week after you decide to reduce their intake, and then your taste buds will soon follow suit. 

Where is salt found? Not only in the salt shaker but also in all of the processed foods in high quantities and different forms. Salt adds strong flavour while also acting as a preservative. High quantities of salt have been associated with stroke, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, left ventricular hypertrophy, renal disease and stomach cancer. The best way to reduce salt consumption is to replace it with vegetable salt which is made from natural vegetables that have a higher sodium content. These include celery, kale and seaweed.

Where is sugar found? Pretty much everywhere. Since most of us love sugar or salt, these additives are added to most all unnatural and processed foods. Sugar is added to your morning coffee or tea, your bread, meats, breakfast cereals, jams, cookies, candies, ice cream condiments like ketchup and in pre-made meals, and may even be sprinkled by you on certain foods. Sugar is also found in most beverages including fruit juices. 

It is incredibly abundant in our everyday diet.  More than five teaspoons get converted directly into fat leading to all the debilitating chronic diseases so common in the western world. Excess sugar damages the liver and leads to hormone imbalance leading to weight gain and insulin resistance. It also affects cholesterol levels, leads to high blood pressure and is a risk factor for heart and kidney disease. 

Fructose causes inflammation and also stimulate the brain creating dependence and addiction just like alcohol does. Fructose also feeds cancer cells which leads promotes their growth and allows the cancer to spread faster. Type 2 diabetes is also associated with high sugar consumption. Processed white flour and other refined carbohydrates break down to sugar in your body, which increases your insulin levels and causes insulin resistance leading to metabolic syndrome.

I recommend drinking plain water or unsweetened heal teas instead of any other beverage. I also recommend using natural sugar substitutes with low glycemic index. The best of which comes from the stevia plant which you can grow on your windowsill or in your garden, or buy it in the convenient tincture form. 

4. The last step is to start reading food labels before buying and consuming any food. There are so many additives, and flavourings added to foods that make them look, taste and feel different from what they really are. Now I want to make this point clear, by reading the food labels I do not mean to read the calorie content or the fat or protein content. No! I mean reading the ingredient label. 

When you start reading food labels, you’ll be surprised to learn how many unnatural ingredients are in your food that wreaks havoc on your health. 

The food industry is obliged to write ingredients in the order that they are found in the food. However, precise quantities are not required, and this is to prevent imitation by other competitors in the food industry. 

So let’s look at unnatural food additives, what their purpose is in and why they should be avoided:

A. Food colourings are added to almost all processed foods to make them attractive including meat, canned fruits, soft drinks, french fries, cakes, cookies and much more. Very few food colourings are natural.

B. Artificial sweeteners are added to food to provide sweetness with less calorie content than sugar. They are used by the food industry because people are requesting sugar-free foods. The food industry is actually quite happy with this since artificial sweeteners are cheaper than sugar, and they have a longer shelf life. This makes artificial sweeteners perfect for the food industry. These include:

  • Aspartame
  • Cyclamate
  • Saccharin
  • Acesulfame potassium

C. Sequestrates are preservatives that are intended to improve the quality and stability of the food products. They remove minerals from foods such as copper and iron to prevent the oxidation of the fats in the food. These include:

•Calcium chloride (E509)

•Calcium disodium ethylene diamine tetra-acetate (E385)

Glucono delta-lactone (E575)

Sodium gluconate (E576)

Potassium gluconate (E577)

Sodium tripolyphosphate

Sodium hexametaphosphate (E452i)

  • Sodium and calcium salts of EDTA.

D. Clarifying agents are used to making liquids clear and not cloudy. These include:

alum

aluminium chloralhydrate

aluminium sulphate

calcium oxide

calcium hydroxide

iron(II) sulphate (ferrous sulphate)

iron(III) chloride (ferric chloride)

polyacrylamide

polyDADMAC

sodium aluminate

sodium silicate

E. Anticaking agents prevent the formation of lumps in food and make foods easier to package, transport, and consume. These include:

•341 tricalcium phosphate

•460(ii) powdered cellulose

•470b magnesium stearate

•500 sodium bicarbonate

•535 sodium ferrocyanide

•536 potassium ferrocyanide

•538 calcium ferrocyanide

•542 bone phosphate

•550 sodium silicate

•551 silicon dioxide

•552 calcium silicate

•553a magnesium trisilicate

•553b talcum powder

•554 sodium aluminosilicate

•555 potassium aluminium silicate

•556 calcium aluminosilicate

•558 bentonite

•559 aluminium silicate

•570 stearic acid

•900 polydimethylsiloxane

F. Humectants keep foods moist, and the most common one used as a food additive is glucose because it absorbs water. Others include:

Propylene glycol, hexylene glycol, and butylene glycol

Glyceryl triacetate

Neoagarobiose

•Polymeric polyols such as polydextrose

Quillaia

Urea

Aloe vera gel

MP Diol

Alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic acid

Honey

Lithium chloride

Sodium hexametaphosphate E452i

G. Nitrites and Nitrates are used to prevent the growth of bacteria, and to add taste and the red colour to meats. These can be toxic in high amounts for animals and humans. The main concern about nitrites is their formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines when meats are charred or overcooked. This process also happens within the human stomach, as well as during the curing process used to preserve meats. 

H. Foaming agents reduce the work needed to create the foam. These are used in whipped cream and cake decorations.

I. Antifoaming agents reduce the release of gas during food preparation or serving. This is used in processed meats and includes:

J. Firming agents are added to foods to strengthen its structure and prevent it from caving in during processing. These include:

Calcium carbonate (E170)

Calcium hydrogen sulphite (E227)

Calcium Citrates (E333)

Calcium phosphates (E341)

Calcium sulphate (E516)

Calcium chloride (E509)

Magnesium chloride (E511)

Magnesium sulphate (E518)

Calcium gluconate (E578)

Magnesium gluconate (E580)

K. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used by the food industry as a flavour enhancer that intensifies the meaty, savoury flavour of food. It balances the perception of other tastes. It may cause headaches, general weakness and numbness as wells an overall feeling of discomfort.

L. Bleaching agents are used to make flour or cheeses whiter

Conclusion:

By reading this non-exhaustive list, you notice that the food industry adds food additives to foods to make them more appealing physically, to provide them with a longer shelf life and to make them tastier for our taste buds making us addicted. The reasons for adding food additives are for the profit of the food companies which are not concerned with your health, but more concerned with their profits.

I recommend having 90 percent of your food come from natural whole food sources, and only 10 percent or less of processed foods.

The responsibility for your health is only yours. By taking the above four steps, you are ensuring yourself and your children better health, closer to what nature intended, preventing many of the debilitating conditions common in the modern world.

Your choices matter. Making knowledgeable food choices is the basis of a health conscience individual, and we all know that when we have health, we have more happiness and fulfilment.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you are serious about improving your health no matter what your age or circumstance are, and are ready to achieve better results with your weight loss attempts, guaranteed, then join my mailing list where you will receive my weekly newsletter with groundbreaking health, motivational content, recipes, supplement recommendations, easy workouts, as well as many FREE bonuses and special offers. Click HERE to subscribe. Or visit the Guerrilla Diet Website for my health advice, offers, programs and free information HERE.

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