By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
June 07, 2013
- Food makers are hijacking your taste buds
- Did you know you’re eating THIS? (YUCK!)
- How to get off the food addiction roller coaster
I’m very concerned about today’s food supply. And it’s not just genetically engineered plant foods, hormone-induced meats or sugar-laden sodas that are at the top of my mind today.
One of my patients made me think of an entirely different concern that I don’t write much about. And it’s about time I changed that.
Here’s what happened…
Last week when M.J. came into the office she had gained 8 pounds since her last visit. And when I tried to pin down the cause, she hemmed and hawed… then finally admitted she knew what the problem was. She just didn’t know what to do about.
You see, about a month ago she was forced to miss her lunch break. So she grabbed a couple bags of chips from the snack machine to keep her hunger at bay. No big deal, right? We all do it occasionally.
But it turned into a big problem for M.J. The chips were so tasty she went back for a couple of more bags. Then M.J. picked up a large bag of them at the grocery store. And she’s been chowing down on them ever since. Worse, she can’t seem to stop.
M.J. isn’t alone in her newfound food addiction. As unbelievable as it may sound, processed foods account for about 90% of all the money Americans spend on food.
That figure is staggering. And it just goes to show you how well food makers are able to lure you into spending the big bucks on their products. But it’s not their advertising campaigns that keep you running back for more…
Processed foods contain a plethora of chemicals that hijack your taste buds, trick your brain into eating more and turn you into a food addict!
So if you’re having a hard time getting away from packaged foods, it may not be entirely your fault.
Let me explain how it works.
When foods are processed for canning, packaging and freezing, all sorts of processes take place that literally strip the flavor – and nutrition – out of them. They’re boiled, dehydrated, refined, oxidized, bleached, freeze dried and more.
These processes leave the food tasting worse than a piece of cardboard. And you have to admit… nobody wants to eat food that doesn’t taste good. That’s where the second phase of the project comes in.
To get the flavor back into these foods, manufacturers add a cocktail of chemicals created by chemists known as “flavorists.” It’s their job to engineer flavors to make these processed foods look, taste and smell savory again.
Now you might think anything that makes food taste better, smell good and look appealing is a positive move. But there is a big problem with the way food makers are doing it.
Their flavorists spend years carefully formulating chemical blends specifically designed to hijack our taste buds. In fact, the best formulations can literally trick your brain so it doesn’t know when to stop eating.
Some experts are calling this the “bliss point.”
It’s a combination of fat, salt, sugar and other additives that leave you with constant cravings for some of your favorite processed foods.
In an interview with Morley Safer on 60 Minutes, Dr. David Kessler, former head of the FDA stated:
“We’re eating fat on fat on sugar on fat with flavor. And much of what we’re eating with these [added] flavors, you have to ask yourself, ‘is it really food?’ We’re living in a food carnival. These flavors are so stimulating, they hijack our brain.”
If we were becoming addicted to healthy foods, it would be one thing. But the foods being pumped with these tasty chemicals are the ones nobody should be eating.
They are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, sugars, processed flours, corn oils, trans fats and empty calories guaranteed to fatten you up while leaving weak and hungry.
And it’s a pretty sure thing processed foods are at the head of the pack when it comes to today’s health crisis; including obesity, heart disease and diabetes – maybe even cancer.
But I’ll bet if you knew what kind of crazy things were hiding in these foods, it might make you think twice about putting them in your mouth again.
For example, castoreum is a “natural” ingredient used to create strawberry, vanilla and raspberry flavors. And it’s quite repulsive. It’s a smelly and oily secretion that beavers excrete from their anus – along with urine – to mark their territory.
And when it comes to artificial orange, pineapple and other fruit flavorings, it might come from a chemical called ethyl butyrate. This is as listed as a hazardous substance. In fact, the people who work directly with the chemical are required to wear gloves, safety glasses and respirators. And from what I can tell, it doesn’t appear it’s ever been tested for cancer or other long-term health effects.
I could go on and on about vanilla flavorings made from wood pulp or how that fresh, citrus burst you find in certain soft drinks is made from rosin, much like the stuff violinists coat their bows with.
But I’d much rather give you a few tips on how you can get off this roller-coaster, reclaim your taste buds and say goodbye to these manufactured food addictions.
Here’s what you can do…
The more processed food you eat, the more you will crave. It’s big money for the food makers, at great expense to your health and longevity.
In other words, you’re lining their pockets with gold and they’re returning the favor by sending you to an early grave!
It’s time to fight back and break the cycle.
For starters, buy yourself a nice fruit salad and toss it in the fridge. Next time you crave a cookie, chip or soda pull it out – and eat it.
It may not give you quite the sugar high you were looking for, but it will definitely help quench that carbohydrate craving. Better yet, it won’t give leave you feeling drained and “crashed out” they way processed foods do.
After just a few days your body will naturally begin to desire these healthier complex carbohydrates that are much kinder to your blood glucose levels.
As far as meals are concerned, toss out those breakfast cereals, get rid of lunchtime sandwiches filled with processed breads and meats… and throw away any dinner items that come from a box.
Begin your day with a high protein breakfast. An egg scrambled with onions, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and all of your other favorite veggies will help keep your body feeling more full and satisfied as you make your way through the day. And when your body is sated, you’ll have less cravings for “bad” food.
At lunch try incorporating a variety of fruits, greens and proteins. There are several different choices…
You can make a green salad topped with avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, sprouts, boiled eggs, nuts and grilled chicken. Finish it off with a garlic and olive oil drizzle. Or lemon and olive oil if that appeals to you.
Or how about trying a delicious chicken, tuna or seafood salad wrapped in lettuce or a low carb tortilla? Toss a little fruit on the side and you’re good to go.
Dinner can be just as easy. Seafood and veggies are always a great choice. But if you’re not a fish-lover, grass fed beef and free-range poultry are good alternatives.
And here’s one more tip.
When you go to the grocery store, try to stay on the outside aisles. That’s where the meat, dairy and produce are. In most cases, everything in between is junk food.
The Flavorists: Tweaking tastes and creating cravings. November, 2011. CBS News