March/April 1983
You Are What You Eat

Much of the food that we buy is useless; it satisfies our mouth, but not the needs of our body. I have tried to pick some of the most useless from a nutritional point of view. You aren't a bad person if you eat some of these but you are probably consuming many empty calories if these are a large part of your diet.

Over the years most of you know that I recommend diet (sugar free) caffeine free cold drinks, not that I think that saccharine is good but that it is less bad than sugar. Regular cold drinks have no nutritional value except calories and are loaded with acid chemicals which are hard on your teeth and stomach, and which badly upset the mineral balances in your body. Large amounts of caffeine contribute to hypertension, and caffeine is an addictive drug. Cold drinks also contain emulsifiers, buffers, and anti-foamers chemicals that are not listed on the label. Fruit Punch (Hawaiian and Hi C) and Koolaid are no better. They contain large amounts of sugar, artificial coloring and flavoring and only lob REAL fruit juice.

Breakfast cereals such as Cocoa Puffs or Cap'n Crunch are as much as 2/3 SUGAR; These products do not regain much nutritional value by adding a few vitamins to them . (Grape Nuts and Shredded Wheat are 2 exceptions and are healthy). Wonder Bread, Mrs. Baird's, any other white bread; they may help growing bodies "12 ways", but a growing body needs nutrition in fifty, sixty, or even more ways. The nutrients in whole grains are very complex. When commercial flour is refined, stripped, bleached and preserved (removing nearly all the food value) and then a handful of nutrients are tossed back in, the result is nowhere near the original grain; white flour also has up to 93 chemical additives, none of which are listed on the label.

Among the worst foods are Twinkles, Little Debbies and all their cousins; these consist if two, three or four kinds of sugar, with processed and hydrogenated fats, bleached White flour, preservatives, artificial colors, flavors and emulsifiers. Doughnuts are even worse; what value can there be in white flour deep fried in grease and covered with Sugar.

Saltines are probable the worst of all. Several nutritional authorities have pointed out that crackers are a combination of the most useless substances; high in Salt, refined white flour (just above sugar in uselessness), hydrogenated fat, ,preservatives and yes Even SUGAR. There are now many whole grain alternatives.

PROCESSED "cheese" could really be classified as a non-food. Although these products started out as REAL cheese, they have been diluted and heated to incredible temperatures, which alter the protein, making them very difficult to digest and use; a large amount of poor quality fat is also added to processed cheese. Processed "meats" such as hot dogs and bologna are also foods to be avoided. The animal parts in these products are not what most of us would call "meat": companies use animal ears, lips tongues, organs, and genitals. if not used for "food" products, these materials would be made into glue. These meats are very high in fat and preservatives, Particularly nitrates and nitrites, known Carcinogens.

I hope that you can see that it is important to read labels and watch what you eat. In many cases with a little looking and creativity there are nutritionally sound substitutes.

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