Food Challenge week 2– Chemical Removal

If you are reading this, you survived week one of the challenge , or you wished you had joined in. No problem, week 2 is the first week of elimination–meaning we will be eliminating something(s) for the next 7 days starting tomorrow. If you are just joining, here’s a list of what is out for all 6 weeks and a link to last weeks post.
◾No Fried Foods
◾No Fast Food (inc. Pizza)
◾No Red Meat
◾No Breads
◾No Potato Chips, Snack Foods, Etc.
◾No Desserts
◾No Sodas or Sweet Tea

For the next 7 days we are eliminating three things– HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, HYDROLIZED VEGETABLE PROTIEN, and HYDROGENATED OILS. This is not a campaign against any of these things, more of an enlightenment as to what they are and how they affect your body, and what happens when you eliminate them. The big idea is this– all three of these are late-20th century ingredients that are manufactured in chemical plants. None of them occur in nature– they were all created to cut the cost of manufacturing food and food-type products. In addition, they have an increased shelf life and make it easier to transport ingredients over long distances. Regardless of the science ( you will find plenty of pros and cons–pros usually from the folks that make the stuff) if you Google them. My friends that are more organic in their approach to nutrition like to say “There’s no food in your food” when they look at ingredients like this.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Over the last 25 years , HFCS has come to replace Sucrose ( Sugar) as the sweetener of choice in the food manufacturing process. Its a liquid versus a powder, and easier to dilute/mix/inject into the food manufacturing process. Made in a patented process by Archer Daniels Midland ( they will not disclose the secret to the process to anyone), an enzyme is used to make the fructose content in Corn Syrup elevate. In dong so, you get an easier to use sweetener. The science on this was limited for a long time– it wasn’t used that much until about 15 years ago. In the rest of the world, 90% of the sweetener is Sucrose. The science goes both ways on this– what I have gleaned tells me that while there is NOT a direct relationship between obesity and HFCS, there are studies that show that HFCS is metabolized differently in the lover. Further, regular sugar is recognized by our bodies and will trigger the ” I’m Full” button ( especially in children). HFCS does not seem to do this– one of the reason it is so popular in kid-oriented beverages like Sunny Delight, Hi-C, Juice drinks, and Gatorade.

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
HVP is made by boiling vegetable protein ( usually soy) with …wait for it…HYDEOCHLORIC ACID!!. Now , the acid is diluted so its not like you are eating acid. But gross, right? More importantly, HVP is a flavor enhancer, usually used to make institutional tasting products more palatable. It is darn similar to MSG ( think cheap Chinese food) and has a tremendous amount of sodium accompanying it. While the health effects are not consequential in and of itself, foods that contain HVP are often overly processed, high in sodium, and often high in calories without nutrition.

Hydrogenated Oils
In this process, oil that is basically a liquid is chemically altered to add a Hydrogen atom to it. Usually this is done by boiling, and using intense pressure. The result is more saturated fat content, and an oil that will not spoil as often or as quickly. Our diets are more heart healthy when we reduce saturated fat. In a sense, Hydrogenated Oils are like bacon. Lots of bad fat , made worse by the manufacturing process creating fat which are bodies can not process the same way.

here’s the big thing that will happen this week– you will read more labels, eat less processed food, and should eat fresher foods. Just eliminating these three ingredients you will also eliminate a lot of bad calories. Childhood obesity experts recommend elimination of these 3 ingredients as a simple way you get your kids on a healthier diets with less calories.

So, jump on it!! I will be posting my weight tomorrow morning. Whether I have lost much or not, I feel more energetic .

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