Unhealthy Trends In The Health Food Industry: Expo West Revealed
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the largest food show in the world: Expo West, held in Los Angeles, California. This event features ONLY the “natural” food industry and the shear magnitude of it is mind boggling. I walked only about half of the show in three days–and what I discovered was shocking!
If I were to rename the show–I think a more fitting name would be “Junk Food Fest.” What is happening in the health food industry is disturbing and I want to you to know what I saw at Expo West, so that you can protect yourself from “sugar coated” labeling that could be leading you astray on your journey to better health and actually creating disease…
Unhealthy and unfounded trends to watch out for:
1. Sugar coated puffed things are healthy–as long as the sugar is organic.
3. As long as it says “gluten free”–it’s healthy.
4. Anything squeezed into the formation of a “bar” is “healthy”.
5. Grains are good for you as long as they are non GMO.
6. Processed and packaged foods are healthy as long as they are organic and non GMO.
WRONG! Here is what you need to be aware of–so that you can save yourself.
1. Don’t rely on fad labeling to determine what to eat. Just because it says “Gluten Free” and “non GMO” does NOT mean it is good for you. These foods are often high in sugars, grains and other “fluff”, providing you with very little nutrition. A good example is the image above which is an “all natural” marshmellow. This is a joke, right?
2. What I witnessed, personally, is that 95% of all the people in the health food industry are grossly overweight.
3. If you are relying on sugar coated puffed things that say “organic” (to justify eating them)–you’ve been duped. I know it is not always easy to find a breakfast alternative when you have children (I have 4 kids). But, start a new trend in your family today by making a superfood smoothie, in the morning. When the sugar coated puffs run out–smoothies might become a little more interesting to your kids. Believe it or not, smoothies take just about the same amount of time to prepare in the kitchen as a bowl of cereal–and they are much more nutrient dense! My kids take their superfood smoothies to school everyday. The best thing you can do for your health (and the health of your kids) is to cut back on grains–or remove them entirely.
Be the change you want to see in the world. ~ Gandhi.
4. Grains are calorie rich–and nutrient poor. Also, known as “empty calories.” You should especially avoid empty calories if you are pregnant or an athlete in training. Grains also contribute to blood sugar imbalances and insulin resistance, which result in weight gain, fatigue, hunger/cravings, allergies and metabolic syndrome (just to name a few…)
5. Gluten isn’t the problem. Grains, in general, are the problem. If you are gluten intolerant, instead of replacing grains and bread with gluten free grains and bread, do yourself a favor and remove all grains from your diet. Then, sit back and watch your symptoms fall away: allergies, asthma, skin outbreaks, weight gain… The human body was really NOT designed to eat primarily carbohydrates for fuel. This is also a good time to teach your kids that what they are learning in school (and what you learned in school, too) about nutrition and the food pyramid–is totally wrong. The best way to handle your kids health, is to admit that we’ve all been duped. Then, show them another way. Show them how they can take control of their health–just like you are…
6. I did not find ONE nutritional “bar” at Expo West that didn’t contain massive amounts of sugar. Don’t be fooled–even dried fruit is very high in sugars! You need to know that ALL sugars make you fat! Even “natural” sugars should be limited and avoided almost entirely. They spike your blood sugar and block fat metabolism, contributing to metabolic disorder: obesity, weight gain (particularly in the mid-section), type 2 diabetes, elevated blood cholesterol and LDL’s, heart disease, high blood pressure and more…
7. Read labels! As we move into the future of functional eating, pay special attention to the “total carbohydrate” content on your labels. The most important thing we (as a species) can do for our health right now–is to be mindful of our blood sugar. Choose foods low in total carbohydrates and sugars; and choose foods that are high in fiber. These foods, from what I can tell, are becoming harder and harder to find.
8. Just because it’s organic–does NOT mean it’s healthy!
9. “Sugar Coating” sugar (or renaming it) is making 95% of “healthy” people overweight and sick. This is the biggest “bait and switch” of our time. If you are not careful–you will get pulled into the sugar trap too–if you haven’t already!
10. Organic sugar and agave wreak havoc on your blood sugar. They are no different in your body than white table sugar or high fructose corn syrup!
Over the next 5 years, as a health professional, I see the need for an emerging new market of “low glycemic” food. This is what we need so desperately in the marketplace. If health care practitioners can address the sweeping metabolic syndrome that is rampant in “healthy” people, you have a golden opportunity to impact millions.
Balancing your blood sugar is going to become the most paramount thing you can do to protect our health.
I am delighted to announce that some companies are ahead of the curve. If you are looking for delicious, low glycemic superfoods, check out this amazing Raw Green Superfood Smoothie from Bright Earth Foods. It is really (no I mean really!) great tasting. I have tried just about every green powder on the market. None come close to this one in taste. Just add water and drink! It is lightly sweetened with zero glycemic sweeteners that don’t spike your blood sugar–and has no bad after taste! This smoothie is loaded with nutrients, slightly creamy and a little tart. It is VERY GREEN, but super delicious blended with only water, which it is quick and easy! I have yet to discover a green powder that tastes good. This smoothie is a complete, blended meal.
Also, another key ingredient in your kitchen that will help you to balance your blood sugar and give you sustained energy throughout the day is coconut oil. Coconut oil supports thyroid function, healthy weight loss and so much more! Eating more healthy fats, like coconut oil, allow your body to let go of unwanted or stored fat. Most people are fat starved (eating the wrong kind of fat)–so their body “holds on” to fat as a survival mechanism. Healthy fats also aid in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K. Eat coconut oil everyday and try it on your skin, too. It makes a wonderful, chemical free, all natural moisturizer!
Mary Beauchamp, R.N.
Superfood Nutrition Specialist
Tagged low glycemic