Read Labels to Determine Healthy Eating Choices

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I was cleaning out the refrigerator today and discovered a bottle of Kraft Fat Free Catalina salad dressing. It’s expiration date was March 17, 2007, and I have no idea how it has escaped detection for so long! On the surface it seems like a healthy product right? Fat free, is that healthy or what, it has to be right? Wrong. The second ingredient is “high fructose corn syrup”, an ingredient in our food products, which is speculated to be a leading cause of obesity in Americans. The fourth ingredient in the product is “corn syrup”. I can’t believe I bought this product – essentially, I bought a bottle of corn syrup with tomato paste, some spices, and Red dye 40 (to color it) mixed in.  Just great! The worse part about it is I fed this to my children at one point.

There is hidden sugar in most food products. Check out your salt, more likely than not, it contains dextrose as an ingredient. Dextrose is a simple sugar – what the heck is it doing in salt one might wonder? What really gets me is the “natural” description on eggs, and people buy these, pay more, and think they are getting a superior product. Unless it says “organic, free range” eggs, you aren’t getting value for your money. Of course eggs are natural, they come out of a chicken butt.

The food industry is out of control. They will trick you with such terms as “healthy,” “natural” and “fat free.” Don’t be duped by false advertisement, read the ingredient labels on everything you buy before it enters your mouth. You may not want to eat it once you get past the hype and get down to the basics. Demand that your congressional representatives protect your right to know what goes into your food.

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Healthy Alternative to Fast Food Burgers – Have your burger and eat it too!

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No, not tofu or veggie burgers – NOT!
People do not equate healthy eating with consuming hamburgers. The health problem lies not in the meat itself, but in what the animals are fed by the modern agribusiness monopolies.  Any animal fed genetically engineered grain and soybean products do not produce meat compatible with the nutritional needs of our bodies.  Cows eating grain and soybean products are eating food never meant for their bodies.  It upsets their insulin levels which in turn creates unhealthy amounts of saturated fats and disturbs the ratios of omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids in their meat.  Eat sick cows – get sick – it is that simple.
Next time you have a hankering for a hamburger, do not run to your nearest fast-food joint to satiate your craving, but go to the grocery or health-food store and buy a pound of organic, 100% percent grass fed beef. The 100% grass fed designation is important – meat that doesn’t have this qualification – will be grass fed until they are sold and fattened up in feed lots. Be careful and don’t be fooled into paying a hefty price for an inferior product.
Divide the meat into four portions (4 oz) and form into patties. Individually wrap and freeze the ones you won’t be using within the week.  Grass fed hamburger is running about $7-8 a pound, however at $2.00 a patty, this is still a win-win situation both for your pocketbook and the health benefits derived from eating a nutritionally superior product. Sprinkle garlic powder and pepper on the side facing up and cook the patty on the grill or in a pan at medium high temperature for about 4 minutes on each side, and longer if you prefer it well done. While the meat is cooking, prepare a bed of lettuce or garden greens, onion, tomato, and anything else you like on your burger (try to leave the cheese off if you are worried about cholesterol).  Take the burger off the grill and place immediately on the vegetable bed, dollop with organic mayonnaise (preferably homemade) and catsup. This is a healthy alternative to eating restaurant or fast-food burgers, and it is completely satisfying.
Variations: If you have the time, prepare caramelized onions or a green peppercorn sauce to pour on top of your burger. Really good!
Hot Lunch Idea: I get so tired of salads, but this makes a great warm lunch. Cook all three patties. Don’t overcook because you will want to reheat for lunch. Prepare a greens bed as above, place in a microwavable glass salad container and put patty on top of greens. Bring remoulade sauce, salad dressing or a mayonnaise on the side. Once you are ready to eat, pop in microwave for 2 minutes.  Top with your dressing. Lemon vinaigrette makes a great dressing if you would like to heat it up with the greens and patty and forego the heavy mayonnaise base dressings.

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Fiber

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About Fiber: For years (about 30), I believed that grains contained an amazing amount of fiber. I never researched this assumption, but blindly took all the health gurus word for it as fact. Guess what, grains don’t contain much fiber! Grains contain high ratios of carbohydrates relative to their fiber content. My food consumption throughout the years was heavily grain based and comprised about 50% to 70% of my diet, depending if I was eating meat or not. As I aged, I progressively became more irregular. So I thought, add more brown rice, it has lots of fiber – wrong! The more brown rice I added, the more constipated and overweight, I became.  I could not figure out what the heck was going on. Here’s the thing, the ratio of fiber to carbohydrates (which convert instantly to sugars) was low.  For example, a cup of brown rice contains 44.8 percent carbohydrate in relation to a mere 3.5 percent of fiber. Compare this to eating 1 cup of broccoli which contains 8 grams carbohydrates and 4 grams fiber or 1 cup of blackberries which contains 18.4 grams of carbohydrate and 7.2 grams of fiber. Or consider an avocado which contains 6 grams of carbohydrate and 4.2 grams of fiber. Which do you think is better to eat if you are trying to up your fiber? Grains or veggies and fruit? Mind boggling the comparison – it would take an incredible amount of physical activity to burn 44.8 percent worth of carbohydrates in relation to a paltry 3.5% amount of fiber. With the sedentary lives we lead, it is a losing battle.  I can’t say it enough – eat more vegetables and less grain, or better yet, no grain at all. Unless you are living in a country with severe drought and rampant famine, and you have no other food to eat, or you are burning a ton of calories and vegetables plain aren’t available – eat more vegetables and fruit to obtain more fiber. Heresy, isn’t it? Goes against everything we have been taught.

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