Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Today’s Video Blog: You Are What You Eat & What You Eat Can Contribute to Heart Disease

There’s no doubt that in recent years the fast food industry has added healthier options to their menus. Notice, I start this blog post with that sentence. I like to think of it as a positive feedback sandwich and it has zero calories. I'll give you a little positive, followed by letting someone else give you a little negative, and end it with something funny. That way I don’t get sued :)

When you talk about health and food, inevitably the trail will end up at the doorsteps of [insert fast food industry name here], or in Oprah’s case the meat industry, or *cough* it starts with M and rhymes with canto. Which I find very appropriate for this blog considering canto is a principle form of division in a long poem. Whereas, what rhymes with canto is an American multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation headquartered in Missouri. You do the math.

Plain and Simple: The American Heart Association recommends that we take in no more than 30% of our calories from fat daily. 

In fact, if you do an Internet search for the connection to fast food or other corporations in conjunction with cholesterol or other health concerns, you will find that articles are very careful not to come right out and say what we already know. They certainly won’t list any trademark name for fear of repercussions. Honestly, who could blame them? They are also careful to remind us that our body does need cholesterol which is true but we're focusing on the 'bad cholesterol' here. Plus the blame isn't entirely based on [insert x, y, z name of product here] because of course there is the factor of human choice. Well if personal responsibility were a complete picture without accounting for advertising and corporate responsibility, then I question Super Size Me's Oscar nomination.

WebMD has an article here that talks about the well-known link between high cholesterol and heart disease. "Cholesterol also enters your body from food, such as animal-based foods like milk, eggs, and meat." It's easy to see why Bill Clinton and Ellen DeGeneres have gone vegan. Not to mention the benefits of raw food.

There are some really fantastic documentaries that will change the way you think about food. My mother was not a good cook and to this very day I still can not eat cooked spinach. She managed to mutilate the mush you buy in cans into some unrecognizable blob that's utterly indigestible. A few years back I had her up for  Thanksgiving dinner and we were at the store. She made me buy her a box of [it rhymes with binky] which might just be the only other thing besides cockroaches to survive a nuclear holocaust. This is a joke. When she forgot them at our house after the holidays they promptly made their way to the trash can. Thank goodness my grandmother was a wonderful cook up until she began leaving things heating on the stove due to Alzheimer's disease. 

I never knew that high fructose corn syrup was in so many products or what GMO meant or why food quality and organic made a difference until my husband and I rented Food, Inc. from blockbuster for a video after the kids were in bed, our modified date night. I swear we didn't eat for three days after watching it. It changed the way we purchased and prepared food. Up until then we always thought we were doing pretty good because I cook real potatoes vs. boxed potatoes. We never really ate a lot of 'processed' foods. My mother worked shift work and relied heavily on fast food, pizza delivery, boxed television dinners, frozen french bread pizza, and pot pies to feed me. In fact, it's how I first learned to cook for myself. Preheat the oven to 350, peel or puncture, insert in oven, and you're there :) So I made it a point to do things a little differently. Food Matters is another very insightful documentary but long... very difficult for someone with my attention span to watch.

When you read articles like this particular one on Huffington Post which cite an editorial in the American Journal of Cardiology that proposes fast food restaurants should consider handing out cholesterol-lowering drugs, you can see it’s not a far leap from high cholesterol to what we eat:

Except it makes me feel like I've been transported to the futuristic civilization in the satire, Idiocracy, instead:

What do I think fast food is good for?... Marriage problems ;)

Just kidding…

But seriously this is funny:


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