Originally published February 4 2015
Packaged junk food sales fell 24% as Americans turn away from unhealthy diets
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) This bit of statistical news from an epidemiological study does not necessarily indicate that Americans are eating healthier. And it doesn't isolate all the really unhealthiest aspects of processed foods. Grains and sugar isn't enough.[1,2]
The data comes from a 2014 study published December 2014 by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics called "Monitoring Changes in the Nutritional Content of Ready-To-Eat Grain-Based Dessert Products Manufactured and Purchased between 2005 and 2012."
The objective of this study was to examine changes in nutritional content of ready-to-eat (RTE) and grain-based desserts (GBD) during the seven-year span indicated in the title. The study concludes that, although processed foods and desserts are experiencing fewer sales, better-quality foods are not replacing the 24 percent vacuum.
Study conclusion: "These [statistical] results highlight an opportunity for both food manufacturers and public health officials to develop new strategies to shift consumer purchases toward products with lower energy, saturated fat, and sugar densities in addition to decreasing overall purchases of RTE GBDs."
In other words, the processed foods, snacks and desserts remain as unhealthy and nutrient-lacking as ever, worse in some cases according to even their low and inaccurate standards. The study focused on energy (calories), saturated fats and sugar content.
Only the sugar content decreased somewhat over the seven-year period, while both saturated fat and calorie content rose "significantly."
But what about trans fats?A major health destroyer in the standard American diet (SAD) is the types of fats in processed foods and the cooking and salad oils on most store shelves. Fortunately, now you'll be able to see trans fatty acids, or trans fats, on labels. And you should avoid any oil or butter substitute that has hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated on its label.
These fats have been doctored mostly to ensure longer shelf lives. They are foolishly purchased for health reasons after decades of lies that condemn natural saturated fats such as palm and coconut oil or real butter. Trans fats are molecularly modified and dangerous to human health on a cellular level.
Harvard nutritionist Walter Willett reported in 1994 in the American Journal of Public Health that margarine and other processed foods could be the cause of many of the of the country's cardiovascular disease deaths. The following is an excerpt from an interview with Walter Willett:
Is trans fat really so much worse for us than other fats?
Yes. It both raises "bad" LDL cholesterol and lowers "good" HDL cholesterol. It has other unique -- for dietary fat -- adverse effects on the inner lining of blood vessels and on how our cells respond to insulin. And our studies have shown that it's also linked to diabetes.
What is it about trans fat that makes it cause all those problems?
Without processing, fat molecules have a nice curved shape that allows them to be metabolized properly. Trans fat is an entirely artificial, processed food. It's made out of vegetable oils that have been heated and blasted with hydrogen. That process twists the shape of the molecule, so it doesn't "fit" correctly with enzymes. Eating trans fat is like throwing sand into your finely regulated metabolic machinery.
Another problem with trans fat is that some of the fat molecules you're hydrogenating are the omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, one of the main reasons for using trans fat is to get rid of the omega-3 fatty acids because they go rancid. But the omega-3s are protective against heart disease and possibly some other diseases.
That was 1994. Since then, you may have read or heard that inflammation is the source of most non-infectious disease. Guess what is a major source of inflammation? The incredible imbalance of omega-6 to omega-3 in the standard American diet.
Saturated fats contain a more balanced arrangement of non-trans fat omega-6 (such as cold-pressed olive oil and others) and omega-3 (fish oils, tree nuts, eggs and butter), which should be 3 to 1 or less.
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