We live in a world with an abundance of food and a lack of nutrition. We are inundated with food choices specifically designed to make the rewards center of our brains react similarly to drugs like cocaine. Foods are marketed as healthy and whole when they are anything but.

We live in a world where the demands on our time can be overwhelming – from a taxing job to family obligations. It’s no surprise that we are more tired and sicker than ever before.

Does Lean Cuisine make us fat?

We are almost defeated before we begin. We see commercials during the day that tell us cooking real food is expensive, hard and takes time away from the family and the solution is processed food. Rather than pack a lunch, just pop a Lean Cuisine in the microwave and you are good to go. But is that really going to give us the nutrition to carry us through our busy lives?

Let’s take a look at the label for Lean Cuisine Glazed Chicken.

Ingredients:

COOKED CHICKEN TENDERLOINS (CHICKEN TENDERLOINS, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, CORN OIL, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, SALT, CARAMEL COLOR, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, GARLIC, ONION, PAPRIKA, SPICE), WATER, BLANCHED ENRICHED LONG GRAIN PARBOILED RICE (WATER, RICE, IRON, NIACIN, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, FOLIC ACID), GREEN BEANS, WHEAT BERRIES, CASHEWS (CASHEWS, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL), 2% OR LESS OF MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, SUGAR, CHICKEN BROTH, VEGETABLE BASE (SAUTEED VEGETABLES [CARROTS, ONIONS, CELERY], SUGAR, MALTODEXTRIN, CANOLA OIL, CORNSTARCH, WATER, NATURAL FLAVORS, CONCENTRATED CARROT JUICE, CARROT EXTRACT), SEA SALT, CULTURED WHEY, CHICKEN FAT, CARAMEL COLOR, PARSLEY, LEMON BLEND (LEMON PEEL, SUGAR, LEMON OIL), LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, SPICES, DEHYDRATED ONIONS, DEHYDRATED GARLIC

High fructose corn syrup is the second ingredient. That is hardly going to get anyone lean. It also contains partially hydrogenated soybean oil. Partially hydrogenated oils are fats that, because of the hydrogenation process, don’t perform the function of healthy fats. So you are getting empty calories and something that doesn’t taste nearly as good as the real thing.

The people eating “lean” foods probably think they are doing something good for themselves. Instead they are missing out on vital nutrients and filling up on chemicals (caramel color) that the body has to spend energy to detoxify.

Unfortunately, this type of deceptive advertising is all over the grocery store. “Healthy”, “Lite”, “Lo-Cal”, and “Low Fat”, are all labels to confuse us and make us think we are eating healthy.

I remember when low fat came into flavor (pun intended) and Snackwells were introduced. Everyone thought eating these cookies was healthy, no one seemed to mind that the cookies tasted like gack.

Because of the confusion with labeling, people feel overwhelmed and helpless when it comes to making real, healthy choices for meals.

Frakenfood

Food scientists are specifically designing foods to be addictive. They use the euphemistic phrase “bliss point” to refer to the reaction in the brain that makes you crave the food. Chemicals are added to the food to make it more palatable. Because the food tastes gross on its own, a chemical is added so the eater is less able to taste bitter, a reduction in bitter tastes lead to more sugar cravings. This is just the tip of the iceberg and we can already see why it’s so hard to detoxify from the Standard American diet.

This is particularly troublesome since so many of us use food to soothe ourselves. The food scientists know this and really want you addicted to the food they are making so when you need that comforting you reach for the chips, cookies, cakes, sodas or other processed food so you can get a hit again.

Since the economic collapse of 2008, workers in the United States are asked to work more with less. It’s not uncommon to eliminate positions and then divide the work among the remaining employees. The average workweek for professionals in the United States is more than 45 hours a week. We now have even less time to make healthy meals for ourselves and our families, which makes processed foods that are fast to prepare and shelf-stable the go to meal for many people. Grocery shopping trips can be spaced further apart if lots of boxed foods are in the house.

Unfortunately, these foods don’t lead to optimal health because of the lack of nutrition. This begins a vicious cycle of using caffeine to get up in the morning, alcohol to go to bed at night and more cheap food during the day. Because the body isn’t getting enough nutrition we only have enough energy to get up in the morning, go to work, come home, watch TV go to bed and repeat.

There are so many factors fighting against us using food to get healthy. So many people are told they just have to eat less and exercise more to lose weight. You feel like a failure because you can’t stop eating junk food because you don’t realize just what the companies are doing to keep you addicted. This demotivation can make it very easy to give up trying.

There is hope

I remind people they are fighting an uphill battle and to celebrate every success.

I think having a healthy diet without supporting the processed food industry is an act of rebellion. It’s time to help people wake up and make better choices so they can have more energy, clearer minds and live a vibrant life.

Do you have tips to share about adding real, whole food to what you eat? Share in the comments below and if you think someone you know will benefit from this information please share this post           .

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