Welcome to Active Life Health Clinic's August newsletter.
As I'm super busy this month, I thought I would
send a few links to some fun and interesting health-related sites for
you to check out. Why should you avoid junk food and fast
food? Maybe these links will help you make the changes you
should, if you haven't already...
please note that I will be out of the office August 16-21, so if you
would like to contact me, please do so before or after. I may be
checking my emails, but I can't make any promises.
Warning: Do Not Read Before Mealtime...
...unless you are eating healthy and can feel good about what you are
feeding yourself. And unless you have a strong stomach.
Do you still like McDonald's fries?
Watch this YouTube video by the star and director of Super Size Me and
you may see why they aren't actual food! ...There's a little
McDonald's in everyone!....
What about the Chicken McNuggets?
Don't watch this or read the following if it's just before lunch!
Check your order before you put the food in your mouth. This
woman found a complete deep fried chicken head in her order of Chicken
And, even if you do get a "normal" order, read on why that's not any better:
The following excerpt is a quote from the book "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan.
ingredients listed in the flyer suggest a lot of thought goes into a
nugget, that and a lot of corn. Of the thirty-eight ingredients
it takes to make a McNugget, I counted thirteen that can be derived
from corn: the corn-fed chicken itself; modified cornstarch (to bind
the pulverized chicken meat); mono-, tri-, and diglycerides
(emulsifiers, which keep the fats and water from separating); dextrose;
lecithin (another emulsifier); chicken broth (to restore some of the
flavor that processing leeches out); yellow corn flour and more
modified cornstarch (for the batter); cornstarch (a filler); vegetable
shortening; partially hydrogenated corn oil; and citric acid as a
preservative. A couple of other plants take part in the nugget:
There's some wheat in the batter, and on any given day the hydrogenated
oil could come from soybeans, canola, or cotton rather than corn,
depending on the market price and availability.
"According to the
handout, McNuggets also contain several completely synthetic
ingredients, quasiedible substances that ultimately come not from a
corn or soybean field but from a petroleum refinery or chemical
plant. These chemicals are what make modern processed food
possible, by keeping the organic materials in them from going bad or
looking strange after months in the freezer or on the road.
Listed first are the "leavening agents": sodium aluminum phosphate,
mono-calcium phosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, and calcium
lactate. These are antioxidants added to keep the various animal
and vegetable fats involved in a nugget from turning rancid. Then
there are "anti-foaming agents" like dimethylpolysiloxene, added to the
cooking oil to keep the starches from binding to air molecules, so as
to produce foam during the fry. The problem is evidently grave
enough to warrant adding a toxic chemical to the food: According to the
Handbook of Food Additives, dimethylpolysiloxene is a suspected
carcinogen and an established mutagen, tumorigen, and reproductive
effector; it's also flammable.
perhaps the most alarming ingredient in a Chicken McNugget is tertiary
butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ, an antioxidant derived from petroleum that
is either sprayed directly on the nugget or the inside of the box it
comes in to "help preserve freshness." According to A Consumer's
Dictionary of Food Additives, TBHQ is a form of butane (i.e. lighter
fluid) the FDA allows processors to use sparingly in our food: It can
comprise no more than 0.02 percent of the oil in a nugget. Which
is probably just as well, considering that ingesting a single gram of
TBHQ can cause "nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a
sense of suffocation, and collapse." Ingesting five grams of TBHQ
"Healthy" Supermarket Options
But things are changing, are they not? After all, Wendy's has gone transfat-free. Kellogg's
has said that by the end of 2008 they will increase their nutritional
standards for foods marketed to kids under the age of 12. click here
And PepsiCo is now using official-looking checkmarks on their products to indicate that they are healthy choices. http://www.smartspot.com/commitment/product-choices/
But does that really mean much? After all, oil heated to high temperatures, as it is in making fries, is still damaged and dangerous oil. And, Kellog's still considers Fruit Loops and Frosted Flakes healthy enough
as they don't surpass the 12 grams of sugar per serving rating.
Does that actually make those healthy?! Even at the age of six I
knew that having my milk coloured a strange pink or brown colour didn't
look healthy! PepsiCo is really not a source I would ever suggest
to get nutrition information. They are fooling consumers by using
a symbol very similar to that used by the Heart Association for heart
healthy food choices. Examples
of foods that PepsiCo is marketing as healthy include Diet Pepsi
(aspartame!), Baked Lays chips (see cartoon below), and Gatorade
(doesn't actually say what's in there, and how did they make them those
crazy colours?!) .
be a smart consumer. Eat foods that you know are foods.
Foods that look like foods. Foods that you can read and recognize
Active Life Health Clinic
Dr. Melissa Carr, B.Sc., Dr.TCM, R.Ac.
Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Regent Medical Building
#410-2184 West Broadway
Vancouver, B.C., V6K 2E1
In appreciation of each of your referrals, Dr. Melissa Carr will offer you 10% off of
your health product purchase, so don't forget to tell your friends,
family, colleagues, and acquaintances to give us your name when they
book an appointment.