Food is food, right? Wrong. There are a million misconceptions about eating healthy and dietary planning. Since the beginning of food science, the overall health of Americans has actually decreased, not increased. Why? It’s a lot easier to market packaged food than whole food. By simply learning to eat simpler REAL food, we can drastically improve our health.

Here are some facts you probably didn’t know that may change the way you think about food:

  1. The foods we eat directly affect the expression of our genes. Chronic degenerative diseases, including type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, digestive disorders, loss of mental function, and cancers are linked to our dietary choices, notably associated with the Standard American Diet (SAD). This impacts not only our heath, but also our future children’s health.
  2. Sugar is more addictive than cocaine.
  3. The most frequent choices for fruit in America are orange juice and bananas. The top vegetables choices are French fries, then potato chips, then iceberg lettuce and tomatoes.
  4. The Environmental Protection Agency admits that reliable toxicity data exists for only 43% of the chemicals that are in circulation today. Only 7% of chemicals used in high volume (including in our food) are thoroughly tested.
  5. Most chicken and nearly half the beef consumed in America today is cancerous and pathogenic. 80% of the meat consumed in America comes from the same few slaughterhouses.
  6. When sugar and starches are eaten in their unrefined forms, as part of a meal containing fats and proteins, they are digested slowly and enter the bloodstream at a moderate rate. When we eat refined sugars and starches, they enter the bloodstream in a rush. Doing this over a long period of time leads to diabetes and hypoglycemia, two different diseases that stem from the same cause.
  7. In 1821 the average sugar intake in America was 10lb per person per year, today it is up to 200lbs per person per year.
  8. Artificial vitamins and fortified foods do not offer the same benefits as getting the same nutrients from natural sources. Many vitamins exist in nature as a family of related molecules, only a few of which can be recreated in a lab.
  9. The news reports about the hazards of saturated fat and cholesterol have been based on studies that were performed using hydrogenated oils. Saturated fat consumption has decreased over the last 100 years but heart disease and cholesterol have drastically increased.
  10. Traditionally sausage was a healthy high fat product containing nutrient dense organ meats and preserved through lacto fermentation, a process that actually increases nutrients. Now most deli meats and processed meats are preserved with nitrates, potent carcinogens that have been linked to cancer of the esophagus, stomach, large intestines, bladder and lung cancers.

“The main differences between donuts, breads, and cheerios are the quantities of hydrogenated oil and sugar. Cheerios, in turn, are nearly identical to Ramen noodles. Throw on a little salt and you’ve got snack chips. Add tomato flakes and bum up the protein powder and –bam!- it’s Hamburger helper with Noodles! Add in a pinch of meat byproducts, take away some tomato powder, and we’re in the pet food aisle again, holding a 20-pound bag of grade A Puppy Chow. “ – Deep Nutrition, Shanahan & Shanahan

*Photo by Robert Couse-Baker