Yup, I was hungry and had some change in my pocket. I pulled the trigger on some Pop-Tarts which is probably one of the worst processed sweet foods you can grab these days. There are 37 ingredients in these things, three of which are sugars; Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup and Dextrose.
They were good though and no wonder, they’re designed from the beginning to hit my sweet tooth. Everyone has a sweet tooth. Everyone, to be more specific, is hard wired to crave fat, sugar and salt. During times of “feast”, these key food types packed on weight and made our bodies feel good (assuming unprocessed fat, sugar and salt). During times of “famine”, our bodies would live off the stores of fat that we packed on during the “feast”. We’re designed at a core level to process the food we shove in our mouths like this.
Now, enter in the “cheap macro-caloried foods” modern age, and we’re packing on weight at an alarming rate. Every country that has adopted a “western” diet after never having that type of food available has experienced waist growth. Conditions such as Diabetes, Heart Disease and Hypertension now exist where they didn’t previously. The one common thread with all these disturbing trends is the fact that western style processed food is available and being consumed.
Take this for an example. You sit down to eat 500 calories of vegetables. It’s a big bowl, huge bowl in fact. So much so that a normal person would have problems eating the entire serving. Deciding you don’t want to eat that much, and a burger sounds pretty damn good right now, you roll through the drive-thru at McDonalds and get a BigMac. That is also around 500 calories, BUT, they are condensed and processed calories that also have 30grams of fat, 800mg of salt and 30grams of sugar in tow. Most people accustomed to eating this type of food will generally not feel satisfied with just one BigMac because the calories are packed into a smaller package, so there are french fries (more fat, sugar, salt) and of course a soda (50-100g sugar).
Focusing on the sugar alone, which by the way is the ONLY ingredient that doesn’t have a percent daily value on our labels. Drinking 50g of sugar has an interesting effect on the body. The sugar goes directly to the liver as its already broken down to its base ingredient. The liver isn’t designed to handle that much sugar in one shot and calls on the pancreas for some insulin to help get it processed. Insulin in normal people is generally used to govern the production of fat and fat cells. So now, you have your system flooded with sugar and insulin and what happens, your body produces fat at an unnatural level. This process happens every time you drink soda and the reason you don’t puke it all out? Phosphoric Acid, a natural anti-nausea chemical. If it wasn’t in there, we would all have stomach aches immediately following consuming 50g of sugar.
I’m tired of processed food. No, I’m tired of the abundant availability of processed food. How can a human being hard wired to crave fat, salt and sugar (processed food staples) resist eating it especially when its so easy and cheap to obtain? Broccoli should NOT be more expensive than Doritos!!