You are responsible for your life. No one can ultimately dictate what you put in your mouth, or how you spend your time. No one can determine the outcome of life but you. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t people who are trying. The food industry puts lots of effort into manipulating nutrition research, and they spend billions of dollars on marketing, and they’re not doing it with the intent of helping you live a healthier, more fulfilled life. You are still responsible for your fitness destiny, but you need to understand the forces that are acting against you. Here are the top 3 ways the food industry is trying to undermine your health goals:
Satiety is essentially the feeling that you’ve had enough of a certain food. It’s the mechanism that might make the first bite of cheesecake taste heavenly, but will make the seventh bite baste less good. This is a normal, and healthy mechanism that normally ensures we’re eating the right amounts of different things. However, the food industry, and in particular the junk food industry have gotten very good at delaying that response. If you don’t get tired of eating Cheetos, you don’t stop. It puts more money in the pockets of the junk food companies, and more fat around your belly.
Because companies have gotten so good at blunting this natural response, you have to take it upon yourself to eat in moderation. If you want to have a snack now and then that’s fine, but plan it out in advance and stick to it. Choose to have 2 Oreos… and then stop.
Science is a great system for advancing human knowledge. In terms of overcoming our natural biases as a species, science is the best system ever devised. However, science is expensive, and scientists have bills to pay like everyone else. Unfortunately, this creates a situation where special interests (junk food manufacturers, etcetera) can influence results of research pretty readily. And they do. What this means, practically, is that a lot of common sense health advice is anything but healthy. For instance, there’s a good amount of evidence that dairy products aren’t great for you. But because the dairy lobby is so powerful, many people are still under the impression that milk is required for healthy bones, when the opposite may be true.
What does this mean to you? Well, it’s a tough one. You have to trust someone, right? The best policy here is to focus on a minimally processed, whole foods diet. We know that vegetables, meats and fruits are healthy, and you don’t need to get bogged down in potentially tainted research.
Manipulating Public Policy
This one is probably the most insidious, because it uses the “get them while they’re young” approach. Through extensive lobbying that affects things like school lunches, the food industry has been very successful manipulating what people eat. When kids grow up eating “healthy” lunches, served to them by adults who they trust, they start to assume that having a slice or pizza, some french fries and chocolate milk every day is normal. They eventually become adults who can easily rationalize poor health decisions by saying “we ate this in school every day, so it must be fine”.
Figuring out how to eat healthy isn’t easy, but you can get help. Call us at 727-216-9650, to see what the options are. Thanks for reading, and stay healthy!