Fake Foods – False Gods…Poor Health

I have always heard that we are to stay away from false gods and not be deceived, but when it comes to food how many of us are feeding our body with false or “fake” foods. I’m talking about the chemically produced and altered fats and sweeteners that so many Christians and non-Christians are consuming each day.

I know we are encouraged to fill and nourish our mind and body with His Word and truths, but how many of us are filling our body with foods that are chemically altered and wondering why our health isn’t what it should be. Scripture says: “why spend money on what is not bread” (Isaiah 55:2) – in essence, why eat food that does not nourish? Our body is our temple and what we feed our body determines how strong and resilient it will be. Are we feeding it plenty of the wholesome fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds that were given to us? Or, do we fuel our body with lots of “trans” fats, artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup?

I ask these questions because “fake foods” are some of the worst foods we can be putting into our body. They are destructive to our health. Research has confirmed how they attribute to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, hormonal imbalances, headaches, allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disease and the list goes on. Yet, we are consuming more of these chemically altered foods everyday and our health is deteriorating more with each bite.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said over twenty-four hundred years ago, “let food be your medicine – and let medicine be your food.” What a powerful statement! He was simply saying that some foods can have a positive, healing effect on our health. In contrast, we also have to realize the opposite is true. Some foods can have a destructive, negative effect on our health. The core question we need to ask ourselves is: Are we eating more of the foods that have a positive effect, or ones that have a negative effect?

Trans fatty acids – the “partially hydrogenated oils” that are commonly found in packaged and baked foods, margarines and vegetable oils – have been pushed on the public for over 25 years in the hopes of helping with high cholesterol, blood pressure and heart disease. Unfortunately, some of us knew long ago that, what today’s news was going to read. THEY’RE BAD FOR US! Many of the doctors, journals, hospitals and associations that were preaching the benefits of margarine and other trans fatty acids are now calling for a ban of these fats!

I have to take my hat off to the health officials in New York City, who finally stood up to big business and outlawed the use of trans fats. They saw the writing on the walls and how the constant use of trans fatty acids is affecting their state’s health care costs. They simply can’t afford to keep turning the other cheek. I’m only surprised that California didn’t do it first, considering they are usually the front-runners when it comes to health and wellness. Hopefully they’ll follow suit and we can get the ball rolling.

My viewpoint is that we can’t afford to only stop at trans fats. We need to eliminate the use of artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrups, two more chemically altered ingredients that are used in almost every packaged food, soft drink and even fruit juices.

Some of us can’t afford to wait 25-30 years to see the harm these fake foods will cause! Like with trans fats, many doctors as far back as the 70s knew the harm they would cause. Unfortunately, big business ruled. Some of us can’t wait 25 days! We need to be proactive in our health care. We just can’t keep on swallowing what is being preached by many of the marketers who keep saying these nutritionally void chemicals are safe. Many of them are toxic, especially when heated and ingested. How can we expect our body to function properly when we keep consuming chemicals that have no nutritional value?

Artificial sweeteners were first introduced to help with the growing obesity and diabetes problem, yet there hasn’t been one piece of research confirming their benefits. The manufacturers have a huge budget and can afford great PR firms to help aggressively promote these products. Additionally, you won’t see many headline news studies published about how they can be harmful to our health! There are too many dollars to be lost!

High fructose corn syrup is another great example. It’s not pure sugar, it’s a chemically altered sweetener that can be manufactured a lot cheaper than sugar. Unfortunately, it causes a rapid rise in blood sugar, which is associated with insulin resistance, diabetes, cravings, weight gain and high blood pressure. We need to keep it out of our diet. It’s not natural and it’s NOT nourishing!

Keep in mind organic food is something that has been around for thousands of years. Only in the last century has food been grown with pesticides, insecticides, antibiotics and hormones. These toxins aren’t good for us, neither are genetically modified foods!

The New Year is around the corner, and I know there are many of you who are struggling with your health and are looking to turn it around this coming year. If that sounds like you, please keep in mind that getting healthy or staying healthy is more than swallowing a handful of vitamins. It’s just as important to STOP doing things that work against your health. Read your labels and stay away from anything that says partially hydrogenated oil – these are your trans fats. This includes many packaged and baked foods, margarine, partially hydrogenated oils and vegetable oils. Stay away from all artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrups, MSG, and preservatives. Eat organic food as much as possible.

Eat the foods the good Lord intended for us to eat. Start looking at the nutritional value of the food rather than just calories and fat grams. Let’s keep our temple strong! We do that by feeding our body with the foods that heal, NOT the foods the kill.

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Dr. Len Lopez is a nutrition and fitness expert and author of “To Burn or Not to Burn, Fat is the Question” and the host of “Action Steps for Health.” His approach to health is “treat the cause – not the symptoms.” For more information on health and wellness listen to his broadcast shows and sign up to receive his daily health blog at www.HealthTipsWithDrLen.com.