(NaturalNews – Amy Goodrich) Over the past decade, we have been on a calorie-counting mission to improve our health and weight. We have been so obsessed with the number of calories on the label that we have actually forgotten what really matters.
USA Today recently reported that the nutrition labels of more than 700,000 packaged foods are getting a makeover in the near future. With growing rates of people being overweight or obese, the aim is to make people more aware of what and how much they consume. The focus will be on calories, added sugars and realistic serving sizes.
While it is a good thing to bring these topics, especially added sugars, more into the spotlight so people become aware of how much sugar they eat, the most important thing is left in the shade. According to Dr. Sally Norton, a weight loss specialist, we should be focusing more on the chemicals in the food than the number of calories it contains.
“Not only is calorie counting alone an ineffective way of controlling our weight, but by focusing all of our attention on how many calories we are putting into our bodies, we aren’t paying attention to the other stuff in our food – the excess fat and sugar, and – one thing that is so often ignored – the chemicals,” she said in the Daily Mail.
The days of the “energy balance”, or consuming more calories than are expended, are over. Researchers are slowly unraveling why we still are gaining weight despite all of our efforts to count calories. To their surprise, calories are not the major player to be blamed; the fault can actually be attributed to the toxins in our food.
Several studies found that hormone-disrupting chemicals such as bisphenol A, phthalates, monosodium glutamate (MSG), aspartame and certain pesticides are interfering with insulin production and messing up the way in which neurons regulate our feeding behavior, increasing the risk of obesity and obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular issues.
Over the years, we have been conditioned to believe that “sugar-free” or “low-fat” versions of the foods we love are the healthier options. Chemicals such colorings, sweeteners and preservatives are all added to make the food more appealing and make up for the loss of flavor when the fat and sugar are removed.
“Some studies have shown that chemically-produced sweeteners could actually lead us to eat more, and put on more weight than if we had plain sugar – not that sugar is good for you either,” Dr. Sally Norton reports in the Daily Mail.
It is time to stop focusing on the calorie content of food and start counting the chemicals and added sugars you put into your mouth. Those are the true devils, wreaking havoc on your health and wellness.
Steer away from a diet high in processed foods and opt for fresh, home-cooked, organic foods such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and whole grains. Long-term weight loss and optimal health will come as a happy side effect of such a diet.
“And if that’s not enough, by avoiding pre-packaged and processed foods, we’ll also be doing our bit to help the environment – two birds, one stone, in my opinion,” said Dr. Norton.
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