The Nutritional Void©
When science is mute or ambiguous about nutritional issues, when marketers promote foods that have more flavor than nutritional value or more bulk than your body can deal with, when consumers fail to educate themselves and their children about sound nutrition, when the politics of food overwhelm both science and common sense—and especially when all those situations exist simultaneously—a Nutritional Void©opens up. It’s a space filled with so-called foods that fill us up but are devoid of the nutrients needed for lifelong vibrant health.
JUNK FOOD & THE NUTRITIONAL VOID©
You likely have heard it all before: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, choose whole grains, have fish three times a week, avoid empty calories. You try, but it’s often hard to withstand the onslaught of what has become the mainstay of the North American diet—junk food, which always tastes better when washed down with junk beverages.
So what is junk food? Well, it’s all the sweet and salty prepared food that provides some immediate satisfaction, but offers low levels of nutrients—and it’s loaded with insidious ingredients:
- Refined sugars and starches, which can contribute to the development of diabetes and depress your immune system
- Chemical additives, many of which have been implicated in a host of food sensitivities, allergies, and other diseases
- Damaged fats (turned rancid), which can harm your body at the cellular level.
All these ingredients fail to adequately nourish your cells. Consistently ingesting such low-nutrient foods forces your body to keep adapting to keep you functioning. Skip meals or eat oversize meals, and you compound the problem. Not only does junk food increase your risk of developing the diseases, eating it also places an enormous strain on your organs—especially your brain, which is highly sensitive to toxins, and your liver, which must work harder to filter harmful substances from your blood.
It’s sometimes difficult to recognize junk food when you see it, because it isn’t always commercially prepared. Sometimes, junk food is made at home. You may say, “I don’t eat junk food. I cook at home myself.” But if your home-cooked meals consistently include white flour, fried foods, or sugary baked goods, you are cookin’ up junk food and you need to make some changes.
When grain is made into refined, white flour, more than 30 essential nutrients are largely removed. The process of enrichment adds back only four—that's hardly enrichment!
The Harvard School of Public Health and The American Medical Association now advise that everyone would benefit from taking a daily mulivitamin (make sure it is a Totally Terrific multi).
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