Toss Out The Trans Fats!

One of the worst types of fats that you can eat are trans fats. People now are agreeing that these are of an unhealthy nature. However, consumption of these are still too high, which can have various effects on our health! That’s why today I want to talk about these fats and why you need to avoid them.

A trans fat may make a product last longer on the shelf, but it makes it more hazardous to your heart! Its manufactured form, known as partially hydrogenated oil, is found in a variety of products today. Some of these include:

  • Baked goods. Most of the cookies, cakes, and pre-prepared pie crusts on the market are loaded with trans fats. Many of those ready-made frostings out there need to be avoided, as they’re a hard-hitter when it comes to this!
  • Foods That Are Fried. Any food that requires a deep fryer in general will usually contain trans fats. Many french fries, fried chicken, and doughnuts at fast food restaurants are cooked in hydrogenated oils. That’s why it’s so important to choose the proper oil if frying is necessary.
  • Snack Foods. Watch out! Some potato and tortilla chips out there are fried in those pesky trans fats too.
  • Refrigerated Dough Products. Those containers of biscuit dough and cinnamon rolls will often contain trans fats. As do some pizza crusts out there too.

 

THE UNFORTUNATE LOOP-HOLE WITH TRANS FATS:

Sadly, the FDA has a gap in the trans fat issue. If a product has less than half a gram per serving, the nutrition label can still round it down to zero. Now less than half a gram doesn’t sound like a large number, but even 0.49 grams is bad for our health!

So how do we know if it has trans fat even with this loop-hole?

When you check for these fats on a label, check out the ingredients for partially hydrogenated oils as well. This indicates that the food still has trans fat even if it’s less than half a gram.

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Food Friday

[UPDATE: I’m trying to make this blog mostly food, so you may begin to see that food will be posted more often.]

Today is Food Friday! Every friday, I will be posting a favorite food, snack, or product that I like. Today’s food is kale. I LOVE KALE!

Out of all the leafy greens out there, kale tops them all! It can be considered one of the most nutritious plant foods on the planet. Those beautiful, dark green leaves are packed with all sorts of compounds, some having medicinal powers. But before I get down to all the benefits of eating it, let’s get an explanation of what kale is…

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Kale is a member of the Brassica, or cabbage family. It’s related to the cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. There are many varieties of kale out there. Some of the most popular ones are curly, dinosaur (or Lacinato), and ornamental.

 

NUTRITION OF KALE:

Just one cup of raw kale is LOADED with vitamins. Only that much has the following:

  • Vitamin A: 133% RDA
  • Vitamin C: 134% RDA
  • Vitamin K: 684% RDA

It has 3 grams of protein and is only 33 calories! Many important minerals are also found in kale, these include calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

 

A DELICIOUS WAY TO USE KALE:

I would also like to share with you one of my favorite go-to snacks: Kale chips. My family and I make these all the time. Once you taste one, you really can’t stop!

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Ingredients:

  • One bunch of kale
  • One tablespoon oil
  • One teaspoon seasoning of your choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Remove leaves from thick stem and tear into bite-size pieces.
  3. Wash and dry kale thoroughly.
  4. Drizzle kale with the healthy oil of your choice
  5. Sprinkle with your choice of seasoning
  6. Bake until edges are brown but not burnt, this takes 10-15 minutes.

And now, eat and enjoy!

TBHQ: What Is It and Why Should You Avoid It?

The way to go when concerned about a product is to brace yourself and look through the ingredients. Suppose you’re reading the ingredients and you come across this on the list: TBHQ. Have you seen that before? I know I have! Nowadays, you’ll find it in everything from crackers to chips to fast foods.

So what exactly is TBHQ?

TBHQ is short for tertiary butylhydroquinone (and with a name that long we should wonder more about it). It is similar to butane, a lighter fluid. Would you really want to eat that? Well , I know I don’t, and neither should you! It’s used as a chemical to help preserve the life of foods. No wonder why convenient boxed foods have such long shelf lives these days!

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) allows only up to 0.02% of total oils in food to be of TBHQ. Now that might not sound like much, but an amount that small really leaves room for thought.

If a gram of TBHQ is consumed it may cause a bad reaction in the body, and about five grams at a time can be fatal. Known side effects include nausea, ringing in the ears, and vomiting. Yikes!

 

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

Let’s think of this. TBHQ is found in many items in your life other than food. Here is a list of just a few:

  • Varnishes
  • Lacquers
  • Hair and Skin Products
  • Paint Products

Now you need to ask yourself, “Do I really want this in my body?”. So this is why it’s important for us to be diligent and read labels!

I hope I’ve opened your eyes to the dangers of just one of the MANY chemicals in our foods.

OMG! What’s With These GMO’s?

I cannot stress enough the importance of avoiding GMO’s! These past few years people have started protesting, laws are being debated, and research shows health effects that shouldn’t be ignored. So what’s with all the fuss?

What exactly is a GMO? Why does it nowadays have so many scared?

A GMO is short for a “genetically modified organism”. In other words, we take an organism such as a plant and modify it in some way or shape. For example, if we took the genes of a fish and added them to a cow, what we would have in the future is some kind of mutant cow that behaves like a fish. Sounds kind of gross, doesn’t it? Although the whole fish and cow thing is unlikely, the example gives us an idea of what the process of a GMO is. This does not occur naturally and goes pretty much against the nature of food.

But what impact do GMO’s have on our health?

The short answer: No one really knows for sure! Genetically modified food hasn’t been around that long, and research conducted for long-term effects on humans is very limited. With this answer, we kind of have a problem, don’t we?

 

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If you wish to take action right now, there’s some things that you can do. First, we must try to avoid GMO companies such as these. Secondly, avoid the certain foods whose crops are mostly modified. Consider this and you’ll be shocked:

  • About 88% of all corn is genetically modified (which is hard to get around considering that corn is in everything!)
  • 94% of all soy is modified
  • 90% of all canola oil is as well!

 

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But we’ll talk about these things another time.

Places such as the Non-GMO project are here to help us make better choices. Just look for their symbol on a product.

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If you wish to see what companies are without GMO’s, just consult this list of brands on their website.

Remember, it’s never too late to change your health!

Hello world!

Hi there! My name is Matthew, and I am a teenager with a passion for health! I was not always the healthiest I could have been. I made poor choices about what I was putting in my body. But with my past behind me, I am focused on living the healthiest life that I can live!

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One of my goals in life is to help educate our younger generations as well as their caregivers on making better, cleaner food choices. You might be asking yourself, “Why would a teenager care so much about clean eating?”

Well… Considering that childhood obesity and diabetes is at such a rise, we need to take a stand and decide what path we choose to take. The power is in OUR hands to either do the right or wrong thing for our health. I want to show you that clean eating doesn’t necessarily mean there is extreme restrictions. I want to share with you some of my tips on clean eating, healthy products, and my favorite recipes tasty enough for even the pickiest of eaters! What I’m saying is that we need to work together as a team to educate ourselves on what is best for us for a brighter, cleaner future. Stop waiting around for our government, our teachers, the news, or our parents to tell us right from wrong. Let’s get out there and do this for ourselves!

I hope you will come back and follow me on this journey to great health!