June 29, 2014

Natural, Gluten-Free, Organic, Or Are You Confused?

The big trend today is certain terms which are in the title. There are a few more that you need to add and they are:

GMO” stands for genetically-modified organisms. Generally, you will see this as “Non-GMO.”
All-natural This is a term used too frequently when all the contents or ingredients are not natural.
Trans-fat-free This too is misleading when there may be .5 percent trans-fat per serving.
Low-carb Be careful with this term. I looked at a packaged food in the grocery store today with this advertised on the front of the package. In looking at the food label (which was in smaller than normal print) there were six servings with 49 grams of carbohydrates per serving. There was no fiber and 28 grams of sugar in the 49 grams.
Health Halo.” Using all the terms that lead you down the path to health problems.

Many people consume foods in excess because the food manufacturer uses many of the above terms. I have friends without diabetes that tell me I can eat more than I do. When I ask how they know this, they say that the food in natural, or organic, and therefore it is healthful. Yes, it may, and I say this with caution, but just because it may be healthful does not mean that it can be consumed with abandon. Organic food can be very problematic and too often when not properly processed can be contaminated with pathogens such as E. coli and Campylobacter.

Yet, I see and hear of more people doing just that – overeating because something is healthful. I don't have to worry about gluten, but I do worry about foods containing GMOs. I admit I do not believe the USDA and Big Agriculture that GMOs are safe. Few tests have been done, and the few that have been tested, have returned mixed results.

Being a person with diabetes, my wife used to become exasperated with me reading labels. Then one day, I showed her an article about certain fish being packed in China and have certain bacteria that made people sick and now she reads food labels and ingredients as carefully as I do and sometimes more carefully.

Also as a person with diabetes, many of these terms mean that I have to be extra cautious. Why? Because many of the foods are loaded with extra sugar and carbohydrates. The food manufacturers have climbed on the gluten-free bandwagon and in doing so, have added extra sugars in various forms to make the gluten-free foods tastier. As much as I dislike saying this, gluten-free foods can cause more weight gain that some of our regular foods.

Have you heard this - “Everything in moderation?” This applies to many of the food traps companies are using with the above terms. Studies are proving that people are ignoring this good advice and overeating many of the foods using the above terms. If you do not believe this, use your meter with test strips to test your blood glucose before the meal and about 1 to 2 hours after the meal. If your blood glucose level increases by over 40 points, then you have generally consumed more than you should have of carbohydrates and sugars.

No comments: