Calories or Food Content? You Decide.

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I saw this today on my newsfeed on my personal Facebook page, and it got me thinking about all of these “diets” and the people who fall for them, thinking they will actually work. I have never once thought a frozen “diet” food tasted very good. They always tasted very bland and artificial – which is exactly what they are! For example, take a look at the ingredients in Lean Cuisine’s “Glazed Chicken” frozen dinner:

COOKED CHICKEN TENDERLOINS (CHICKEN TENDERLOINS, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, CORN OIL, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, SALT, CARAMEL COLOR, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, GARLIC, ONION, PAPRIKA, SPICE), WATER, BLANCHED ENRICHED LONG GRAIN PARBOILED RICE (WATER, RICE, IRON, NIACIN, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, FOLIC ACID), GREEN BEANS, WHEAT BERRIES, CASHEWS (CASHEWS, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL), 2% OR LESS OF MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, SUGAR, CHICKEN BROTH, VEGETABLE BASE (SAUTEED VEGETABLES [CARROTS, ONIONS, CELERY], SUGAR, MALTODEXTRIN, CANOLA OIL, CORNSTARCH, WATER, NATURAL FLAVORS, CONCENTRATED CARROT JUICE, CARROT EXTRACT), SEA SALT, CULTURED WHEY, CHICKEN FAT, CARAMEL COLOR, PARSLEY, LEMON BLEND (LEMON PEEL, SUGAR, LEMON OIL), LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, SPICES, DEHYDRATED ONIONS, DEHYDRATED GARLIC

Contains: CASHEW, MILK, WHEAT INGREDIENTS

Seems harmless, right? But what exactly is “modified foodstarch” or “caramel color”? According to Bob’s Red Mill blog, modified food starch is “made by physically, enzymatically or chemically altering starch to change its inherent properties.”  Bob’s Red Mill blog also states that modified food starch could contain gluten, which is unsafe for those with Celiac disease. It is most commonly used as a thickening agent in “instant” meals. To me, this sounds like a genetically modified ingredient – anything chemically altered cannot be good for you! Although science has yet to prove anything without a doubt when it comes to chemicals in food, why risk it?

Caramel color is a coloring agent made from High Dextrose Corn Syrup, invert sugar, and sucrose. While certain studies have found them to a be a negative for cancer, it is still a coloring agent that wasn’t present before being added to promote a “better” looking meal. Once again, why risk it?

“Natural flavors”? I thought that chicken had it’s own flavor? This ingredient seems to mystify everyone – but rest assured, it’s most likely a combination of chemical additives that are supposed to “enhance” the flavor of your food. Isn’t that what salt is for? What about the rest of the ingredients? They don’t do this?

 

For me, cutting out most processed food was the best thing I have ever done for myself and for my family. I have lost 3 lbs doing just that! I wasn’t trying, but it’s nice to be weighed and be told you are now 126 lbs instead of 129 😉 I eat whatever I feel like – sandwiches, steak, uncured bacon, salad with homemade ranch (or anything with homemade ranch really!) and even cheeseburgers! Yep, grass fed cheeseburgers with organic ketchup and homemade fries! I don’t think it’s so much about the calories as what’s actually IN our food. I still have pretty much the same diet as I did before – minus the chemicals and crap. Everyone will do what is best for them – I am not going to sit here on my high horse and tell you that what you are doing is wrong for you, because hey, if it works for you, then it does. I am simply giving you my opinion based on personal and by association experience. I can tell you that I feel safer eating how I do now than I ever did before.

Sources:

Ingredients: http://www.leancuisine.com/products/NutritionInformation.aspx?ProductID=24

Modified Food Starch: http://www.bobsredmill.com/blog/featured-articles/modified-food-starch-demystified/

Caramel Color: http://www.sethness.com/caramel_color_facts/faqs.php?#what

 

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