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Processed foods do not belong in your healthy diet


Colorful fresh foods are key to weight loss

No wonder so many Americans are overweight these days, according to an article published on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website our daily caloric intake increased 16% between the years 1970 and 2003 (1). That's over 500 more calories a day, but believe it or not, we are still drastically undernourished. Why? Because foods stripped of vitamins and minerals line our grocery store, and consequently pantry shelves and then fill our bellies. Foods that Don Colbert M.D. in his book Eat This and Live says “should not be labeled as “food” but rather “consumable product” or “edible but void of nourishment”(2) Foods that do not resemble anything that grows, is born or lives on earth and contains few if any ingredients that have not been adulterated beyond recognition by name.

In his book Dead Doctor's Don't Lie, Joel Wallach tells us that these foods are so nutritionally deficient we often eat more in a behavior Wallach calls “cribbing”, our body craves more and more food in attempt to find the nutrients it so desperately needs. Wallach writes “The snack food industries are aware of this relationship between ... cribbing and cravings, sugar binges and salty hunger and they use it to their advantage by liberally salting or sweetening their products. Unfortunately for humans, our bodies temporarily interpret sugar and salt intake as a fulfillment of the cravings for essential minerals”(3) These sweet and sugary junk and imitation foods, known as 'dead' foods by nutritionists, as well as soda pop, and excess protein we eat are significantly higher in calorie than a similar volume of fresh fruits and vegetables, which nutritionists call 'live' foods.

In order to lose weight, keep cravings under control, and give your body the nutrients it desperately needs to function properly it is essential that you eat as many “live foods”, fresh, preferably organic, fruits and vegetables, not just whole but sprouted grains and organic proteins in limited quanity. Stay away from any foods containing ingredients you cannot pronounce. If you must indulge, read labels carefully, not all processed foods contain high fructose corn syrup, msg, aspartame or other potentially dangerous chemical additives.

While it your taste buds may have to adjust, it shouldn't be long until the sweetness of a piece of fresh fruit is as, if not more enticing than a piece candy, soda will taste artificial and just too sweet, and your palate will recognize the chemical flavors in chips and reject them.

For more information on proper eating check my website at

For encouragement, support and accountability while losing weight, visit my weight loss support blog at


1 Buzby, Jean and Farah, Hoden “U.S. Food Consumption Up 16 Percent Since 1970” Amber Waves November 2005

2 Colbert, Don M.D. Eat This and Live: How to make Simple Food Choices Lake Mary, Florida:
Siloam, 2009 p. 4

3 Wallach Dr. Joel D. and Lan Dr. Ma Dead Doctors Don't Lie Bonita, California: Wellness Publications, 1999 p. 74


  • Pat Baird, MA, RD 5 years ago

    The obesity epidemic is a complex issue caused by many factors: Namely too many calories and insufficient activity. In my 20 years as a registered dietitian, I found that deprivation and demonizing foods doesn’t work. People eventually breakdown and overindulge. A better approach to weight management includes a variety of foods, in sensible portion sizes, and moderate activity.
    As a consultant to the food industry (like the Corn Refiners Assoc.) and a college professor I use science to carry the message. For instance, honey, sugar and high fructose corn syrup have the same 4 calories per gram. They have a similar makeupe, and they are metabolized in the same way.
    While “fresh is best” there is a place for some processed foods. Reading food labels is the ideal way to make choices.
    On a personal note, I was only able to lose over 80 pounds – and sustain it – by eating smaller amounts, and including favorite foods. Gradually, it also led to better food and lifestyle choices.

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