Many of the medical problems that are gaining in our society are a result of too much of a good thing. Modern society has the ability to provide food and beverages with an ease that is like no other time in history. Everyone is aware that fast food, processed snacks and high calorie beverages are a part of the tremendous rise in obesity and related health problems. Food has lost some of the innocence and purity it once had. The term “organic food” now takes on more of a marketing shine than its original intention of labeling better quality food.
The real issue is not the components of the foods that people eat, rather it is that food science has found ways to maximize the pleasurable aspects of food at the cost of providing real healthy nutrition. The health food stores- once a haven for all that is healthy are now stocked with high sugar “all natural” soft drinks and super concentrated fruit juices and “organic” sugared breakfast cereal. These items are not bad but they are not better either. Companies are still trying to sell a product. Like the junk food they are supposed to replace, some of these products are high in sugars, fat and intensified flavors. They are designed to make you want to eat more.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is very similar to honey and agave syrup. The issue is not the type of sugar but the high percentage of calories it makes up in our diets. HFCS is now so cheap that food producers add it to many foods that do not need it because they know people will buy more of the product that is sweet. Gluten is a concern for many. The problem is not with the gluten, but rather that wheat is now bred to have high levels of gluten to make processing easier. This makes gluten containing foods cheap and very available. Some people just can not handle the amounts of gluten that is now in foods. One hundred years ago the level of gluten was not a problem, there was less in the wheat and wheat based foods and more specifically wheat based junk foods were not as prevalent.
Coca leaves have been used as mild medicinal tea for ages. When the alkaloids are chemically extracted and concentrated it creates the dangerous drug cocaine. Similarly the modern processing of food has concentrated components of food and created products that are more fat and sugar delivery devices rather than food. The body needs fats and sugars to survive. The question becomes how much is needed. It is important to be aware of what is in food and be careful not to get too much of a good thing.