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What about all these “PC” foods? or, “Why won’t junk food leave me alone?”

Posted: Dec 11 in Health And Wellness, Nutrition, Weight loss, Weight Management Strategies by

What about all these PC foodsRecently, Dr. Lazarus and I were talking about the health challenges that face this country when we try to eat out or grocery shop. “So many of the processed products in these places are just “purposeful crap,” I said to Dr. L. “PC!”, he suggested – a new term for junk food!” and suggested that I do a blog article on the subject. We already know that 300,000 people a year in the USA die from diseases of over-consumption: Diabetes, heart disease, lung diseases, cancers, high blood fats, strokes, osteoporosis and broken bones are caused or exacerbated by excess weight. How many of these deaths could be prevented if our grocery stores had a plethora of healthy foods and a paucity of purposeful crap?

David Kessler, the FDA commissioner who made tobacco regulation a reality in this country and penned a definitive book about our addiction to PC foods wrote, “When offered a varied selection of high-sugar, high-fat, high salt foods, many of us will eat them in excessive amounts.” Most of us know that we keep our hard-lost weight off quite well until we start to sneak in chips, cookies, ice cream, white bread and other highly processed foods. These additions almost always re-ignite the cravings that had disappeared in the first weeks of our lower carb diet. We then blame our weight gain on ‘lack of discipline’ or ‘sloughing off,’ when it’s really the re-emergence of the sugar-fat-salt addiction. It is so unfair! Most addictions are to substances which we can avoid in normal living situations. No good person will offer a cocktail to an alcoholic, but many people are strong pushers of addictive foods (misery loves company?). Cigarettes are banned from TV and radio advertising, but perfectly crafted bad food ads abound during prime-time and all day long on commercial radio and television. Numerous scientific studies have proven that these foods fire off our brains just like we’re anticipating cocaine, alcohol or tobacco use.

Kessler has a chapter in his book about this concept called, “Food Rehab”. “When it quacks like a duck…right?! What can we do about this? First, I think we have to get mad! Food companies are making billions by selling food that will shorten our lives! The best recourse may be to swear those foods off completely. It does sound radical, but think about the last time you overate sugary, salty, fatty foods. How did it make you feel, physically and psychologically? Did you promise yourself you’d never do it again? Did you plan to feel that way afterward? Sure- it’s just food, but is it, really? We are what we eat. Maybe it’s time to get the addictive garbage foods out of our lives. Remember – P.C.!

-By Tracy Boykin, Registered Dietitian

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