Archive for April, 2014

Are Baked Chips Healthier?

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Most people assume that if something is baked instead of fried it is healthier.  This is usually true, especially if you are cooking at home.  A baked potato is healthier than a fried potato.  But what about processed and packaged potato chips?  Are the baked ones healthier than the regular fried chips?

The low quality oil and higher temperatures used in frying are the main problems.  The starch in the potato reacts to the high heat in frying, forming a carcinogen called acrylamide.  The ingredients on a bag of Classic Lays Potato Chips are:  potatoes, vegetable oil (sunflower, corn and/or canola oil), and salt.  No preservatives.  It doesn’t sound too bad, right?  But, if you’ve read our previous post about Cooking Oils you know that sunflower and corn are toxic, genetically-modified oils, not to mention the large dose of cancer-causing acrylamide you are ingesting.  So, being a health-conscious consumer you grab the bag of Baked Lays.  But, as my grandmother liked to say, hold your horses…

Baking a potato does produce acrylamide, but not as much as frying.  (On a side note, boiling or steaming a potato produces the least amount of acrylamide.)  Let’s look at the ingredients on the Baked Lays:  dried potatoes, corn starch, sugar, corn oil, salt, soy lecithin, and corn sugar.  Quite a long list!  The potatoes are dried before they are even baked.  They don’t say how the potatoes are dried, but most likely using very high temperatures.  That means you are getting a high dose of acrylamide, just like you do in the fried.  The corn starch, corn oil, and soy lecithin are not organic so they are using GMO products- a big no-no if you are trying to eat healthy.  The sugar and corn sugar are obvious bad additions, but necessary to make the “oil-less” chips palatable.  You are just exchanging one bad ingredient for a bunch of others.

Let’s be frank, neither potato chip, fried or baked, can be considered a good food choice.  But, if we are comparing the two, the baked chip is actually more processed and overall, worse than the fried!  Our advice…skip both options and enjoy some raw veggies instead.  🙂

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Soda Ingredients = Recipe for Disaster

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Waiting in line at the grocery store, I watched a mother open her toddler’s sippy cup and fill it half full with Coca-Cola from her bottle.  I seriously considered calling Child Protective Services and reporting a case of child abuse.  As I drove home, still bothered by it, I knew the mother was not intentionally trying to harm her child, but was acting out of ignorance.

A single can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.  Consuming just one can a day can very quickly lead to deterioration of your health resulting in diabetes, obesity, metabolic disorders, high cholesterol, and the list goes on.  Soda also contains phosphoric acid, which disrupts the body’s ability to absorb calcium, leading to bone softening and osteoporosis.  It also lowers your ability to digest food and absorb nutrients.  The caffeine, artificial flavors, and food dyes contribute even further to the negative impact on your health.

If you are drinking diet soda thinking you are making a healthier, lower-calorie choice compared to the regular sugar version, think again.  Researchers at Purdue University found that diet drinks are equally as bad for you (worse in our humble opinion) and cause you to pack on the pounds.  The artificial sweeteners fool your metabolism into thinking sugar is on its way.  Your body pumps out insulin, the fat storage hormone, which lays down another layer of fat.  This confusion causes your overall metabolism to slow, leading to less calories burned and more stored.  Since the artificial sweeteners are a thousand times sweeter than regular sugar you become programmed to prefer the taste of sweetness more than any other substance.  You get hungrier and crave even more sugar and starchy carbs like pasta and bread.  Rats that were given artificial sweeteners ate more, had lower metabolic rates, and put on 14% more fat in just two weeks even though their caloric intake was lower.  But wait!  There’s more… these artificial sweeteners have been linked to hundreds of different health problems like seizures, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, diabetes, and emotional disorders.

Whichever type of soda you may be consuming or allowing your children to consume, it would be very wise to reconsider that choice.  Soda has no nutritional value whatsoever, not a single redeeming quality.  It is a completely negative food, creating stress and eventually, disease in the body.