Somehow, the label “Sugar-Free” or “Sweetened with Splenda” has created a luring effect for American shoppers. The thought process for the “sugar-free” customer is probably along the lines of: “Sugar-free. That means it’s a diet/healthy food. It tastes good (if you like the flavour of cancerous chemicals) and will help me toward my goal of being a healthier, fitter person. What a deal.” Well now, go ahead and flip over the box and read through that long list of ingredients.
Polydimethysomething? Sodium Pyrophosphawhat?.
Do you know what these things are? Well, your body doesn’t know what they are either.
Think of it this way. Your body’s process of digestion is kind of like the process that occurs when you clean your room. You probably have a closet where you put your clothes. Maybe you have a desk where you put your office supplies. For the most part, everything you own has a designated place with maybe a few miscellaneous exceptions. Lastly, perhaps you have a “junk box” where you place all these miscellaneous items until you have the time and energy to find their proper place. Well your body goes through a similar process. These chemicals are the miscellaneous exceptions. Except that they are being consumed way too often. They may even be a part of the majority.
When your body is “organizing” with what you consume, these strange chemicals are placed directly into the junk box, aka your storage of fat. Now let’s circle back to where these harmful chemicals originated---oh right, the “health” food.
In conclusion, you want to only eat foods in which you can pronounce all of the ingredients. Ideally, you want to eat a food that contains only one ingredient. Think of all the foods that dieticians encourage you to eat: fruits, vegetables, lean proteins—do any of those have a long list of ingredients?
If a complete stranger came to your house, would you let the stranger in without knowing any information about him or her? Probably not, unless you are a person who is very reckless. So based on that same logic, if you didn’t know anything about an ingredient, would you let it into your body?
Unfortunately, we cannot trust others for protecting our health. Popular food brands are not non-profit organizations; they are businesses. Therefore, no matter what labels they place on the box, or how happy the actors look in their commercials, you can assume that the brand’s first priority is not your health, but their profit.
If you want to be fit, you have to do it yourself. No fairy dust, weight loss patch, or magic cream is going to do it for you. The world can be a cold, cold, place. But no one but you is holding you back from being hot, hot, hot.
The Woman Behind the Fitness Section:
Samantha Salis is a Psychology Major and Political Economy Minor at UC Berkeley. She is a dedicated young woman, ambitious and sharp as a whip. Our dear Samantha tutors high schoolers and works at a Psychology lab at UC Berkeley. Even with this busy schedule, Ms. Salis creates the time to divulge to us her passion about the fitness and health of women, and is (fortunately for us) very well informed on these topics. Enjoy!