Tag Archives: sugar

Ultra-processed foods linked to cancer

The BMJ reports a study done by French researchers has found a link between eating ultra-processed foods and cancer. Even just a 10% increase in ultra-processed foods can have an effect. They divided foods into 4 groups: unprocessed or minimally processed, processed culinary ingredients, processed, and ultra-processed.

Food prepared by adding sugar, salt, or prepared by industrially prepared is considered processed. Ultra-processed foods mostly are found to have higher content of total fat, saturated fat, added sugar, added salt, lower fiber, and lower in vitamins. Some may be packaged with bisphenol A (BPA) which interrupts hormone balance. They often have added ingredients that may not be even be considered food.

Examples of each group
Unprocessed or minimally processed: fresh fruits, vegetables, rice, pasta, eggs, meat, fish, milk
Processed culinary ingredients: salt, vegetable oils, butter, sugar, or other things extracted from food
Processed: canned vegetables with added salt, sugar coated fruits, meat products preserved by salt, cheeses, fresh made bakery breads, products made with additional salt, sugar or other items under the processed culinary ingredients category
Ultra-processed: mass produced packaged breads or buns, packaged snacks, mass produced desserts, sodas, sweetened drinks, meat balls, poultry or fish nuggets, meats containing nitrites, soups, instant noodles, packaged meals (frozen or shelf-stable), anything that uses hydrogenated oils, modified starches, flavoring agents, colors, emulsifiers, nonsugar sweeteners, cosmetic additives.

The study showed the 10% increase increased the number of cancers detected to be increased by 12%. On the average, 18% of the people studied had an ultra-processed diet and there were 79 cancers per 10,000 people each year. By increasing ultra-processed food by 10% would add another 9 people per year.

Craving a Doughnut?

Sometimes we feel a craving for something “bad” like a doughnut. Fear no more! The Victor crew found a doughnut you can eat and still be good!

So what makes these doughnuts so special? For one, they baked instead of fried. So they are minus the fats you find in regular dougnuts. They use a yeast-based dough made of healthy flours. You order them and come to your door unadorned with the toppings separate.

Each doughnut is about 150 calories. They have 4g fat, 3g sugar, and 11g protein.

These doughnuts are not cheap. Right now you can get 8 flavor variety pack for $29.99. Packs of 4 go for $15-16, and a 12 pack is about $39. Shipping will run anywhere from $5.99 to $8.99 depending on where.

Each flavor has its own glaze and topping. The doughnuts are basically the same with different flavors of glaze and toppings: there’s cake batter with sprinkles, Reese’s peanut butter glaze with mini chocolate chips, and apple pie glaze with streusel crunch for example. You also get the hole.

Their shelf life is 9 days from shipping date. They can be frozen up to 3 months.

Oh, and did I mention the makers got a deal on Shark Tank?

Find out more here

About Stevia

Recently, we were looking at food labels and noticed our stevia had as its first ingredient, dextrose. Now we had switched to stevia for a more healthy sweetener and yet this more healthy option has a genetically engineered sweetener added to it. Even if you get a certified organic stevia, you can find some other ingredients added like organic agave inulin. In fact, it may contain more of that than actual stevia! Some stevia products contain erythritol (a sugar alcohol) as well.

Look for products using whole leaf stevia. You can purchase stevia extract that has stevia only. Another thing you can do is grow stevia yourself and make your own extract. You can grind the leaves yourself and make your own powdered stevia. Add fresh or dried leaves to your iced tea for sweetness. The leaves themselves are 30-40 times sweeter than sugar.

To make extract, you need about a cup of the stevia leaves and organic vodka. Find the recipe and more here.

Breakfast Cereal

In an article (TL;DR) in The Atlantic there is a rather lengthy explanation of Why Cereal Has Such Agressive Marketing.

The article starts out talking about how breakfast was developed and how cereal came to be a part of it. It tells about what people used to eat for breakfast (meat, leftovers, bread) and how, why, and where cereal came about. The first cereal, what we call granola, was called granula and was thought of as “wheat rocks.” It was thought of as a cure for “dyspepsia” what we would call reflux.

In the 1940s, Post started coating their cereal with sugar. After much arguing between the Kellogg brothers, they added sugar as well to improve what one brother called “horse food.” Vitamins were added so it could be touted as health food.

Whole30

There’s another diet in town. Called Whole30, this diet established by Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig, this diet claims to be a short-term nutritional reset. It is designed to end unhealthy cravings and habits, restore metabolism, heal digestive tract, and balance your immune system. This diet suggests you strip sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes from your diet for a full 30 days. This is considered to be a modified paleo diet.

After reading reviews about the diet, we conclude it can be difficult at times to follow. People did say they felt more energy, fell asleep easier, woke up easier. After reintroducing some of the foods after the 30 days, some people didn’t even bother to add some items back because they felt so good. Some even said as they added back cheese, they felt bloated and crampy.

This is intriguing enough that maybe we’ll try it. If we do, we’ll give our first-hand assessment.

Victor crew