11 Mar 2011
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
Many of us eat and eat until our heart is content. We hate to cook and rely on fast foods to get us through the day, even though the adverse effects can be devastating.
Here’s a tidbit for you: When Africans were captured and brought to America as slaves, did you know that the food of choice was the sweet potato? Why? Because it is a filling vegetable that doesn’t require much work or cooking to satisfy the individual. The sweet potato tastes good, but the body needs more to function at peak performance.
Now let’s look at why we are slaves to food. There are over 300 fast food establishments in Memphis and the average spending ticket is about ten dollars, when drinks and desserts are add to the meal. Now consider that one out of every four Americans eat fast food about 3.4 times per week, or about 160 times per year. Also, one out of five babies eat French fries each day. One reason for weight gain may be that one meal often contains enough caloric requirements for the entire day.
Take for example French fries or frozen potatoes fries. Some people can eat them and never get enough. But have you ever wondered how the fries are seasoned to make you crave for more? Number one, those fries are not made from 100 percent potatoes. Sulfur dioxide is commonly used to bleach the fries, giving them a nice, white appearance when frozen, with a sugar dip to improve the sugar content of the potatoes.
In addition to these preservative agents, the fries are cooked in hydrogenated oils – molecularly changed oils that are used in a variety of processed foods and are toxic to the body. Hydrogenated oils preserve the consistency and longevity of the fries, which means that it takes a long time before they get soggy or moldy. Hydrogenated oils have been linked to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
So if you thought you were on your way to getting your five-vegetables-a-day by ordering fries, think again. You’re not really eating only potatoes. You’re eating potatoes that are cooked with 93 percent beef tallow, which has more saturated fat than a hamburger.
What the average person does not realize is that the taste of a French fry is not determined by the potato, but rather by the way the potato is cooked.
Fast food restaurants still continue to use an ingredient they refer to as “natural flavoring,” which comes from an animal (they just won’t reveal which one). Have you ever wondered why? If you have an allergy, for example, that doesn’t seem to get better, guess what? You’re out of luck and wonder why you’re sick. The food and drug administration allows this because natural flavoring is deemed safe for consumption.
You see, when it comes to food, you’re a slave. The problem is the type of food you consume. That’s why understanding and examining the ingredients in your food is important. And that’s why after diabetes arises, we can never become healthy or lose the desired weight.
Did you know that more than 4 million African-Americans have diabetes? That number continues to increase. What is causing diabetes to rise at an alarming rate in the African-American community? The sad part of it is that one in three African Americans don’t know they have diabetes or what the signs are.
Managing diabetes, or completely eradicating it, requires a complete change in lifestyle, diet, exercise and understanding what foods to consume. It plays a great part in our overall well-being and our ability to fight this dreaded disease.