Monday, April 7, 2008

Cooking from Scratch - Healthy Living

If saving money by cooking from scratch didn't convince you how about how much it will improve your health.

Much of our modern food is for convenience...not necessarily for health. Not to mention many manufacturers use things in those products to keep their costs down so they have a larger profit margin. This does not mean they are good for our bodies.

Most of what you'll find in those easy to fix boxes are loaded with preservatives and over-processed foods. Definitely, very different from what God intended our bodies to consume.

Let's look as some of them.

High-Fructose Corn syrup - A combination of pure corn syrup (100% glucose) and other corn syrups processed to increase their fructose content. It's use as both a sweetener and a preservative and is used because it's both sweeter and cheaper than sugar. Many contribute the growing population on high fructose corn syrup...and I don't mean growing population numbers but growing as in obesity levels.

Some also believe that high fructose corn syrup is a major contributor to the higher number of those affected by diabetes and high cholesterol.

Although there isn't substantial evidence to confirm one way or another it's still a good idea to avoid it where possible...even those at the Mayo Clinic recommend cutting back (read their article here) or you can do your own research by looking up "high fructose corn syrup."

Cutting back may be harder than you might think. Go to your cabinets and start looking at the labels...it's in a lot of products and many things you wouldn't even think of!

Hydrogenated and Partially hydrogenated oils - This oil is made by the process of heating the oil and passing hydrogen bubbles through it. This makes the oil more dense and depending on rather it's fully hydrogenated or partially gives you different consistencies. For example, partially hydrogenated oils found in things like margarine while those more fully hydrogenated would be like vegetable shortening.

Again, the reason manufacturers' use these items are because they are cheaper and usually help to extend the shelf life but not necessarily your life. There are actually people who are working to ban these products from our foods. They contain high levels of trans fats which are not good for our bodies because they mess with our metabolic process.

They will also help make you fat. You're body needs certain types of essential fatty acids to work properly and you will be "hungry" until your body gets them. This often times causes you to eat and eat but never bee satisfied. Read more here and here.

Cooking from scratch allows you to avoid these types of "ingredients" in your food and who knows, maybe cutting out these things might help you loose that last few pounds left from Christmas. :)

Mavis D.

1 comment:

Rose Mary said...

THis is such a good article! We are trying to avoid hydrogenated oils (they really aggravate a skin condition I have) and corn syrup is something I'd like to live without, too. Like you say, it is in so much that we buy. Avoiding both entirely is very hard to do. Cooking from scratch is just so much better, and as you said, it tastes so much better. We try to avoid processed foods, but do eat them sometimes.

R~Mary