I've been misled more than once by the food industry’s confusing and unethical marketing shenanigans. They use super-convenient, fantastic tasting, addictive and low cost processed foods, reeling me in, hook line and sinker. The damage done by eating processed foods is devastating! If you're not convinced, consider that 80% of processed foods in the US are banned in many countries1. Processed foods in the US now hold double the amount of fat, five times more sodium, 60% more sugar and substantially more soybean and corn than the early 1900s.2
Years of scientific research proves that processed foods lose all health benefits! Food is a molecular message, which orchestrates health within the body. Processed foods give the conductor the boot.
For example, let's look at Quaker's oatmeal squares. We think that oatmeal is healthy; therefore, the Quaker snack is healthy. The packaging claims “96% of your minimum whole grain needs” and a “good source of fiber and calcium”. Now break down the list of ingredients of Quaker's Golden Maple oatmeal squares, knowing that ingredients are listed in descending order of prevalence. The initial ingredients are critical, so remember: “the dose makes the poison”.
“WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, BROWN SUGAR, SUGAR, MALTODEXTRIN, MALTED BARLEY EXTRACT, MOLASSES, SALT, CALCIUM CARBONATE, SODIUM BICARBONATE, NATURAL FLAVOR, CARAMEL COLOR, REDUCED IRON, SODIUM ASCORBATE, YELLOW 5, NIACINAMIDE (VITAMIN B3), BHT (A PRESERVATIVE), ZINC OXIDE, VITAMIN E ACETATE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, YELLOW 6, THIAMIN MONONITRATE (VITAMIN B1), PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2) , FOLIC ACID, ALPHA TOCOPHEROL ACETATE.”
The first ingredient, “whole wheat flour” (not to be confused with “whole wheat”) indicates that the whole grain has been pulverized to oblivion - losing critical nutrients through oxidation, being exposed to air, heat and any UV rays. Because it is not in its whole form, it gets digested rapidly, causing an immediate spike in blood sugar. So insulin is overproduced, thus leaving us lethargic and with an increased hunger post ingestion. Insulin spikes are dangerous - they pave the way for insulin resistance and diabetes.
Using the glycemic index (a scale that ranks carbohydrate-rich foods to see how they affect blood-glucose levels compared to glucose [100% GI]), let's determine how the ingredients get digested. The higher the number, the faster it overwhelms the body’s ability to utilize sugar, causing a list of negative side effects. The glycemic index of the first ingredient (whole-wheat flour) ranks “high” at 713. Making matters worse, Dr. Davis explains, amylopection A (the complex carbohydrate unique to wheat) digests too quickly. He notes that two slices of whole-wheat bread, (which digest slower than whole-wheat flour) increases blood sugar higher and faster than table sugar4.
The next three ingredients are brown sugar, sugar, maltodextrin – all sugar! Not a very good start - where is the oatmeal? LOL, Just Eat Real Food.
- Gucciardi A. 80 percent of processed foods in US Army other nations. Natural society\news analysis. Published Saturday, 29 June 2013 available at: http://www.nationofchange.org/80-percent-processed-foods-us-are-banned-other-nations-1372517219
- Warner M, Sreenivasan H. is processed food Pandora’s box for the American diet? PBS news hour, April 29, 2013 available at: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june13/food_04-29.html
- GI Listing, online glycemic index database. Available at:
- Davis W, MD. Featured Articles. Wheat Belly Blog available at: