Nutrition and Food Additives

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Which is better for your diet? Natural or artificial?

This week Brett Newcomb and I are talking about nutrition and food additives, which was inspired by a blog titled Nutrition Tips, by Dr. Mark Hyman. We hope you will listen to our podcast and then check out Dr. Hyman’s blog.

The blog invites us to consider elements in healthy nutrition. What foods are natural for us to eat? What foods make us healthy? How does the mass consumption food industry for prepared foods market to us to purchase and repeatedly buy their products?

In this podcast we discuss food additives, what they are, and how they work in the manufacturing of prepared foods. They add to shelf life so the food can sit in the store or remain in the distribution system for years without spoilage, and they provide tastes that become addictive even though there is either no nutritional value or there is destructive nutritional value to them. More and more Americans are becoming aware of these issues and are attempting to learn how to eat more healthy alternatives.

One question we encounter is the question about supplements and additives in food. There is a product called folic acid which has been added to mass produced foods. When it was first used, the occurrence of Spina Bifida dropped. It was helpful for that very specific population of at-risk individuals. Most people however need to eat natural folates rather than folic acid. Dr. Hyman explains why in his blog, and I talk about why a large group of the population are not able to digest and metabolize synthetic folates and need to eat natural ones instead. That portion of the population that has the gene MTHFR cannot process artificial folates. That represents one in three of the population, so they need some other way to ingest the right amount of folic acid.

Essentially the message is one we hear regularly in the media today. We all need to eat more fresh green leafy vegetables and fruits. We need to reduce or stop smoking and we need to reduce carbohydrate consumption in order to live longer healthier lives.

We keep trying to find ways to communicate this message to compel people to try to make healthier diet choices. It is a real challenge because the mass marketing system works against this message and our jam packed stressful lives make it more difficult to buy, prepare and consume those healthier options. We don’t want to sound like “nanny’s” telling people what to do, but we do believe in the power and impact of being an informed consumer making wise choices for ourselves and our families. See what you think.

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