"Do Not Eats"

Saturday, June 9, 2012

WARNING: This is a long post. It is a post you may have no interest in, and thats okay:) After a discussion in the car, my husband encouraged me to blog about what I have discovered about food, and having lots of free time to rest, I decided to do so :)...

After loosing my weight (about 35 lbs) about a year ago, many people ask me "What do I eat?" I tell them it is a lifestyle change, healthy eating and exercise but I promise my biggest secret is what I do NOT eat.
We had lunch today at a place that served little bags of Grippo's BBQ potato chips. Has anybody had these? They are DELISH and highly addictive. Made here in Cincinnati, Grippo's BBQ chips are a famous deal around these parts and I understand why. They have the most amazing seasoning of sweet, tangy and spicy that cover each chip that leave you wanting more and more. I was reading the ingredient list as I do with most foods...(which yes, I read the nutritional values too but I promise what is IN your food is much more important that fat and calories to me) and I discovered three things that highly disturbed me. Two of the ingredients listed on these chips happen to be two out of three "do not eats."  

Over my weight loss/ healthy journey I have really taken an interest into nutrition. Being a nurse, I love science, and have always loved nutrition but I have spent a lot of time learning about harmful effects of processed foods over the last year and have made nutrition a mini hobby of mine. I say this, but I am no expert. I want to take care of the body that God has given me, so for anyone who cares, here is my soap box of the three things you should avoid eating at all costs....

1. Hydrogenated oil.
Even if it says "partially hydrogenated" it is hydrogenated none the less. When an oil is hydrogenated, it is actually a process of forcing hydrogen into an oil at a really high heat and a really high pressure. Hydrogenated oils replace butter in many things and is a cheap way to add flavor and prolong shelf life. You will find this is MANY processed foods. It can be quite depressing really, because it is in SO much! Being pregnant, a box of cookies sounded so good to me the other day, so I went up the cookie isle and just about every Keebler or Peperidge Farm cookie contained these yucky oils. 
You may have heard hydrogenated oils be referred to as Trans fats... it is basically a fat that turns solid at room temperature. These fats contain trans fatty acids which are extremely bad for you and your heart. Because they are artificially made, our body doesn't recognize them and so it doesn't really know what to do with them. These trans fatty acids have been shown to contribute to heart disease, cancer , and diabetes. Again, I am no expert but the way I understand it is that FAT IS GOOD! Our body needs fat and our body won't stop being hungry until we get the fatty acids it needs. "Polyunsaturated fats" are the "good fats" found in things like olives, nuts, fish and eggs. These fats don't really make you fat and in fact, once our body receives these fats, our hunger mechanism will turn off because the body received the good fat it needed. The problem with these trans fats is that THEY MAKE YOU EAT MORE because they make you consume more fat to get the good fatty acids that you need. Besides causing disease, they are also bad because they interfere with the body's ability to use good fats. You may also see words in the label like "partially hydrogenated soybean oil" This is TERRIBLE because this oil actually slows your thyroid down which makes you tired and slows your metabolism. Look for hydrogenated oils in most cookies, chips and crackers. Bummer, I know. Heres the thing though, by taking care of your body your aren't stuck to tofu and wheat grass I promise. Here are a couple examples of swaps you can make to avoid these oils...

Cool whip is CHEMICAL whip that contains hydrogenated oil. Instead, use....

Full fat, real whipped cream.
I am not implying that whipped cream is a diet food. You don't really have to be on a diet to eat well. Eat these things in moderation and when you do need whipped cream, use the real stuff. Fat free cool whip is probably the worst! A general rule, dont buy FAT FREE because it is usually loaded with harmful chemicals to make up for the fat deficit. 

Again, not another diet food... but if you are going to eat potato chips, eat....

Lays classics or most kettle chips! Lay's classics contain potatoes, sunflower oil and salt. Thats it.
Baked Lay's are low in fat, but full of junk! 
Again, Im not saying to loose weight, eat these, because they do have "saturated fat" but if you want an occasional potato chip, live a little and DO SO! Just eat pure chips. 

2. High Fructose Corn Syrup.
You may have seen commercials talking about how there is nothing wrong with HFCS. But here is why I don't eat it... It is a synthetic sugar. Again, your body doesn't recognize this as sugar so your body will tell you to eat more because it doesn't even think it is getting real sugar. A low sugar diet is best... Don't get me wrong, regular sugar in high doses also contributes to obesity and diabetes just as HFCS does, HFCS attributes to obesity more than sugar because it affects our normal appetite functions. 
Bottum line... What makes me not want to eat this substance... Our liver doesn't metabolize HFCS so it goes straight to fat. This stuff can even cause scarring to our liver. Again, the major bummer with this stuff is that it is in virtually EVERYTHING... breads, cereals, granola bars, yogurts, soups and condiments. However, more and more products are being made with out HFCS, you just have to look at the labels. Many times it will advertise "No HFCS" on the front of the package. Luke's new favorite no hfcs product...

3. MSG aka Monosodium glutanate.
This stuff is a "flavor enhancer" linked to obesity. In short, it is the nicotine of food. It literally addicts you to the food it is added to and it changes the way your body breaks down fat, making you, well, fat. This stuff is in many processed foods and MOST fast foods and many chain restaurants. MSG is called an excitotoxin and can lead to Diabetes, stroke, cancer, seizers, high blood pressure and encephalitis. Your label wont always say MSG, it can be hidden in these words...
Monosodium Glutamate
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Hydrolyzed Protein
Hydrolyzed Plant Protein
Plant Protein Extract
Sodium Caseinate
Calcium Caseinate
Yeast Extract
Textured Protein (Including TVP)
Autolyzed Yeast
Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
Corn Oil  

That really stinks doesn't it? It feels like a full time job just to pick out food and this is where I want to drive my point...

You have to have FREEDOM in your life when it comes to food. No person should be so obsessed with dieting that they would say I can NEVER eat this or that. The same goes for all of these "do not eats" Yes, I check my labels, and won't buy it I see that it is in there. But if I am going over to someones house and they have Dorritos, will I grab a couple? Sure! I can't be a wierdo always checking labels, and freaking out. Early in my pregnancy it was OREO's 100th birthday, and I had Luke run and get some OREO's. Not a norm, but a TREAT. I will occasionally have something with one of these three ingredients in it, I just dont make it a part of my regular diet.

What I want you to take from this, is start being more aware of what you are eating. Being pregnant, I have eaten plenty of ice cream, cheeses and higher fat foods to give my babies what they need. I just eat REAL ice cream, REAL cheese, and avoid processed foods. It is amazing what delicious snacks and goodies you will find in your natural food section of your grocery store.

God made us to enjoy food. God also made food... he knew what he was doing when he created fruits, vegetables and meats. Sure we can enjoy packaged food too, but try to buy packaged things with ingredients that you can pronounce... REAL and PURE food.
So much of my healthy journey is not about the way I look, but the way I take care of the body that the Lord has provided me with :) Avoiding these ingredients is something I believe God has laid on my heart and something he has motivated me with to take care of my family. Luke is so appreciative to eat healthy, and has appreciated the weight loss benefits too. These "do not eats" will encourage you to cook more too. Last night we had chicken taquitos... something I once enjoyed out of a box, but I made them by scratch and it was an EASY recipe. I often look for simple recipes and find many on Dr.OZ.com. We had pound cake with strawberries and whipped cream for dessert. Again, I eat like I regular person and cannot deprive myself and live under bondage. I have discovered wonderful self control and discipline that the Lord has blessed me in wanting to take care of my body and health.  I have found freedom in PURE food and I hope that you can enjoy the same freedom I have found :)

Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.


  1. This is so great...love it! Love the balance & the attitude behind it.

  2. You make such a great case for healthy eating and taking the time to read food labels. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Love this post Kathleen! Thanks for sharing & explaining it so clearly. You would love a baby cookbook called "Start Fresh". It would be some good bedrest reading ;) Wish I could come hang out with you!!!

  4. This is so informative, Kathleen! Thank you!

  5. Hi! First of all, I LOVE your blog. Do you eat frozen quick meals like Lean Cuisines?


  6. Focusing on just 3 ingredients is so smart and manageable. I really enjoyed reading this! Hope all is well with your pregnancy, Kathleen! You are already one beautiful momma :)


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