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The Weight Loss Secret The Food Industry Doesn’t Want You To Know

If I had known about this weight loss secret the food industry doesn’t want you to know about – I would have saved myself a ton of heartache, frustration and yo-yo dieting. It makes me incredibly sad that people out there are doing whatever it takes to get healthy, thin and look their best – but instead are facing an uphill battle because of what the food industry has done to our food and the way they are marketing it to us. 

We’ve all seen the 100-calorie portion sized snacks at the grocery store, and packaged diet foods and drinks labeled as “low-calorie”, “light”, and “zero” line the shelves. I personally know many people that crack open a Diet Coke in the morning (and again, and again throughout the day) and think that because it is “zero calorie” it’s the same as drinking water. Well – I’m here to tell you it’s not.

Many people believe that it really doesn’t matter where your calories come from, as long as you don’t eat too many of them you’re on the right track. However, I see things differently. When planning a meal, the thought “how many calories does this contain?” rarely crosses my mind anymore. I don’t count calories on a regular basis and you shouldn’t have to either if you start reading ingredient lists!

Slide1

Not all calories are equal.

For example, I can eat one Twinkie loaded with GMOs, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, polysorbate 60, partially hydrogenated oil – and it will be 135 calories.  On the other hand, I can choose to eat a large pear full of fiber, phytonutrients, copper, vitamins C and K, and still ingest about 135 calories. Which would you choose? For me it’s an easy choice!  

Your body treats calories differently, depending on the source.

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a medical doctor and epidemiologist, has studied how different types of foods are digested by the body and their association with weight gain. He says that although calories release the same amount of energy in a laboratory, the human body is much more complex. According to Dr. Mozaffarian in the New York Times, “the evidence is very clear that not all calories are created equal as far as weight gain and obesity. If you’re focusing on calories, you can easily be misguided”.  This belief is echoed by Dr. Mark Hyman:

“It is true that, in a vacuum, all calories are the same. A thousand calories of Coke and a thousand calories of broccoli burned in a laboratory will release the same amount of energy.  But all bets are off when you eat the Coke or the broccoli. These foods have to be processed by your metabolism (not a closed system). Coke and broccoli trigger very different biochemical responses in the body—different hormones, neurotransmitters and immune messengers. The Coke will spike blood sugar and insulin and disrupt neurotransmitters, leading to increased hunger and fat storage, while the thousand calories of broccoli will balance blood sugar and make you feel full, cut your appetite and increase fat burning.  Same calories—profoundly different effects on your body”.

So many of us have been misled, and the Food Industry doesn’t want you to know the truth.

When I realized that junk food companies were teaching and catering to health professionals I was horrified (and some responsible dietitians are horrified as well). There’s a long list of companies and industry associations that are accredited to teach continuing education courses to registered dietitians, including General Mills, Kraft, and Pepsico. On Coca-Cola’s educational website – BeverageInstitute.org – they provide free accredited educational programs on GMOs, low-calorie sweeteners, and weight loss to nurses, dietitians, health educators, and other health professionals”.

If that isn’t a conflict of interest, I don’t know what is!

Coca-Cola recently stated, “In 2014 alone, the number of courses completed by RNs, RDs, pharmacists and other HPs exceeded 300,000, and today more than 40,000 nurses know more about the safety and benefits of low-calorie sweeteners as a direct result of these programs”.  Their courses advocate the use of low-calorie artificial sweeteners and indicate that cutting calories is the key to managing your weight – regardless of where those calories come from. They obviously hope that their “educational programs” will encourage health professionals to recommend their low-calorie foods to future patients who are trying to lose weight – it’s great advertising for these junk food companies – and it works. Some registered dieticians are now telling people it’s okay to eat Hostess cupcakes if they are in a “100 calorie” pack and to go ahead and eat at Taco Bell if it’s “fresco-style”. This would be funny if it wasn’t true.  

The research behind these programs are largely funded (sponsored) by the junk food companies themselves and non-profit industry groups such as the International Food Information Council (IFIC), the International Life Sciences Institute and the Calorie Control Council. All the while, independent research is suppressed. It has been shown that industry-funded nutrition research is often biased “with implications to public health”As put by Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor and author:

“Sponsorship almost invariably predicts the results of research… results are highly likely to favor the sponsor’s interest. The companies are not buying the results, although it sometimes seems that way. Instead, it seems to me that researchers who are willing to accept grants from food companies tend to be less critical about the way they design their studies. I often notice that sponsored studies lack appropriately rigorous controls… As a rule, corporate funding discourages critical thinking – or promotes uncritical thinking – about the importance of individual foods or nutrients in healthful diets. Sponsored studies have only one purpose – to establish a basis for marketing claims. They are not carried out to promote public health”.

Going down the rabbit hole of the Calorie Control Council.

Many of the dollars being used to promote the belief that “all calories are equal” come from the Calorie Control Council. This is just a non-profit group of junk food and chemical companies that have banded together to sponsor research to provide “evidence-based claims” that their low-calorie processed food is good for you. They also offer free accredited educational courses to help drive their point home. Their members include Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Co, McNeil Nutritionals (Splenda), Nutrinova (Ace-K) and Ajinomoto USA (Aspartame) and they own several propaganda websites – including Aspartame.org and CaloriesCount.com. 

These new food inventions are ruining your health.

While cutting calories might help you lose weight in the short-term, it can be horrible for your long-term health. This is because the ingredients that the industry is packaging up for us are designed to increase their profits while expanding our addiction to their “food-like” concoctions – which eventually expands our waistlines too. Many packaged low-calorie diet foods contain ingredients that can rob us of our health, some cause us to eat more than we should and most of which you would never cook with at home:

  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Sugar
  • Refined Flour
  • Preservatives
  • GMOs (soybean oil, canola, corn, corn syrup, etc)
  • Trans-fats
  • Partially Hydrogenated Oils
  • MSG
  • Hidden MSG
  • Artificial Colors
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors

For example, a Weight Watchers “Smart Ones” Lemon Herb Chicken Piccata meal rings in at just 250 calories, yet it contains a shocking number of harmful additives including sodium phosphate, partially hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup, caramel coloring and a lot of hidden MSG. None of the ingredients are organic or non-GMO verified and it’s full of sugar and corn-derived ingredients. You’d think that “Chicken” would be the main ingredient, but “Cooked White Meat Chicken” is near the very bottom of the ingredient list. I could go on. I truly find it sad that anyone considers this healthy food!

Speaking of healthy, I checked out the ingredients on a container of Healthy Choice Country Vegetable Soup, which only has 100 calories. What could possibly be unhealthy about veggie soup? It turns out a lot. Their soup contains soybean oil, sugar, and hidden MSG. They can get away with the term “Healthy” on their label only because they meet the FDA definition of healthy – but definitely not mine. Try this Mexican Lentil Soup recipe instead.

Slide2

Who doesn’t love ice cream? I know I do. When I found out there was a “skinny” ice cream on the market, I admit I was a little excited. That was until I read the box on Skinny Cow Mint Ice Cream Sandwiches and found a complete freak show of artificial colors (blue 1, yellow 5, caramel), and carrageenan on the ingredient label. Try this Coconut Milk Ice Cream recipe instead.

Slide3

Many “diet” processed foods contain artificial chemical sweeteners because they’re low-calorie, such as in Yoplait 100-Calorie Greek Yogurt, sweetened with Splenda (linked to leukemia) and Acesulfame Potassium (Ace-K), which is processed with the carcinogen methylene chloride. Even the FDA admits that methylene chloride is used in the processing of Ace-K, but deemed it safe nonetheless: “where an additive has not been shown to cause cancer, even though it contains a carcinogenic impurity, the additive is not subject to the legal effect of the Delaney clause”. Not to mention that Yoplait also includes “sugar” that may be from GMO sugar beets and the milk likely comes from cows fed a GMO grain diet – there is nothing healthy about Yoplait! Try this Chia Fruit Salad Pudding instead.

Slide4

When I began investigating packaged low-calorie foods I was outraged with what I found.  

This upset me because I know that most people are really trying to eat right. Many of you are trying to choose healthy food and believe that these packaged low-calorie foods are a good choice. I also know that many of you are ticked off about what’s happening in the food industry and upon reading my investigations and finding out the truth, you say:

“Tell me what I can eat!”

“That’s my favorite brand – oh no!”

“I was addicted to that!?”

“I just fed that <insert product> to my child this morning – what am I suppose to do now?”

I’ve heard your concerns. It comes down to getting back into our kitchen and cooking real food at home, using the least processed ingredients as possible. When you eat whole foods – especially plant based foods that are low in sugar such as leafy greens, vegetables, and fermented foods, you optimize your gut bacteria (sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Recent research tells us that healthy gut bacteria is key to a healthy weight, and scientists are continuing to discover this phenomenon (sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 78, 9, 10). Similar to how antibiotics (which destroy gut bacteria) are used to fatten up farm animals, it only makes sense that an unhealthy gut could fatten us up too.

There’s mounting evidence that artificial sweeteners, preservatives, pesticides, food packaging materials, high fructose corn syrup, colors and other food additives contribute to obesity (sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). The effects are complex – some of these chemicals increase the number of fat cells, others expand the size of fat cells, and still others influence appetite, cravings, fullness, and how well the body burns calories.

When you eat crappy chemicals, your body becomes a fat, toxic waste dump.

Yale researches recently conducted a scientific review comparing popular diets and found that it’s best to just eat unprocessed food! They concluded that “A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention….The case that we should, indeed, eat true food, mostly plants, is all but incontrovertible”. This seems so logical, yet it’s a radical idea. One thing is for sure, they are discovering what I’ve known all along – simply eating real food is where it’s at and I’m never turning back.  

Can you imagine if all of us simply stopped buying processed food full of additives? We would change the world!

I know that many of you don’t know where to start, or even how to cook (believe me, I’ve been there). I’ve figured out how to navigate this over-processed food world and I’m going to show you how to do it with ease, peace of mind and an easy to follow plan.

My #1 best selling book The Food Babe Way will help you do that and opt out of this broken system and finally break free from the grips of the food industry. We can’t control what they are doing to our food, but we can control what we put in our mouths everyday. The habits you will learn in The Food Babe Way will take the guesswork out of that – I created it for myself, my family and friends – and all of you!

In my 2nd book, Feeding You Lies, I blow the lid off of the lies we’ve been fed about the food we eat – lies about its nutrient value, effects on our health, label information, and even the very science we base our food choices on. 

And, my first cookbook, Food Babe Kitchen, contains over 100 mouthwatering recipes from Baja Fish Tacos and Grapefruit Goddess Salad to Rainbow French Fries and an 8-Minute Candy Bar to show you how delicious and simple it is to eat healthy, easy, real food.

Do you know someone who is still counting calories? Please share this post with them! It’s time we get the truth out to everyone!

Xo,
Vani 

 

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227 responses to “The Weight Loss Secret The Food Industry Doesn’t Want You To Know

  1. I love the concept of the pictures showing the healthy alternatives. A book with the concept of Eat This, Not That with real healthy alternatives would be great versus the slightly less crappy versions they give you in that book series.

  2. Two thoughts Vani-
    1) Comparing pre-packaged “on the go food” and homemade concoctions is like comparing apples and oranges. Most people who reach for pre-packaged stuff have super busy lives and need a pre-packaged alternative to be motivated to change what ingredients they are eating. I know a woman who told me “she is not the housewife type.” No way is she going to subsitute prepackaged yogurt for some homemade chia-nutmilk concoction. Now, a small tupperware container with plain yogurt, honey, and fruit? maybe. Stonyfield yogurt cups, etc? Most likely, if she’s willing to prioritize good food in her budget.
    2) I’m curious to see some “before pictures” from your dramatic physical change after you started eating real food!

    1. Kate, your comment echos my exact thoughts! I need to see some healthy “on the go” foods as well. I also want to see the before pictures. The dramatic email sucked me into reading with hopes of seeing a dramatic transformation.

      1. Some healthy “on the go” foods would be organic nuts, golden berries, an apple, a sandwich made from Ezekiel bread, raw sunflower seeds.

      2. Healthy snacks: 1/2 avocado, a banana, nuts, an apple with almond butter, vegetable sticks (or slices) with hummus, boiled eggs, Mary’s Gone Crackers (Love the Super Seed). The implication that some people are “too busy” to make home made food is specious. I cook from scratch and I’m busy. Why and how do I do it? I do it because I lost my health eating the standard American diet and I regained it by eating healthy whole foods. I don’t come home every night and cook dinner from scratch or get up in the morning before work and make a big breakfast. I prep ahead every week. I cook several meals that I divvy up into single servings and freeze so I have variety. I make sue I have salad makings. I usually roast some veggies, saute some, and have some prepped so I can steam or stir fry them quickly. I usually roast a chicken each weekend and debone it. Shredded chicken is an ‘on the go’ food if you prepare it ahead. I debone the bird, shred the chicken, place it in containers to freeze in portions suitable for lunches (single servings) or meals (larger portions). If I thaw it ahead, I can make soup or stir fry in about 10 minutes if I prepped my veggies. I use some of the shredded chicken to make chicken enchilada casseroles or other chicken dishes and freeze the casseroles so I have meals for dinners. I roast the carcass to bring up the flavor and toss it in the crock pot with some water, vegetables, spices and a little apple cider vinegar and overnight I have chicken stock. I drink this each morning and evening. I usually just leave the crock pot on low all week and drink it as I go. I prefer it over tea……. These are all easy things to do and I either try to set aside part of a day to get them done or if my weekend is packed, do one thing each evening toward prepping for the upcoming week Produce though has to be just before the week starts or Monday night. I prep enough ahead that I can just so salads if I get a super busy week and pull meals from the freezer that I’ve done. It works and it is practical. It saves me money and more importantly, it promotes my health which allows me to do more and go more and be more engaged. It is totally worth it. I guess in the end, I would say every individual portioned meal in my freezer is an ‘on the go’ food. When I don’t have time to thaw things, avocado, nuts, hardboiled eggs, seeds, ……..all of them can be picked up at your local grocery store quickly. In and out…..and done. Cheaper and healthier. I probably would not have done this if had not become ill but I’ll never go back to eating that heavily processed food.

      3. Karen, I love your thoughts on healthy snacks for a busy person. Spot on. I get made fun of by a good number of people who balk at my not eating packaged food. Many of them complain about gaining their weight back after losing weight on their frozen food plan when they try to eat “normal” again. Yet, they continue to ask me how I lost my weight and keep it off when I eat so well. They have yet been able to comprehend comprehend, simply changing your diet to whole foods as much as possible, is the “secret”. Many think I’m taking some “magic pill” or tea. I would like to make the chicken or beef bone stock and believe I’ve found a legit source for the bones. Your idea of prepping in advance and keeping it simple is key, even if you have kids, it’s really doable. It does take some time and a lot of thought when your first start, but, it does become easier. Great idea to store left over meats for quick meal grabs during busy weeks. It’s so worth the time to do this.

    2. I agree, Kate. 1. I think the recipes are awesome and I would (and do) make them, but I think most people grab the pre-packaged health food because they are busy, so it’d be great to get info. on what pre-packaged items are actually healthy items. Hopefully, this article will encourage people to actually cook at home, though, too! 2. I have also thought that I would love to see Vani’s before pictures. I follow the drop-dead gorgeous real-food celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder and she shares her before pics, as well as some of her non-celebrity clients/followers- the transformations are amazing and so inspiring!!

      1. Well, unfortunately that’s the whole ‘catch’ to living a healthy lifestyle. You can’t rely on processed grab and go food–easy as that. If you want to truly pursue a healthy, GMO-free lifestyle, it takes hours a week of food prep. There’s no easy way to cheat the system. The more control you have over your food, the better.

        The good news is, once you try food prepping, you get better at it and you learn how to make food in bulk ahead of time (like Vani suggests). Believe me–the work is worth it!

    3. I agree about the packaged foods. Even with cooking on the weekends, I sometimes rely on pre-packaged meals to provide myself variety. Even though sodium is still an issue, I find that Amy’s organic or Evol have much shorter lists of ingredients – it’s not great but it’s better!

      1. The argument of pre-packaged versus homemade is somewhat of a false argument. Maple Hill Creamery does a 100% grass fed yogurt. Nice snack food. I make a freezer fudge (takes approx. 10-15 minutes to make) and eat on it for over a week (unless I can’t hold back :)). The freezer fudge is tahini, chocolate chips, coconut oil, etc.

        There are packaged snacks, but I can also state as someone who has gone through a 15 day juice cleanse and maintained juicing at least 5 days a week once or twice a day for well over a year… eating pre-packaged foods these days make me physically ill. I trust my body at this point to inform me when something is or isn’t good for me. I know with some vegetables I get GMO’s and chemicals, but for me… small steps, gradual changes and keep changing to get to the end game.

      2. I am right there with you Monty. Packaged foods turn my stomach over now. When I stopped buying processed foods and pre-packaged foods, my grocery bill went down. Shopping at WalMart, they have begun carrying Organic foods. The produce section is full, and this past week I found they have started carrying grass fed beef (Jones Creek). I had quit eating beef altogether, but I picked this up for a try.
        When I was nursing 12 hr shift, I took my own snacks and fixed my dinner and brought it with.
        It’s a mindset. People like Vani’s blog, Dr. Oz’s program, and others have great ideas for snacks on the go. Once you start eating right, your stomach goes “YUCK” when you stick unreal food in it! 🙂

    4. The answer is find one day a week and prep your own on the go snacks. Yes it takes time, but your health is worth it! I have cleaned up my diet (about 80/20 clean) and started working out 5 days a week. In 18 weeks I lost 38 lbs. I dropped from a size 14/16 to a size 6. I have a ton of energy now that is consistent throughout the day. It takes determination, commitment and discipline to make new habits, but it can be done! Stop making excuses that you don’t have the time and MAKE the time. You are worth it.

      1. Congrats on your change! (I would love to see your before/after’s.)
        I juice, do non-GMO whey shakes, do lemon water in the am or sometimes a ginger-lemon tea with honey. I don’t “diet,” though I watch everything I eat, try to eat walnuts (raw), organic salad, etc. My job is super demanding so I still feel run down by 4 or 5pm.
        I am curious if you drink coffee. Would you have any other recommendations for me to feel more energetic AND lose 20-25?

      2. Vani,

        A client called to say her child was in the E.R. having seizures. I sensed the baby had eaten something very contaminated with chemicals and wondered what he had gotten into. Maybe some toxic household cleaner or something of that nature? He had been eating these for 2 days. There is so much coloring in these, it dyes the tissue in the mouth the color of the pop. In my opinion this is the LAST thing the food industry should be marketing to sick children. AND isn’t that Ace I see in the list?

        Water, Anhydrous Dextrose. Less than 2% of the Following: Citric Acid, Salt, Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, and Grape also contains Natural and Artificial Grape Flavor, Red 40, and Blue 1; Cherry also contains Natural and Artificial Cherry Flavor and Red 40; Orange also contains Natural and Artificial Orange Flavor, Yellow 6, and Red 40; Blue Raspberry also contains Natural and Artificial Blue Raspberry Flavor, and Blue 1.

      3. Juliet– I do drink a cup of coffee in the morning. I drink it black. My main drink is water during the day. I use a vegan based shake that I adore. (Just started with vegan shake I still eat lean meats. ). I am journaling my journey on facebook. You can find my page facebook.com/kdgwolf. I’m a kindergarten teacher and love how I feel now that I have focused on my own health.

    5. Well, thank you for all the hard work you do Vani, its funny how these people are always making excuses when it comes to eating healthy, you provide us with your info, and its up to us to take it. If we have busy lives, who doesn’t, its not your problem, so people stop criticizing her and for trying to help us.

    6. Eating clean is a commitment but once u start there is no turning back. Packaged n easy food will taste HORRIBLE!!!!. I felt the same once….just too darn busy! Sunday is my ‘make it portable’ day. I think if new ways to make my healthy food work for my busy schedule. Im goin thru menopause n the additives n preservatives wreak havic on my system. Gone is the belly bloat, achy joints n crabby attitude! Thank u FOOD BABE for getting the info out there. Women, especially, shud eat clean. Balances the mind, body and soul!

    7. What could be so much more important in your life than your health and your families health. We make time for things we value. If you eat convenience food cause you don’t have time then health isn’t a priority and that’s sad. Remember too kids will create lifelong habits based on what their parents teach them and they will teach their kids. What legacy do you want to pass on, good health and good eating habits or toxic ones. You can have time if you choose to. I’m a busy career woman with 5 kids and I find the time and can do it on a budget. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Bet if you were suddenly diagnosed with a bad disease you’d find time for the doctors appointments. Please look deep inside and make changes. Good health is priceless

  3. I definitely agree. Way too many people count calories and not ingredients. I’ve lost almost all desire to buy packaged foods now because almost everything has additives or toxic waste, etc. Ever since I’ve gone to a whole foods, non processed foods diet, the store-bought cookies taste really weird now. I can’t even handle store-bought bread anymore!

    1. Please try Dave’s Killer Breads … they are Non-GMO Verified and they are fantastic and a nice variety to choose from.

  4. Haha so silly Nick! We’re not falling for it!
    Thanks for educating so many people Vani. Keep up the great work!

    1. Nick was speaking in favor of Vani. Read it again…He was complaining about the Eat This, Not That series and saying that Vani’s photo pairs in her blog are better than those in the Eat This Not That series.

  5. Hi Vani,

    Greetings from the beautiful city of Bath, England!

    I’ve been studying – as an interested person, not as an academic – nutrition and health for many years and your work is a superb resource – full of quality research and great ideas.

    In the article you link to near the end of your post on weight loss, however, the only reference to weight gain in animals caused by antibiotics says: “It’s not clear exactly why low-dose antibiotics fatten animals up, although one study done in mice hints that it’s got something to do with changes to the animals’ gut microbes.”

    Do you now of any more thoroughgoing research in this area?

    Best wishes,

    Robert Barnard-Weston

    1. Robert, are you familiar with Jon Gabriel, his transformation, and food/lifestyle philosophy? He discusses gut health and weight loss and weight gain. I watched an interview with him on foodmatters.tv, it was very interesting and informative. His site is http://www.thegabrielmethod.com

      Hope this is helpful in furthering your research. (As a side note, I’m not a member of his site or anything, I’ve just watched his interviews and found his knowledge/research interesting.)

      1. There was also a great interview on the people’s pharmacy (a local nc npr show) last spring about the importance of gut bacteria on the immune system and even mood. The doctor (i forget his name) brought up a interesting point: that for every human cell in your body you carry 10 to 100 germ cells. So really we’re all individual memberships.

    2. Robert, just saw your comment and had to reply. I’m from the States, and my husband and son and I spent some time in Bath in August and we had the best vegan meals I’ve had anywhere at a restaurant called The Acorn! My son and his wife are moving to Bristol this summer and I plan on getting back there for another meal! I so wish more vegan restaurants were around, but you are lucky that the UK seems to be doing a much better job of it than the U.S.! As long as you guys don’t get forced to eat GMO food, you have it made.

  6. Vani, would it be possible to change the font you use for your blog? My older eyes hate it. Depending on the letter, some are darker and heavier than others – W’s, V’s, Y’s, M’s, A’s. It’s uncomfortable to read.
    Thanks,
    Linda

    1. You should be able to make the font bigger in your browser so you can read it better. Try ctrl + on your keyboard.

      1. Had cataract surgery on both eyes several years ago, and just had an eye exam last week, which was fine.

        No more comments, please.

  7. I agree we should eat REAL food and try to stay away from processed food. What I don’t understand is the current “trend” towards coconut everything – coconut ice cream, coconut “milk”, coconut water, coconut sugar, coconut oil… I don’t get substituting all dairy products with coconut or other nut products. What’s wrong with REAL milk if you’re not allergic to it or don’t have lactose intolerance?

    1. I think the trend toward non-dairy is due to sugar content. However, the true health concern about sugar is actually related to ADDED sugars, not those that occur naturally (a la lactose or sugars in fruits or vegetables).

    2. Susan, there are a couple issues with dairy milk. For one, it is unnatural for any species to drink the breast milk of another species, or drink breast milk past infancy. In fact the Harvard school of Public Health says that no one, at any life stage, needs to consume dairy. It has been linked to cancer and is completely unnecessary. A lot of research shows that, because milk becomes acidic in your stomach, your body leaches calcium from your bones to counteract it, so despite all the crap marketing from the dairy industry, milk does not do a body good. Milk in fact, can lead to osteoporosis.

      Secondly, milk is not yours to take. In order for a cow to produce milk, she is constantly artificially inseminated, and each calf is immediately taken away so that humans can take their milk.

      These cows have been bred to produce way more than they naturally would, and being constantly milked by big machines is incredibly painful and taxing. The constant milking gives them mastitis, or sores on their udders. These sores ooze puss, right into your milk. The dairy industry is legally allowed to have a certain puss content in the milk they sell. The cows are then usually slaughtered when they are spent, about 4-5 years old, instead of living to their natural age of about 20. They are fed unnatural diets, often ground up remains of other animals like chickens and pigs. It is literally animal torture. They stand inside on concrete floors all day, in their own feces, every day of their lives. All of this info is widely available.

      Not to mention the incredibly destructive effects on the environment that are caused by massive animal agriculture operations.
      So maybe try a coconut.

      1. Just for reference. There are small dairy farms that I’ve lived on while my husband worked there. The cows were pastured and given supplemental grains. They were on a concrete floor just long enough to be milked. The milkers would inspect each teat for mastitis as it was washed. It was then medicated. Yes, it was a small dairy, but that milk was cleaner than these mega dairies. But making blanket statements will bring about a shout out to the small family owned dairies from me.

        And, I do agree about the drinking of milk being highly irregular.

      2. You are soooo correct about all you say…I read about the torture of cows ..it is such a turn off…I hope others listen to what you wrote…the meat of these cows ..keep away

  8. I know about this stuff too. Don’t eat it anymore. But we are vegan and eat organic food only. We are so healthy now and feeling great. I make everything we eat. These are some scary foods.

  9. Well, I don’t really think you could see fat as a good thing, either. A person can be fat and still be a wonderful human being, however, I don’t know how fat could ever be seen as anything other than bad for you.

  10. Yourpublic wants pictures of what you used to look like prior to bevoming a food “investigator”.

    1. Read “The Protein Power Life Plan” my Michael and Mary Dan Eades. Are you aware that your brain is over 70% fat? Fat is essential. And fat takes so much energy to break it down to the components your body can use, that it is difficult to have any left to store as fat. That in contrast to simple carbs which convert to fat extremely quickly. Complex carbs are better, but still covert to fat pretty quickly. Proteins not so fast, and then fats. Using the word ‘convert’ is a misnomer but in our society, people have been led to believe fat is quickly stored as fat. That is false. Fat requires more processing than carbs or protein. Plus, heart and brain healthy fat are essential for good health.

  11. Food Babe, Who has the time….why don’t get get a manufacturer to make and sell this stuff…I’ll buy it 🙂

  12. Amen!!! As someone who has been active in the health and beauty industry for almost 30 years, this is so true! Don’t even get me started on the evils of cold cereal!!! Thank you for spreading the word!

  13. I agree with earlier comments. I like to eat as healthy as possible, but I’m too busy running my own business, spending time with family, and doing chores around the house to make any of the things from your recipes. I need quick and easy foods that are also healthy. Usually, my snacks are often fruits, but sometimes, I’ll eat Cliff’s Builder Bars which are processed, yes, but are made mostly from organic ingredients. I’ll also eat organic corn tortilla chips and organic salsa from Costco, for example, but not often.

    It is often very difficult, bordering on impossible, to get people to radically change their eating habits over night. We need to encourage them to understand that the transition to a healthier diet can be a slow but successful evolution, filled with small EASY steps. Small successes encourage people to keep making better choices on their way to a healthier lifestyle, while big things that look too difficult often just lead to discouragement. When reading your recipes, I found myself thinking along the lines of “That sounds great, but I’ll probably never have the time or patience to do that.”

    My philosophy on life in general is one of moderation and avoiding extremes (political, religious, dietary, or exercise). Strangely enough, studies have shown that those who drink alcohol rarely or occasionally, for example, live longer than those who never drink alcohol. Similarly frequent movement and exercise in short bursts of an hour or less have proven to be more beneficial than running marathons.

    1. The problem is, though, most people cannot exercise “moderation” – that term can be interpreted in so many different ways to different people – especially those who are looking for an excuse to binge eat unhealthy foods. You state you are so “busy” which is why you turn to pre-packaged food – if anything, you shouldn’t be criticizing Vani’s efforts, you should be one of the people who, more than anyone else who makes the time to cook from home, supports her efforts because she is trying to get food manufacturers to take out the overly processed, chemical – laden crap in ready made foods to make them safer for people like YOU to eat!

      1. Wow, I am sure that you didn’t mean to sound so condescending to Michael. It didn’t sound like he was criticizing Vani’s efforts at anything. I fully agree that we need healthier options available to us in all sectors of our food industry. It would be great if everyone had the time, money and ability to buy all organic, locally sourced, cruelty-free whole foods and prepare them from scratch, but as I told my nine year-old the other day: if we could only eat what we can buy at the farmers’ market, we’d starve. Sometimes you have to buy processed or “industrial” food. As many people on this site have pointed out, other countries have stricter standards on both what can be put in their food, and what companies have to tell you about what is in their products. If we can just start there, that would be a huge improvement over what we currently have in place.

        You are right – some people cannot exercise moderation. But many, many more people are just not educated about what is in the food they eat, or at how terrible the additives in most foods are for you. They believe that the FDA wouldn’t allow unsafe food to be sold. They think the manufacturers wouldn’t be allowed to market something as “healthy” if it wasn’t. If the FDA did it’s job and disallowed all the truly unsafe food additives and required manufacturers to put a full disclosure of all the ingredients in their products, as well as the real amount of added sugar, I think people would be shocked and would wise up to how bad our food is for us. After you know what’s in a Twinkie, if you still want to eat it, go for it.

        And Michael, I agree with you 100% about moderation in everything. Extremes of any sort are terrifying. If you want a cookie, or a Clif Bar every now and then, but you eat healthier options the majority of the time, you are still doing better than a lot of people. But surprise yourself and try a couple of new recipes – cooking with your family is the equivalent of sneaking vegetables into your kid’s treats. You get two great things in one!

  14. I totally relate!!! I used to try so many diets and low calorie sugar free foods thinking I would FINALLY LOSE THE WEIGHT and no avail. I once and got it. I read my ingredients, stuck to an u processed diet, one that God intended and my stubborn pounds fell off. I also healed my body from PCOS by eating REAL FOOD. No counting calories over hear! 🙂

  15. I tell my kids if it comes straight from God it is good for you. If man made it or added to it or changed/modified it then stay away.

    1. Jerry you are a complete and utter moron. I have never heard anything so pathetically stupid in my entire life. So let me get this straight, all the horrible, painful diseases in the world created by your ‘god’ are good for you and your children, and the life saving medical treatments created by man aren’t??? I’d feel sorry for you if you weren’t such a joke. I do however feel exceptionally sorry for your children.

      1. Kate,
        I was speaking of natural food versus what man has modified. I didn’t say I didn’t believe in doctors. Thanks for all the compliments, maybe you should look in the mirror as you speak of morons. My children think I (their mother who adopted the 5 of them) is pretty awesome when she feeds them healthy food.

      2. I do believe he was talking about food and not diseases. It appears that you were most offended that he spoke about “God”.

      3. Why so mean? You know Jerry means food grown naturally from the soil. And by the way, diseases weren’t “created”. They are consequences of human behaviors, just like pollution, poverty, etc. Don’t be blaming God for all the evils of this world. We humans made a mess of it, not him. You sound very bitter.

      4. Jerry was quite obviously speaking about food and only food. His sentiment, which is very apparent to anyone with a brain, is that if you are eating any substance that has been processed by man instead of a food that is a natural product of the earth, you are most likely putting something less than ideal (if not harmful) into your body. Your rash, thoughtless, and vitriolic response to his very sensible posting speaks volumes as to who you are. Move your pathetic, moronic trolling to another thread.

      5. When people use the word god for nature, it sucks. Why do people believe in fairytales.

        This is what Kate only took reference to, if you can’t see that you are blinded by your fiction.

  16. I do appreciate the science and practicality to eating real food. I have transformed my bad habits to find my energy level rise and my waistline shrink. I spend a lot of time on the road for work and find it very difficult to eat as healthy as I would like but there are some good things to buy even at a convenience store. It’s seams however that I am becoming more intolerant to health food allergies. Sesame seeds being the worst offenders and yet no one can tell me what they are good for. Tree nuts and coconut, even bananas give me a bad sensation. I am very warey to try these so called health foods due to allergic reactions, gagging, scratchy throat and annifalactic shock. One taste of Hummis blistered my tongue and nearly put me in the hospital. I believe Tahlin was the culprit, ground up sesame , not so healthy. Some of your recipes sound like a healthy alternative but what good is a sesame seed anyway? They are in everything labeled healthy or gourmet and have nearly killed me more than a time or two. Let’s not go too far overboard with the alternative ingredient list of these super foods, ok?

  17. It makes me sick to think of how many times I’ve bought frozen “healthy” diet meals or 100 calorie packs, honestly thinking I was eating healthy. I’ve given my kids goldfish crackers or cheezits, pop tarts, etc. I’ve decided recently that I’m done “dieting”… I want a lifestyle change. I’ve signed up with a service called full circle. They deliver hand picked organic produce to me every week. It’s fun to try to incorporate them into our meals. Or just juice them. When on the go, I usually just cut up fruit to bring with me. Or put some Greek yogurt in Tupperware with a little honey or maple syrup. Nuts are good on the go too. Or even make ahead granola bars!

  18. I love this article!!! Please do one on companies like herbalife! It’s so terrible and sad!

  19. I enjoyed youe message adn am tempted tp try more home preparation of food. I do not work and have plenty of time. For those who don’t, chck out Personal Trainer food. I’ve tried it for portion control. The food is good and I think healthier than many alternatives. Most likely not perfect.

  20. Dear Vani, thanks again for all you do. I am wondering if the new book is out and being circulated. Some time back I was G-Mailed to let me know that I was going to get a free copy for taking place in a letter that I wrote. I would like to donate my book to our local B.C. library for all to read. Will they becoming out soon. Thank You J.L.

    1. John, I’m surprised you didn’t get an answer back. I’m not sure of the date, but the book will be out in Feb. Any discounts applied after one has pre-purchased the book will be applied! 🙂

  21. There are those of us who think we are right and those of us who think we are right! The truth is you can get studies to support GMOs and other studies to say GMOs are bad. You can say all processed food is bad, or you can be realistic and say that sometimes we have to rely on fast food and truth be told its not evil. So what?! Its not the end of the world.

    The truth is, you decide for yourself what you feel works. Putting down someone else for what the THINK & BELIEVE is arrogant.

    Do you really ever think the full truth will be known? When you can research both sides of the story and finds TONS of evidence to back both sides up?
    NO!
    Point is do what works for you. Not everyone can afford organic but they do the best they can with what they have.

    1. If GMO’s were good and healthy, there wouldn’t be any problem labeling them, would they? The problem is, if your child has an allergy to a GMO and dies. a doctor will never be able to trace it back to a GMO food. Even if it happens a lot- like with kids that have peanut allergies

      1. Good point! I just think that the problem is we are not informed on both sides of the story. Myself included, Im learning also.

        GMOs are not new, they have been being used for centuries. If a person has food allergies they have a responsibility to police it.
        The problem arises when people start to demonize something and it spreads like wild fire, but very few people actually take the time to look at both sides of the story.

        Im all for more natural food, however, I do not believe all the hype surrounding everything out there. If I did I would be afraid to leave my home.

      2. Actually, the reason they don’t want GMO foods labeled is that doing so would give the impression that they’re warning you for a reason, so even if it isn’t bad for you (I suspect it is), they’ll lose sales because people will assume it’s bad for you. However, Lisa has a point that there is a lot of evidence which debunks the studies showing GMO’s are harmful. The fact is we can’t prove safety or danger with GMO’s, so until it gets sorted out, I choose not to be a guinea pig. Will I still eat non-organic foods occasionally, when all I have time for is grabbing a fish or chicken sandwich from BK? Yes. But as often as I reasonably can, I will spend a little more for organic and whole foods. Better to spend it now on a healthier diet, than later on a heftier medical bill. Speaking of which, search for a local organic buying club. We buy almost all our produce this way now. It’s much cheaper than “Whole Paycheck”.

    2. Ladies, the problem with current GMO’s is the Genetic modification inserting such things as the BT (Bacillus Thuringiensis) into the plant genes, which is then transferred into the fruit or veggie! BT is a serious toxin when ingested. SO BT IS WINDING UP IN OUR FOOD! I used to use BT in my organic garden to kill cabbage loopers and such evil meanies…. but IT WASHES OFF! These scientists have put it IN THE FOOD! You can’t wash and peel your way out of it. The insects which injest it have their digestion torn up and they croak, belly up!
      Other GMO’s have been created to withstand Monsanto’s “ENLIST DUO” Which the EPA just recently approved, a seriously persistent Herbicide which contains the chemical in Agent Orange and the combination enters the crops, the soil, and the ground water and water ways. Pure Poison. Persistent Herbicides and Pesticides simply means,
      THEY DO NOT GO AWAY!!! THey are creating frankenfoods which means we really do not know what’s in them and how they will affect individuals.
      Tell me how you are going to police that?

  22. Dear Vani,
    Keep up your incredible good work and don’t let the naysayers get you down. Most of us appreciate the research you do and your sharing of the information. I don’t see most of the rest of us doing it. Please don’t think you have to watch every little thing you write on this blog, none of us are perfect, and I suppose the goal for most readers is to learn what you’ve learned. It is for me. I am in awe of your dedication.
    Thank you.

  23. There is truth here! Back in 2010 I lost 75lbs! I stopped eating any processed foods and rode my bike everyday. I had been biking daily for the 2 years before that but never really lost any substantial weight. After a collision in 2011 I gained it all back due to lack of mobility and being forced to eat processed foods again. When you cannot stand long or walk far you depend on others to feed you. It has taken me this long to refocus. I know how to lose the weight I just have to fight my addictions to junk food all over again!

  24. Keep up the great work Vani! A year and a half ago I started eating live, raw, organic, unprocessed food because of you, and 6mos ago me and my 14 year old daughter became vegetarians too! I’m teaching her how to eat correctly and I talk to anyone who will listen about the truth of what’s really in our food. Of course, I always direct them to your website. All these diet companies like Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, and Jenny Craig should be ashamed of themselves! Promoting trash to put inside peoples bodies!

    1. MeLLi B.,

      I consider Jenny Craig and the like to be simple baby steps on the path to a leaner body. I have a male client who is overweight and not motivated enough to even cook for himself, if he even knows how, unless he can nuke it. We are starting with stretching a Chi Gong because more intense exercises are too difficult and discouraging for him. I was looking for a dietician who knows the truth to teach him how to prepare healthy foods, but before I found one, he signed up for Jenny Craig, and it has worked. He’s loosing weight and getting encouraged to do more. Soon we’ll go back to doing calisthenics once a week in addition to the stretching and chi gong. Next we’ll add weights and see about weaning him off of Jenny Craig with real food. But in the mean time, it’s a healthier option than the crap he was eating before.

  25. When I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, I went into battle mode. My husband and I drastically changed our diets. While I was going through treatment, he learned to bake bread. My surgeon told me no more soy. And low and behold store bread was loaded with it, amongst almost everything.
    We grew a vegetable garden instead of spending money on flowers.

    For people on the go, I recommend you buy some freezer ball jars. Set aside a few days to make some homemade dishes, soups, sauces, etc. Pack the food into these jars and you’ll have a freezer full of on the go meals. You can freeze wraps too.

  26. the dangers of consuming this junk food and drinks is that your body becomes acidic and toxic. Not to mention cosmetics, personal hygiene, tap and bottled water also contain chemicals that poison our bodies. We become a breeding house for diabetes, tumors, heart disease and cancer and in turn customers for Big Pharma and Cancer Multibillion dollar industry. To get rid my body of toxins I started drinking Kangen 9.5pH alkaline, antioxidant, micro-clustered water and to flood my immune system with vitamins, minerals and nutrients I started taking RelivNow shakes with Lunarich X. YouTube RelivAlec

  27. the dangers of consuming this junk food and drinks is that your body becomes acidic and toxic. Not to mention cosmetics, personal hygiene, tap and bottled water also contain chemicals that poison our bodies. We become a breeding house for diabetes, tumors, heart disease and cancer and in turn customers for Big Pharma and Cancer Multibillion dollar industry. To get rid my body of toxins I started drinking Kangen 9.5pH alkaline, antioxidant, micro-clustered water and to flood my immune system with vitamins, minerals and nutrients I started taking RelivNow shakes with Lunarich X. Thanks to Vani Im eating healthy, go to the gym and already lost 15lb. YouTube RelivAlec

  28. As a culture we focus way too much on weight instead of health. People can be healthy at many different weights. What one person loves as a healthy food, another cannot tolerate, for example strawberries. (What causes food allergies and sensitivities is another whole matter, but even organic fruits and vegetables can be a problem for some people.) I subscribe to the theory of bio individuality. No one system is perfect for everyone. I also apply the 80/20 (or 85/15) rule to my eating. It is difficult to eat perfectly all the time, especially since many of us were not brought up that way, we eat out or eat at friends’ and family homes where we may encounter less desirable choices. None of us, I think, want to be the food police for others. If you eat 80-85 % whole food, your body will be able to deal with the other 15-20 %.

  29. this whole a calorie is not a calorie stuff is a little misleading– easy to misinterpret. it conflates two issues: health & weight. yes, a pear is healthier than a twinkie & probably better metabolized by your body, but the 135 calories are still going to count as 135 calories.
    if you eat, let’s say, 3000 calories a day of pears (or other healthy food), you will gain weight.
    to lose weight you need a calorie deficit. that’s it. that’s the whole secret.
    this is why weight watchers, for instance, is the country’s most successful weight loss program. they know this. they convert calories into points to make it easier. & they don’t demonize any food.
    you don’t need them to lose weight. if you do simple arithmetic, you can lose weight.
    a nutritionist recently lost 27 pounds eating all junk food, as an experiment. he just cut calories.
    somewhere along the line we seem to have lost our common sense.
    & if you want to know how many calories you should eat, simply multiply your ideal weight by 15 if you are under 30 & by 10 if over 30. nothing could be easier.
    i’m 67 & weigh 131 pounds at 5’10”.
    sometimes i eat healthy & often i don’t. it makes no difference. i’m telling you this because someone who isn’t trying to sell you something, should tell the truth.

  30. Happy Vegan Girl,
    I beg to differ with you. I had the beginning of osteopenia (precursor to osteoporosis) and when I was re-tested the problem was REVERSED. The doctor asked me what I was doing and the only thing that had changed was that I was drinking RAW MILK. Mayo clinic used to prescribe “raw” milk for many maladies. Now I do agree with most of what you are saying about how our animals are raised/treated. Conventional animal farming is horrendous. I am talking about small farms that milk a small herd in a healthy, clean, responsible way. The cows are grazing on grass most of the time. The natural way – Nature’s way as far as I am concerned!!

  31. Do you have “Before” pictures of you so we can see the difference your way of living has made?

  32. “I don’t count calories on a regular basis and you shouldn’t have to either if you start reading ingredient lists!”

    …and then you realize that ingredients don’t convey the whole (or even a meaningful) picture. It is how those ingredients were grown and harvested and most importantly how they were prepared. Olive oil is great for health as long as it wasn’t heated beyond its smoke point.

    But the suggestion is a good start.

  33. I used to use 2 packets of Splenda in each cup of coffee, then pour another over my Cheerios. In 2011 I was diagnosed with a rare nerve pain disease I suffer with every day. Correlation? Don’t know but I will never each anything with sucralose, saccharine or other artificial sweeteners ever again. I’m teaching my kids about the dangers of food additives. I hate it that companies can knowingly sell poison & pass it off as food.

  34. I think it’s just as easy to grab something from a local grocery store such as their already made salads weather they just a garden salad or one with all the fixings and hot their organic section for something most offer what I call cheeters where the fruit and veggies are cut up. I work a lot and at times I can stop and grab a bag of shreds ( lettus cut up in store ) and grab some cheeters such as sm cherry tomatoes celery carrots onions red green yellow orange peppers . I always carry a large Tupperware square dish with me and a bottle of fruit melody balsamic vinaiger with me throw all these cheeters in my container throw on the balsamic put the cover on give ER a shake and eat my heart out 🙂

  35. My kids are grown, but I know how hard it is for so many of you to have the energy to cook healthy meals from scratch. Since my energy level is not that great, I am always on the lookout for recipes that are quick, easy and healthy. If there are too many ingredients or steps, I know I won’t do it. I also pack my husbands lunch and try to make it easy too. Tomorrow, he gets boiled eggs, pineapple and cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, celery sticks, an orange and some pecans, pumpkin seeds and raisins in a cup. A great tip that saves me a lot of work is that I cook a lot of ground beef at one time. I freeze it in meal portions and it is so easy to thaw if frozen flat. It is more expensive, but I’ve started buying grass finished beef, for the health benefits. A big thank, Vani, for all your hard work and discoveries about foods that I thought were safe.

  36. When I hear people talking about how busy they are and how they don’t have time to eat healthy, GMO, chemical-free food it makes me sad. I am a full-time MSN/FNP student as a full-time nurse. I believe that one statement sums it up beautifully… “those who don’t make the time for eating healthy will be forced to take the time for illness.” Your time will always be spent somewhere. It doesn’t really take that long to each healthy unprocessed foods. It’s a matter of changing habits and lifestyles.

    1. I agree Tabitha! I am a RN working in a hospital with 15+ yr experience. I have seen so many people come in (and what is really sad is all the young, overweight, very sick people)that eat unhealthy. Everyone’s body can only handle so much! You can spend your money and time on eating healthy NOW or later you will be spending your money on your health problems, and not feeling good at the same time! You will also live a shorter life!

      1. Young people with kidney disease, babies being born with cancer, I could go on and on…. While nursing, I saw the horrors. There is a man I know now in his 70’s who has had 2 open heart surgeries, still eating McDonald’s and drinking soda.

  37. I love your work. I tell everyone I can about you. I like to call you thebomb.com! 🙂
    Can’t even tell you how much you have taught me over the years… Thank you.

  38. So much YES! This post reminds me of my early 20s….and living every day with pre-packaged 100-calorie packs and frozen lean cuisines. I counted every calorie. Yet I still couldn’t lose weight. It wasn’t until I adopted a whole-food, plant-based diet that everything changed. I eat more now than I ever did in my calorie-counting days, yet I’m in my best shape yet. Yay for REAL FOOD!

  39. Vani,
    I read your posts with interest. You have converted me to eating whole foods and cutting out the junk. People need to want to make the change in order for it to work. I feel so much better and lost 17kgs. Thanks for doing all your food investigations and sharing your findings. Great work.

  40. Vani,
    I agree with others who have posted. The title of your email was “I use to be fat”. I would love to see a “before” picture of you?
    What was being “fat” for you? Weighing 140 lbs?
    I was hoping your post would be more personal and talk about YOU. It was still informative, which I appreciate, but I was just hoping for something more personal on your story.

    1. I would have liked to have seen a before and after picture from fat to skinny. I am thin and always have been when I eat mostly vegetables and fruit and little to no meat I lose weight.

      I don’t need to lose any weight at all so how can I maintain my weight and eat healthy too?

  41. I find that I get overwhelmed with what to eat and what not to eat. When I eat a lot of vegetables and I am doing a fair job of eating right, I still crave sweets and even if I am not hungry I will seek something sweet and eat it anyway. I am sure I am addicted to sugar but don’t know how to stop the addiction. Can you help me??

    1. kicking sugar addiction is hard, for about three weeks. You need to completely avoid ALL manufactured sugars and ALL artificial sweeteners. Otherwise your cravings won’t go away, no matter how many healthy veggies you eat. Don’t go by the “grams” of sugar on the Nutrition Facts label—READ THE INGREDIENTS. My book lists over 100 names for manufactured sugar. They hide it in everything, not just your sweet treats. See my book EX-DIABETIC, at Amazon or BarnesAndNoble.

  42. Why doesn’t someone come up with an app that scans a Barcode on food and the results tell you what bad ingredients are in it?

    1. That’s a GREAT idea. I’ll bet someone’s working on it. I know there’s such an app for retailers, but we need one for our smartphones. You’d still have to educate yourself, so you could tell the app which ingredients to “flag”– everybody’s NoNo list is different. But if it flagged all the ones Vani has identified, that would be a good start, wouldn’t it?

      1. I LOVE it .. if anyone has any info on this or knows of a geek who can create it, please put the word out. Thanks, Brian!

      2. Environment Working Group has that app. (EWG) I support them and all of their endeavors. If you haven’t joined them and subscribed to their emails I strongly suggest that you do so.
        They are a wonderful group of highly intelligent people who are working very hard to combat the horrors of the pollutions of our environment and of ALL of consumer products from food to cosmetics.

  43. I think I”m the only person who didn’t expect to see a picture of fat Vani or hear a whole lot of personal back story, but clicked the link because I couldn’t wait to get to the content about the food industry deception.

    I’ve finally gotten around to phasing in some raw organic food to go with my processed SAD food intake and it’s really interesting. I’m usually not hungry as soon after I eat when I’ve had good, real food, and I don’t feel the urge to overeat, nearly as much.

    This experience makes these complaints I’m reading here about convenience ring extremely hollow. I mean, I’ll think I’m really hungry and go for an apple or banana and by the time I”m finished, I usually realize I wasn’t nearly as hungry as I thought I was, because I’m totally satisfied and ready to focus on the tasks before me.

    Can’t get much more convenient than that, and as others have said, certain raw nuts and raw sunflower seeds. When I get salad fixings, I clean and cut everything at once and put them in separate bags in the fridge. Takes about an hour. Then throughout the week, I make one to two salads a day in about a minute.

    I tend to listen to podcasts or watch/listen to informative videos during that hour I’m cutting and cleaning the vegies, so I’m hardly wasting time.

    I think the problem with the complainers is they want fun food. Straight fruit, veggies, nuts doesn’t cut the proverbial mustard. I get it. That’s why I”ve still got a foot in both world’s but the goal is by the end of the year to be virtually entirely in the real food world.

  44. Why are both natural and artificial flavorings listed as bad. Aren’t natural flavorings what you would want to use?

  45. Vani, I live in your shoes everday! I myself used to be fat, amd 2.5 years ago I started my journey on a nutritarian lifestyle and became vegan cold turkey and dropped 89 pounds. I am now a personal trainer and certified in Fitness nutrition and I try everyday of my waking hours to educate people about the harmful ingredients in our food that we ALL did not know about. It makes me crazy! I feel like they are slowly killing us through our food. My whole purpose of getting certified is to start some health and fitness programs in the schools and boys and girls club, To educate our younger generation of what they are putting in their body and to help them learn to make healthier choices. ParentS are sometimes unwilling to change thier habits but if I can help just one child and strive to fight childhood obesity, then I have done what I am setting out to do. 1 in every 6 kids is considered obese. VERY SAD! Thank you for making a stand and saying I will not tolerate this and taking it to thr masses. I applaude you and I refer people to your site all the time. Keep on trucking! I am also woking on getting my food packaged and put on the shelfs so that there are MORE healthier alternatives for those people that are Too busy to make their own. Wish me luck!

  46. All very good information. However, I am going to disagree on one point: MSG. NPR did a great discussion on MSG with someone who trained as a cook in Japan for many years. MSG is rampant on the Asian market and has been in their food for many years, yet it doesn’t really cause any sickness. Here, it’s mixed with other things that are truly terrible for your body, but it’s still not the real culprit for the most part.

    1. Check the Internet regarding MSG. It’s harmful but enhancing the taste of food the cheap way. It’s hidden in list of ingredients under various names. Stay away from it for your health. Have known this for 20 years. Why put laboratory chemicals in your body’s?

    2. Re MSG, try sprinkling Accent seasoning (pure MSG) on something you normally salt and see if you have any reaction. My son and I tried this and both couldn’t mentally focus and got headaches. I had to lay down and couldn’t get off the couch….then slept for a couple of hrs. Perhaps it’s okay for some, but not us.

      1. Was this a double-blind test? Did you know that you were eating MSG? Until you apply some sort of reasonable methodology to your homemade experiment don’t expect anyone smarter than a gnat to be impressed by the results.

    3. My daughter gets a headache and her throat swells every time she consumes MSG (by accident). She knows it’s nasty.

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