Monday, November 12, 2007

False Assumptions Can Kill?

It is interesting to me how some people are operating under false assumptions when it comes to their health. I don’t want to be judgemental or snobbish about this because I have done the same sort of thing myself. I used to eat potato chips, and I thought that since they didn’t have cholesterol, then they weren’t bad for me, or something like that. In other words, the potato chip bag had a label on the outside that said something like “Cholesterol Free,” and I thought that was a good thing. And of course it was a good thing, from my point of view, that they didn’t have cholesterol. But my sister pointed out to me the fact that they contain a lot of fat. So not only did they contain some saturated fat, which drives up a person’s cholesterol, but I am sure they contain more omega-6 fatty acids than I prefer to eat today.

When my elderly aunt had heart problems, her response was, “Well, I eat Cheerios every day.” And I said to her, if you’re expecting to control your cholesterol with Cheerios alone, that won’t do it. They will help, because of their soluble fiber, of course, but you can get a lot more soluble fiber just from using products like FiberSure, etc.

And this summer, in the middle all of our 104 degree days, my aunt had a fainting spell, no doubt because of dehydration, and her potassium was very low. Her response to that was, “Well, I eat a banana every day.” And I wanted to say to her that a banana only has a small amount of our daily requirements of potassium – even less if you factor in the heat of a summer day. If you’re expecting to control your potassium by eating a banana every day, well that won’t do it. If you are concerned about your potassium, there are many other foods that contain it. In this list, banana is at the bottom.

Here is an article that challenges our assumptions, for example, that we might be getting enough omega-3 fatty acids if we buy all the food in the grocery store that claims to contain it. The article says, “Consumers are in real danger of being misled.” Well, duh. Cheerios claim to lower cholesterol, potato chips have no cholesterol, some foods contain omega-3s – we’re not in danger of being misled, we’ve been misled for a long time. Sure, some of the processed food in the grocery store is good for us, but we are often wrong to assume that it is the best choice of food to put into our bodies based on what the food companies tell us. In some ways they need to mislead us so that we will buy their products. I go back to the fact that a corporation’s only responsibility is to make money.

Anyway, we need to make sure our assumptions are correct and not wait until a health crisis forces us to find out the truth. By the time that happens, it could be too late.

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1 comment:

Raggedy said...

Fabulous information!
Thank you!