(BPT) – The U.S Department of Agriculture proposed a complete overhaul of school lunches subsidized by the federal government in 2012. These changes, to be implemented over a period of years, aim to limit calories, reduce sodium and increase the consumption of vegetables and whole grains. Improved nutrition is a laudable goal, but the realities of science and nutrition may surprise most people. That’s because scientific studies show kids are more likely to eat their vegetables if they have adequate salt.
Dark green vegetables like spinach and broccoli are among the most nutritious foods. However, they all contain very bitter phytochemicals that affect their taste. Broccoli is a perfect example. Everyone knows adding salt to these vegetables makes them taste much better, and reducing salt use will mean fewer vegetables are eaten by kids, if at all.
A research paper from the University of Pennsylvania examined the response of tasters to varying amounts of salt in a range of foods that were naturally bitter, including vegetables and other foods deemed to be healthy. Reducing the salt intake made these foods less appealing and adversely affected the tasters' nutrient intake.
In another study conducted at Ohio State University, cooked broccoli was fed to individuals from three different age groups: children, adults and senior citizens. The broccoli florets were prepared with different levels of salt. The results showed that even though participants were unaware as to which sample was which, salt significantly increased broccoli's palatability.
A University of Vermont study to measure food consumption in schools before and after the salt reduction mandate confirmed what school lunch officials feared: they witnessed most students putting fruits and vegetables into the trash instead of their mouths. The study showed that although students were required to place more fruits and vegetables on their trays, they ate less of each.
When students were involved in setting choices, several new student-approved recipes were added to the menu: barbecue chicken, buffalo chicken wraps, chicken salad wraps and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches -- all savory comfort foods everyone enjoys. It was a stark reminder you cannot impose bland foods on individuals. And there is a reason for that -- our bodies are telling us we need sufficient amounts of the essential nutrient, sodium. Public health policy that is not based on evidence cannot outdo our bodies built-in mechanisms demanding those nutrients.
Without salt, serious consequences arise. Per Dr. Michael Alderman of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, until the medical community has adequately studied the effects of population wide sodium reduction, it is best to exercise caution. "I'm concerned that experiments in population wide sodium reduction are making Americans, children and adults, guinea pigs. For instance, my research indicates that cardiac patients put on low salt diets had a higher rate of cardiac events than cardiac patients on normal sodium diets. We need to proceed carefully here so that we don't cause harm," he says.
* In this video I wanted to talk about foods I try to keep out of my diet. I want to stress the word, “moderation” to you guys, though. As long as you are consistent with your healthy lifestyle, it is okay to eat whatever you want from time to time. When you abuse the privileges of eating foods in moderation, it could complicate your everyday lifestyle without you even knowing it. I am not telling you to banish these foods out of your diet completely, but because they don’t provide any health benefits, it makes sense to scale back.
3 words for you guys: Mind. Over. Matter.
1. PROCESSED MEATS
(FILLED WITH SODIUM + NITRATE/NITRITES)
-I usually avoid all casings of mystery meat.
-I don’t eat red meat, but for those that do, moderation is best.
-As for poultry; you know you always grabbed the Ranch dressing at your Grandma’s on Thanksgiving to dip that turkey in. Why? Because it’s bland and unprocessed. That’s how you know it’s healthy. That is the type of meat I would probably eat.
-The quality of the source is the underlying factor of healthy dieting.
2. ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
(I TRULY BELIEVE ALL FOODS CONTAINING ARTIFICIAL SUBSTITUTES TO SUGAR CANE AREN’T GOOD FOR OUR HEALTH)
-Refined sugars too.
-Coconut Sugars, Blackstrap Molasses, Manuka Honey are replacements for those that need sweeteners daily, but all sugar in moderation is best.
3. WHITE FLOURED GRAINS
(ANY WHITE BREADS, RICES, PASTAS
-Poses no health benefits when you compare it to whole grain sources of flour.
-If you are trying to lose weight, a diet with white floured foods can hamper the process.
-Some white floured foods have a high sugar content.
(GMO’S OUT THE ASS. PICK AND CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES WISELY)
-Nothing else really to say here, candy is bad. We all know it. But we still eat it, because we love refined sugar. This was the hardest thing for me to cut out of my diet but from time to time should be okay for someone who lives an active lifestyle.
5. FRIED FOOD
(FRYING FOOD IN CERTAIN OILS AT HIGH TEMPERATURES CAN COMPROMISE THE FOOD AND POTENTIALLY KILL OFF ALL THE NUTRIENTS THAT FOOD CAN OFFER)
-Frying food in certain oils at high temperatures compromises the food and all benefits the food can offer.
-Asparagine is an amino acid that is found in many vegetables, with higher concentrations in some varieties of potatoes.
-When frying, oils skyrocket to high temperatures that are unhealthy. When this happens in the presence of certain sugars, asparagine (an amino acid which is a building block of protein) can form acrylamide.
-Regardless of what method you use to cook your food, make sure you don’t OVERHEAT or OVERCOOK your food to the point where you kill off all nutrients and compromise the benefits.
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Note: This video is based off my own beliefs and research. You don’t have to take my word for it. But I do think it would be good for to do your own research and try to come to your own conclusions on topics like this. A lot of the information in the video was sandwiched with jokes from movies I’ve always loved – if it confuses you I apologize in advance and feel free to drop a comment below with any questions. This video is not sponsored.
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