Is Health Food Really Healthy?

Chewy-ChocChip-Detail.sflb.ashxBy Knight Pierce Hirst

Hell-th food is what my sons thought about my attempts to have them eat healthier. Of course, children think anything they don’t like is health food. When my sons found out liver wasn’t healthy and they wouldn’t have to eat it again, they became more supportive.

Okay, at first they beefed about not having beef or any other red meat. Then they thought I had gone into a vegetative state when I started serving meatless meals. Nevertheless, I persevered.

I learned the closer food is to its natural state, the better it is for us. This required my explaining that natural state didn’t mean grown here in California and that cotton isn’t used to make cotton candy.

I also learned that cooking vegetables less retained more of their vitamins and minerals. When it comes to rutabagas and turnips, however, I decided to take nutritionists at their word.

Words on the front of packaged foods can make whatever it is sound both delicious and healthy. Reading the words on back can tell a different story.

Ingredients are listed in descending order of amounts. If the first ingredient ends in “ose”, I put it back on the shelf. All words ending in “ose” are forms of sugar.

In fact, some nutrition bars contain more sugar than candy bars. Eating one is like expecting the three musketeers to fight off the calories. Saturated fats and trans fats should be avoided too. Fats make us… fat.

Then there are words like ammonium bicarbonate, sodium stearoyl and aluminum phosphate. If I don’t know what something is, it can’t be good for us.

A long list of ingredients is another bad sign. The longer the list, the less healthy the food is.

On the other hand – the one I used to scratch my head -leaving an ingredient out of a processed food – such as leaving salt out of tomato sauce – somehow makes the food more expensive.

Less is more when it comes to eating healthy. Bread without butter and coffee without cream – less dairy products means less cholesterol – but it doesn’t mean to substitute margarine and non-dairy creamer. Foods made in laboratories are only suitable for those who wear space suits. Remember Tang?

On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t complain about what scientists put in foods to prolong their shelf life. I’m at the age when preservatives are starting to sound good.

About the Author:

KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life. Take a minute to make yourself smile at


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