Monday, September 14, 2015

Fed Up

At the suggestion of a blogger (sorry, I forget which one), 
I watched the documentary of "Fed Up"
I don't normally watch documentaries
 (although they are fascinating, so I don't know why I don't watch more!), 
but I thoroughly enjoyed "Super Size Me
and I thought this would be a good refresher course on the food industry. 

Oh boy was it every! 

(let's get this out of the way first)

Per the usual, there were some statements I questioned. 
Early on the documentary claimed that 
"Calories in does not equal calories out," 
as in "a calorie is not a calorie when it comes to sugar". 

That is actually a false statement. 
A calorie is a scientific measurement. 
A sugar calorie IS a sugar calorie,
but that doesn't mean it's a HEALTHY calorie. 

If you eat 1,400 calories of sugar, 
and expend 1,500 calories of energy, 
you WILL lose weight. 

That said, you'll be malnourished 
and sick 
and probably want to die, 
but you will lose weight. 
Ok, that aside...

Things I Learned (or found fascinating)

1. Sugar is 8x more addictive than cocaine. 
This was brought up a while ago by the Oreos study
so it's not surprising as much as it is amusing. 

2. In order to digest properly, sugar needs fiber. 
Which is why fruits (and all their sugar content) are perfectly healthy. 
On the other hand, when you strip out the fiber (Juice!), 
you're left with sugar-and-no-fiber which does not digest well.
This is the same sugar that is in all those processed foods out there. 
This is the fundamental basis of 
"natural source of sugar" (accompanied by fiber: fruits, etc
versus "processed sugar" (without the fiber: juices, white flour, etc). 
Processed sugar causes an immediate spike in blood sugar, 
followed by a relative "crash." 
As opposed to "natural source of sugar" which sustains much longer.

 3. Almost any product that advertises "low in fat," is higher in sugar. 
And vice versa: "low sugar" products are usually high fat. 
So to get the most balanced nutrition intake, 
we should always buy the "regular" product. 

Of course, I had to test this for curiosity. 
In the grocery store, I would sample a few "regular" products vs "low fat" products. 
Sure enough, sugar was doubled in almost all the low fat varieties. 
There was one particular exception, but I forget what it was. 

4. The surge of CHEESE in our country, 
was stimulated by the push for skim milk, 
and left the farmers wondering: "What do we do with all this extra milk fat?" 
As a devout cheese lover, 
I found this pretty interesting. 

5. After the Reagan administration cut federal spending in the 80s, 
schools sold most of their cooking equipment to save money, 
and outsourced to the food industry. 
THAT is why my generation grew up with pizza and fries as a daily option. 
Of course, I never got to partake because my dietician mother made me pack lunch!

So how did this impact me?

Truthfully, not much. 
I'm not revamping our food habits.
We eat relatively healthy anyway, 
except for my love of pasta and cheese. 

But it did remind me to double-check my snacks I pack for work, 
and up the fruit-to-processed-snack ratio. 
Little things, like taking the time to melon-ball a honeydew melon 
versus just throwing in a package of cheez-its. 
Same amount of calories, but different sugars. 


  1. I've heard good things about this documentary and want to watch it some time! Sugar is my biggest downfall and I had actually never heard the sugar + fiber thing, but makes perfect sense. Argh, why can't I just live off of Reese's peanut butter cups?!

  2. I agree with Amanda -- sugar is my biggest downfall too. Does Coke have any natural fibre? Should I start drinking it with All Bran?!