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Shocking Trends In Health Food: Expo West Reveals

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Last week, several of us at Bright Earth Foods, had the opportunity to attend the largest food show in the world: Expo West, held in Los Angeles, California. This event features ONLY the "natural" food industry. 

We noticed some shocking trends while we were there... 

1. Sugar coated puffed things are healthy--as long as the sugar is organic.  

2. 95% of all the people in the health food industry are grossly overweight. 

3. As long as it says "gluten free"--it's healthy.

4. Anything squeezed into the formation of a "bar" is "healthy". 

5. Grains are good for you as long as they are non GMO.

6. Processed and packaged foods are healthy as long as they are organic.

7. Organic sugar and agave wreak havoc on your blood sugar. They are no different in your body than white table sugar! 

Here is what I want you to be aware of so that you can save yourself. 

1. Don't rely on fad labeling to determine what to eat. Just because it says "Gluten Free" and "non GMO" does NOT mean it is good for you.

2. The best thing you can do for your health (and the health of your kids) is to cut out grains from your diet, entirely. If you are relying on sugar coated puffed things that say "organic" (to justify eating them)--you've been duped. I know it is not always easy to find a breakfast alternative when you have children (I have 4 kids). But you can start by making a superfood smoothie, instead. When the sugar coated puffs run out, smoothies might become a little more interesting to your kids. They take just about the same amount of time to prepare in the kitchen as a bowl of cereal--and they are much more nutrient dense! My kids take their smoothies to school everyday. 

3. Grains are calorie rich--and nutrient poor. Also, known as "empty calories." You should especially avoid empty calories if you are pregnant or an athlete in training. Grains also contribute to blood sugar imbalances, which contribute to weight gain, fatigue, hunger/cravings and metabolic syndrome...

4. Gluten isn't the problem, grains are the problem. If you cut out grains, you remove almost everything that contains gluten. 

5. I did not find ONE bar at Expo West that didn't contain massive amounts of sugar. Don't be fooled--even dried fruit is very high in sugars--and makes you fat!  Even "natural" sugars should be limited and avoided. They spike your blood sugar and block fat metabolism, contributing to metabolic disorder: obesity, weight gain (particularly in the mid-section), type 2 diabetes, elevated blood cholesterol and LDL's, heart disease, high blood pressure... 

6. Read labels! As we move into the future of functional eating, pay special attention to the "total carbohydrate" content on your labels. The most important thing we (as a species) can do for our health right now--is to be mindful of our blood sugar. Choose foods low in total carbohydrates and sugars. 

7. Just because it's organic--does NOT mean it's healthy!

8. "Sugar Coating" sugar (or renaming it) is making 95% of "healthy" people overweight and sick. This is the biggest "bait and switch" of our time. If you are not careful, you will get pulled into the sugar trap too--if you haven't already!

Over the next 5 years, as a health professional, I see the need for an emerging new market of "low glycemic" food. This is what we need so desperately in the marketplace. 

Mary Beauchamp, R.N.  

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