Here at The Body Camp in Ibiza, our luxury retreat in the Mediterranean, there are three ingredients you will NEVER find….and that’s a promise.
Trans fats. High fructose corn syrup. Highly processed starches and flours.
Why? Because they are unnatural and very unhealthy.
Let’s start with trans fats. Now illegal in California (thanks to Arnie) they are implicated in all sorts of health issues. They extend the shelf life of foods – and that’s not good for the body. Some examples are margarines and other ‘foods’ that last for months in the fridge. Trans fat is considered by many doctors to be the worst type of fat you can eat. Unlike other dietary fats, trans fat — also called trans-fatty acids — both raises your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lowers your HDL (“good”) cholesterol. A diet laden with trans fat increases your risk of heart disease, the leading killer of men and women. And although you can avoid it in California, you can still find it elsewhere in potato chips, tortillas and all sorts of other snacks that are so tempting.
Then there’s high fructose corn syrup. I hardly know where to start on this one. Manufactured mostly from genetically modified corn, high fructose corn syrup is definitely not natural and definitely not healthy. Chances are all of us have consumed high fructose corn syrup at some point in our lives, whether knowingly or unknowingly. It’s hard to escape this questionable form of sugar that’s found in cereals, baked goods, ultra-processed foods, juices and sodas, among an array of other commonly consumed food and drink.
Farmers used to be subsidized to let their fields go unplanted and unharvested in order to boost the agricultural economy. Not anymore. Today, they’re paid to overproduce, and that’s why HFCS and other corn-based products dominate grocery store shelves. The corn lobbyists are even trying to convince doctors that they shouldn’t warn their patients against HFCS’s negative health effects. Why is high fructose corn syrup bad? The reasons are plentiful, but for starters, HFCS increases your risk of chronic and deadly health problems, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
This is a real killer in the USA and can be found in so many foods it is scary. Especially soda, which kids guzzle like water, causing all sorts of problems later in life including diabetes, obesity and liver disease. And even if you cut out the soda, you should be aware that HFCS is also in countless sweets, cakes and pastries.
As for highly processed starches and flours, it’s a good rule of thumb that the more processed a food it is LESS healthy it is. Sadly these are usually cheap foods consumed by the lower end of the economic scale and contain barely any fiber, vitamins or minerals. Think Twinkies, hostess cakes, pastries and white bread.
But while was on the subject of what to avoid, let’s bust a few myths about fats and carbs….they are not necessarily bad!. Good fats, to be enjoyed in moderation, include coconut oil,
olive oil, almonds, cashews, mixed nuts (unsalted), nut butters, avocados, walnuts and fatty fish and fish oils.
Moving on to complex carbs – also to be enjoyed in moderation, consider brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, parsnips and carrots.
There are no puritans at our camp…we strongly believe that all food and drink – including alcohol – can be enjoyed in moderation. The key is to focus on the good stuff and NEVER overload the body with larger amounts than necessary!
Stay healthy, my friends!
Rick Parcell • Master Coach • thebodycamp.com