Food Myths the Industrial Food Complex Sells Us…
I worked a health fair the other day and had a lot of conversations with some really interesting people. One conversation stuck out in my mind. It was with a women who was concerned for her son. He was in high school, had a large frame and was heavy but active in sports. She was worried that his weight would cause him to become diabetic and set him up for heart issues later down the line.
So on a hunch I asked if he drank Gatorade. “Of course!” she replied. “After all his practices and games, I know he needs to rehydrate” Continuing on my hunch, I then asked if he drank juice. The answer was much the same. “At breakfast and after school, I want to make sure he gets his vitamins.”
I told this women that she should think about cutting out the Gatorade and replacing it with water. “He doesn’t need to replenish his electrolytes,” I said. “He isn’t a professional or endurance athlete. Water is enough. The Gatorade he’s drinking is loaded with sugar and food coloring” I then went on to explain that while juice might be fortified with vitamins, it is also highly processed and loaded with sugar. I suggested she give him actual fruit as it is a smaller amount of sugar then juice and also has fiber. I told her that if he didn’t like water, she could sweeten it with lemon, slices of oranges, strawberries or cucumbers.
Her face fell. I could see the sadness and dismay in her eyes. “I thought I was doing what was best for him. I was following what I learned from the labels and off TV.”
I have lots of conversations like this. And most of them really bum me out.
Do we really “need” more then this? Do we really need more than all natural 100% water (and not bottled water in BPA lined plastic bottles)?!
We are told fruit is good for you. And juice has vitamins. So we buy juice. But exactly WHO is telling us juice is good for us? Commercials. These commercials are paid for by the manufacturers of those juices. We are told that all people who play sports need to replace their electrolytes after working out. If I could sit down with Venus Williams, LeBron James, Shawn Johnson, and Danika Patrick and ask them what they drank after a work out, my guess is the answer isn’t Gatorade. And, if the answer is Gatorade, bear in mind that these people work out for a living. Meaning, they are working out multiple hours a day. Not the one or two hours our kids are. Oh, and if they do a commercial for Pepsi or Powerade, bear in mind, they are being paid MILLIONS of dollars. For MILLIONS of dollars, I would probably do a tap dance with Ronald McDonald.
Just because a commercial or a label on a box says it is healthy, it doesn’t make it so. Knowledge is power. Vote with your dollars. You don’t have to buy juice, or Powerade because a commercial tells you your kids need it. They don’t.
How do you hydrate your kids after sports? What kinds of snacks do you bring? If you bring any at all? Let me know what works for you and send me your comments.
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About the Author: Courtney Abrams is a Health Coach and Founder of Roslyn Wellness. Trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she helps clients work within the realities of their day to day lives to find ways to make small and manageable changes to their health that can maintained over time. Her clients include people trying to lose weight, beat sugar, increase their energy, cook simple healthful food and reduce stress to name a few. She also shares a passion for food policy and educating people about the foods they are eating and the governmental role behind much of it. You can learn more about Courtney and Roslyn Wellness at http://RoslynWellness.com.