The list of ingredients and additives in the Western Diet that contribute to weight gain is astonishingly long. A recent scientific study about what food additives and contaminants could be adding excess weight to our bodies lists 25 macronutrients, micronutrients, pollutants, pesticides, additives, questionable ingredients and heavy metals in our foods that are believed to contribute to weight gain.
Let’s look at a few of the additives that are better known and easiest to avoid.
Trans fats, such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oi,l are commonly found in packaged cookies and cakes, frozen pizza, microwave popcorn, ready-to-spread icing, coffee creamers and fried foods. Manufacturers use partially hydrogenated vegetable oil as a preservative, allowing processed and packaged foods to stay on the grocery shelf longer. Although the use of trans fats is being phased out in some countries, look for products that have zero grams of trans fat and check the ingredient list for the words “partially hydrogenated.” If you see it, the healthiest thing you can do is put that package back on the shelf.
High fructose corn syrup, sometimes called corn sugar, glucose-fructose, glucose-fructose syrup, Isoglucose and high fructose maize syrup is an industrial food made from corn. Manufacturers suggest that it’s the same as cane sugar, but scientists believe otherwise. In your body, high fructose corn syrup blocks your body’s ability to signal that it’s full, which can lead to eating too much. In addition, foods with high fructose corn syrup are often the most processed and least nutritious in the grocery store. For example, you’ll find it on the label of nearly every sweet bottled soft drink. As with trans fats, check the ingredient lists of any packaged foods before you buy. Also, know that a product doesn’t have to taste sweet to have high fructose corn syrup in it. High fructose corn syrup can also be found in packaged bread, sausage, ham and other processed meats.
Salt – Our bodies need a certain amount of salt. The problem is that, with processed foods, there’s tons of hidden salt in places you never would have guessed. Approximately 75% of the sodium most of us eat comes not from the salt shaker, but from processed foods. If you tackle the thirst from too much salt with sweet beverages, you’re just making the problem worse. Excess salt may be coming in the form of cereals, prepared pasta sauces, dried meats, frozen breakfast foods, ketchup, processed cheeses, bread, canned vegetables and more. Remember that a food doesn’t have to taste salty to have a lot of sodium.
Along with your Spatz3 gastric balloon, you’ll be working with the support staff to eat more healthfully. The two best tips for avoiding additives that make it harder to lose weight are reducing the amount of processed and package foods you eat and reading the package labels carefully, so you know what you’re really consuming.
Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on Google+ or at firstname.lastname@example.org.