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Are you filling up on “fillers?”

September 9, 2011 Leave a comment

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This week has been different. For the first time in at least 7 months, I am sick. So while I rest up and get better I have been doing some reading. I love learning about nutrition because the more I learn, the smarter I can workout. I’m not about to waste an hour a day sweating on the elliptical if there’s another way to get my body to burn more calories, while working less. (And there is). My point is, the more knowledge I take in, the more smart decisions I can make towards an efficient calorie burning body.

This week I’ve had my mind on food. I love food. And I came across an article that made me think a little more about the ingredients in my food. I always look at the ingredients when I buy my groceries. Everything that goes in the cart. But I don’t know everything (duh) and something has been slipping past me. It’s called Cellulose. Never really sounded that bad. Cellulose. I didn’t know what it was, but I didn’t care to question it either, probably because I could pronounce it and it wasn’t “partially hydrogenated” or “fructose-anything.” Right. So the article I read about Cellulose was called “15 Food Companies that Serve You Wood.” (http://www.thestreet.com/story/11012915/2/cellulose-wood-pulp-never-tasted-so-good.html). huh? I had to read more. Come to find out it is wood pulp. Like from…..wood. It’s made by cooking wood in chemicals to separate the plant fibers. So that creates Cellulose. Food companies add it to food as a filler to mimic fat. It makes food thicker and creamier. So they’re able to market an item as low-fat and “high fiber” and even as organic! They’re saving around 30% in ingredient costs by using Cellulose instead of more expensive raw materials like flour, oil and sugar. Forgoing these ingredients to substitute in a chemically produced wood pulp doesn’t scream organic to me.

Ok so sure, it adds fiber and the FDA says it’s safe to ingest. But the thought of eating “wood pulp” didn’t exactly thrill me. I’m not sure this is something that belongs in my diet. Why would I want to get my fiber from a wood pulp? I don’t! There are definitely better sources of fiber that offer real nutrients along with it. Here is a good list: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fiber-foods/NU00582. Balance is best.

So back to my grocery cart. I’ve seen Cellulose before and I don’t remember where. So I start going through my fridge and my pantry. Well I guess I’ve eaten most my weekly groceries it being Friday and all. But I did find one culprit. Sandwich Thins. Only 100 calories and 100% whole wheat. Oh, and the package says it’s “an excellent source of fiber.”  Sounds like a fantastic choice right?  Obviously, because it ended up in my home.   It’s funny how something that looks (and claims) to be so great could be uh, maybe not so great.  I’m not big on bread anyways, so I wont be repurchasing these.

So although I couldn’t run this week, or workout, I did learn something.  And now I can make more smart choices when it comes to where I want to get what my body needs.  And well, I don’t need fillers!

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