If you have an inquisitive mind about food like I do, then you will find this book Salt Sugar Fat by Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter Michael Moss very informative. He tells how the Food Giants have us hooked on their processed packaged foods. Moss explains how the food scientists who work for these companies have carefully calculated our “bliss” point for sugar, our “mouth-feel” for fat, and how they can “pump” up the salt level to make sure we can’t eat just one of their chips.
Even though these large companies like Nestle, Kraft, Nabisco, General Mills, Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola, and others are fully aware that what they are producing has led to our country’s obesity crisis, they are still more concerned with their profit margins than they are about our health. Just FYI, the highly educated food executives that Moss interviewed don’t even eat the stuff their companies produce because they know how unhealthy it is.
Moss reports that the average American eats 70 lbs. of sugar in a year, which works out to 22 teaspoons per day. One 12 ounce serving of soda has 45 grams of sugar if not more. Five grams of sugar is one teaspoon and so that one can of soda with 45 grams of sugar is the same as 9 teaspoons! Who is going to sit at their kitchen table and down 9 teaspoons of granulated sugar in one sitting! Food scientists know that sugar has an amazing power to excite the brain and makes it so hard to resist the cravings we receive from eating it.
We are also eating 8,500 milligrams of salt per day which is 3.60 teaspoons of salt. FYI just one fourth teaspoon of salt is 590 mg. This high amount of salt consumption isn’t coming from your salt shaker at home but from processed foods. Eating too much salt does effect your health in a negative way. Just ask your heart and your blood pressure.
The amount of fat the average American consumes in a year has skyrocketed also and we’re not talking about healthy fat. Fats can deliver the biggest load of calories and induces people to overeating.
With today’s processed foods there are a ton of ingredients, many of which are hard to pronounce, and many of which we as consumers have no clue what they are. This is a picture of an ingredient list from a box of Hot Pockets. There are well over 60 ingredients!
After reading Salt Sugar Fat, I look at nutrition and ingredient labels in a whole new light. I feel better informed and able to make healthier decisions when it comes to deciding if a product has too much salt, sugar, or fat. Since I love to cook and prepare foods from scratch, I know that I can decide for myself how much of these ingredients go into what I make. Read this book, then start reading the labels more closely. You will be glad you did.