You’ll find all types of cuisine in Honolulu, HI. The traditional Hawaiian diet was extremely healthy, but the food has changed with the mixing of cultures. Some of the additions were healthy, but other additions, like processed food, were detrimental to health. Many highly processed foods became local food, which is different from traditional food. Spam became a popular addition to the diet. It lasted forever when unopened and reduced food insecurity during and after WW2. It’s included in the unhealthy additions to the Hawaiian diet.
Much of the problem with processed food comes from what’s in it.
Spam is a perfect example of a popular locals food. It’s made with a mix of pork shoulder and ham, salt, water, modified potato starch, sodium nitrate, and sugar. The high nitrate and salt content can increase high blood pressure. The more salt you have in your diet, the more you crave it. The sugar content of spam also plays a role in its negative health effects. Like salt, the more sugar you have, the more you want, but for a different reason. Sugar links to the same brain receptors as opioids. The sugar can lead to diabetes, add to the risk of high blood pressure, and cause depression, dental caries, obesity, and acne.
Another problem comes from what’s not in it.
Highly processed food has the healthy part of the food removed. Highly processed flour and food made from it is missing the bran and the germ that contain nutrients, such as B vitamins, protein, antioxidants, and healthy fiber. What’s left is the endosperm, which is primarily starchy carbohydrates. The fiber in whole grains keeps you full longer, so you eat less.
Sugar is toxic, and the new fake sugars are worse.
There’s a trend for manufacturers to add HFCS—high fructose corn syrup. While you’ll hear it’s a natural sweetener, it isn’t. Like many of the Frankenstein foods created in a lab. Manufacturers add a bacterial enzyme to the glucose from corn and potatoes to increase the fructose and sweetness. That’s combined with pure corn syrup. The result is a sugar between 43 and 55 percent fructose with the balance from glucose. It increases the risk of serious conditions, is linked to obesity, increases liver fat, and metabolizes differently.
- HFCS is added to many foods since it’s inexpensive to make. It’s added to everything from cereal to fruit juice. It’s also in condiments, salad dressing, bread, crackers, and applesauce.
- Combining highly processed flour that contains additives with sugar to create baked goods creates a triple threat to your health. It spikes blood glucose levels that drop quickly, leaving you hungry again.
- Today’s processed foods pack on the pounds. It’s why there’s an epidemic of obesity around the developed world. Obesity increases the risk of debilitating diseases that can shorten your life.
- Even no-calorie sweeteners aren’t the answer. Studies show that people who drink diet sodas made with artificial sweeteners have a larger waist circumference than those who don’t. It’s from visceral fat—belly fat, the most unhealthy type.
For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!