Friday, September 25, 2009


Welcome to creATE, a blog about food, health, and nutrition topics by a vegan foodie. Thanks for reading! What inspired me to start this blog? I've always been interested in food and nutrition. With obesity and heart disease rates rising, health care reform, and the rising importance of "going green" by eating local, less-processed foods, a blog about food and health seems relevant. According to the Center for Disease Control, 2006 statistics indicate that 67% of U.S. adults age 20 and over are overweight or obese. Between 11 and 18% of children are overweight or obese. Being overweight heightens your risk for a plethora of diseases. Again, according to the CDC:
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
  • Stroke
  • Liver and Gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
  • Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
From an economic standpoint, overwieght- and obesity-related expenses count for at least 9%, or $90 billion, of the U.S. medical expenditures each year. 300,000 people die each year from obesity-related causes. It seems that all too often we try to put bandages on our health-related problems, mostly because they are inconvenient--and possibly--disturbing to address from the roots. When we don't have time to eat dinner, we opt for fast food instead of a healthy option; when we have arteries clogged with plaque, we have surgery to open them up, only to clog them again. Let's look at what we eat. American diets are loaded with fat, salt, and unhealthy additives that our bodies were not made to intake. Examining a worst offender, a value meal at McDonalds: Quarter-pounder with cheese: 510 calories, 26 grams fat (12 saturated), 1190 milligrams sodium Medium french fries: 380 calories, 19 grams fat (2.5 saturated), 270 milligrams sodium Medium Coke: 210 calories, 15 milligrams sodium The entire meal contains 1120 calories (400 from fat), 45 grams fat (25 saturated), and 1580 milligrams sodium. On a 2000-calorie diet, this meal contains over half the calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium recommended. Not to mention that these meals have hidden additives we've learned are detrimental for our health such as high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated soybean oil, and hidden additives you wouldn't recognize but wouldn't be so sure you should consume such as (from sodium stearoyl lactylate, datem, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, mono- and diglycerides, ethoxylated monoglycerides, monocalcium phosphate, enzymes, guar gum, and calcium peroxide, soy flour. Even Panera--recognized as one of the healthiest on-the-go options--has hidden traps in its sandwiches. The Mediterranean Veggie sandwich has 610 calories, 13 grams fat, and 1450 milligrams sodium. What can we do? Dare we address our weight and wellness problems with what we are putting in our mouths? How do we do it? What will be the benefits those who partake? More on these questions in the next post. Thank you for reading!