How industry stimulates us into a food trap

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Alva Carpenter I [email protected]

Published — Wednesday 10 February 2010

Last Update 10 February 2010 3:00 am

IF you are like most people, the month of January will have found you concerned about your tight fitting clothes and regretting all the excess food you ate during the holidays. It takes time to get into new good healthy eating habits after a period of overindulging.

If You may have got into the habit of eating readymade meals and fast food takeaways.

- Excess fat

- Excess sugar

- Excess salt

All these diet baddies are hard to fight because they are all habit forming and stimulate us to eat more and more. This is a fact well known by the food industry manufacturers. These foods melt in our mouths and stimulate our taste buds making the food comforting and good to taste. So that we want to eat more. Sugar is even added to meat products such as hamburgers and readymade meat dishes such as lasagne to make it taste good.

Often in fast food or readymade meals, we have a combination of sugar, fat and salt together. This combination stimulate the brain to want more. Processed food is made sweet and soft to the taste almost like pureed baby food so that in essence the food manufacturers encourage our palate to desire eating adult baby food for comfort

Highly processed, readymade meals loaded with fat, sugar and salt are addictive and not healthy food for the body - although the food industry manufacturers are very clever at making them appear healthy and good value for money so beware.

Remember food boundaries

Food is not an activity to be enjoyed all the time. We need to remember boundaries. Food is eaten only 3 times per day; one main meal and 2 lighter meals with one small snack in-between. The problem is that fast food is now available around the clock on every street corner.

You can look at a packet of chips or hamburger or a huge plate of cake and say, “This is my friend; this will make me feel better”, and there will be very little that I can do to stop you eating this because your brain has been indoctrinated to believe that eating this food will be rewarding and it is hard to stop.

So you must learn to set boundaries and plan to eat for health and nutrition.

If you would like to change your habits to healthy eating email me at [email protected] for a copy of my healthy eating plan. Eat for a healthy body enjoy the occasional treat and take daily exercise for a long and healthy life.

Recipe of the Week

Shrimp Stir-Fry with Lemon Rice

Serves 6


360 ml chicken stock

360 ml water

280 g long grain rice

70 ml lemon juice

30 g cornstarch

180 ml cold water

55 ml soy sauce

1 1/4 tbsp sugar

1 1/2 tbsp curry powder

40 ml peanut oil

680 g medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined

2 tbsp chicken stock

1 tbsp Oriental sesame oil

260 g snow peas

3 cloves garlic, minced

5 scallions, thinly sliced


Combine stock and water in saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in rice and pepper to taste and bring to boil. Cover and simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, leave covered. Sprinkle lemon juice over rice and fluff with a fork. While rice is cooking, dissolve half the cornstarch in the cold water in a bowl. Add curry powder and half the soy sauce, sugar, and peanut oil. Mix thoroughly. Stir in shrimp and toss to coat. Marinate 15 minutes. Combine remaining cornstarch and cold water with chicken stock, sesame oil, remaining soy sauce and sugar in a jar, shake vigorously and set aside. Heat remaining peanut oil in a wok over high heat. Stir-fry snow peas until almost tender. Discard all but 1 tbsp oil from wok. Add shrimp, marinade, garlic, and stir-fry 1 minute over high heat. Add soy sauce and cornstarch mixture and sauté 1 minute, or until sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in scallions. Serve over rice.

Ask Alva

I tend to spend a lot more time in the swimming pool and I find that my fingernails and hair are becoming brittle and they split easily. I’ve tried using a swimming cap, but it doesn’t help as the water still gets in. And I wonder if you could recommend a barrier cream or oil to use before I go into the pool?

— Christy

There is a supplement called Permea Plus that provides a solution to the problem. Some of the ingredients revitalise the tissues in both hair and nails that protect their outer layers. But remember that nails grow very slowly (about 1 millimetre a week) so it will take some time for the replenished nail to grow up from the nail bed. Use a barrier hand cream before swimming and spray your hair and scalp with Permea Plus massage oil before swimming so the chlorinated water will be prevented from soaking into your hair. — Alva

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