Sunday, 27 January 2013

A Health Nutty Epic Fail: Volume 1

A Health Nutty Epic Fail is an all new series of my failures as a 'healthnut.'  (I am definitely still working out the kinks in our family's health program and trying to kick many of our bad habits!)

Here's the first of many to come in the new series:

 "Well dang, we were out of peanut butter, AGAIN!"

When you have a hard-workin' carpenter hubby who needs his protein, and a super-tight grocery budget that pretty much requires cutting expensive meat -and I don't mean with a knife- peanut butter sammy's are where it's at!

So, off I went to the store, and grabbed a low-fat container of smooth peanut butter. When I got home, it was sitting on the counter. My hubby gave me the stink eye. Why was he less than impressed?

The Health Nutty Epic Fail:  Not checking the label. It was loaded with corn syrup and hydrogenated oil.  Boo. Bad mama!

Hydrogenated oils are in most peanut butters. I'm talkin'  palm, soybean, coconut, kernel, or corn oil. Natural News describes the process of hydrogenation like this: "They inject a catalyst into the oil for several hours. The catalyst is typically a metal such as nickel, platinum or even aluminum. As this bubbles up into the oil the molecular structure changes and increases in density and rearranges it's molecules so that instead of a liquid at room temperature we now have either semi-solid or solid oil. This creates either partially hydrogenated or fully hydrogenated oils" (  Basically the goal is to make a consistent looking, spreadable product that lasts longer and looks prettier.

Some say that eating hydrogenated oil is close to eating plastic. Since these oils are also worked so hard into being a more dense form, they don't break down, making it more difficult to make it's way through your body (many times, in the form of trans fats) It's hard on our blood...and therefore, our heart. That's why hydrogenated oils are often the result of high blood pressure, and high cholesterol (

And corn syrup. A whole other can of worms. This most-of-the-time GMO'd stuff is linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It "messes with the body's metabolism so that people can't stop eating...making it hard to control cravings, and slows down the hormone 'leptin' in your body to tell you when to stop's an addictive drug" (   Yikes. No thank you.

What do we take from this epic fail?

Check food labels, and try to put anything back that contains these ingredients.
 It's tough, I know. Especially if these things are on sale. It's clear that I still fail on a regular basis. I know that with certain things, I need to get my healthnutty butt in gear and ditch the bad smooth peanut butter.

Let's be honest, sometimes the hydrogenated kind is tastier. It even spreads easier.  I'm glad I have a husband who keeps me in check. Maybe your hubby could care less about this stuff, and if that's the case, let the Health Nutty Professor be the one who gives you the stink eye! 

The Globe and Mail did an article recently on natural peanut butter. The kind that only has roasted peanuts, without the added sugars, salt, and hydrogenated junk. They reported that natural peanut butter is a good source of B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and even though it's high in fat, it can help reduce inflammation and cholesterol ( So, do yourself and your fam a favour, and get them into a healthier PB!

The best natural peanut butter for you: the jar that only has ONE ingredient...Roasted peanuts!

We love to add natural peanut butter to our steel cut oats. I love milky I even put some unsweetened almond milk on top too. Natural peanut butter also tastes great in baking. So hey, give it a try! Let me know which natural one you like most.

And that's it for the first Volume of: A Health Nutty Epic Fail. 


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