Halloween Hangover?

Food For Thought, 11/13/2018

“Sugar and spice and everything nice- that’s what little girls are made of. Snips and Snails and puppy dog tails- that’s what little boys are made of.”

What a great poem for Halloween, but it isn’t quite true anymore, as I found out by trying to have a Halloween like I used to have this year.

The grandkids were over for the weekend prior to Halloween. So of course I bought three big beautiful pumpkins so we could carve scary jack-o’-lanterns with the kids.

When the grandkids showed up, I was asked “why have you bought 3 big pumpkins?” Of course, my enthusiastic reply was that we are going to have a jack-o’-lantern carving contest to see who can make the scariest jack-o’-lantern. My son and daughter-in-law replied that “fresh pumpkins are awfully messy and not very sanitary. We prefer plastic ones.”

I tried to point out that it was a lot of fun and we weren’t planning on eating the pumpkins… But what do I know? I’m just an old fart. I was then informed that raising kids is a little different nowadays than when I raised my two boys.

Luckily, since we were being used as built-in babysitters, I figured it was only fair that we got to have fun carving scary jack-o’-lanterns anyway.

But being Director of a health foundation presents its own set of problems when it comes time for Halloween trick-or-treaters. My standard treats are raisins and peanuts.

I can’t hand out apples or oranges. I tried a couple years ago, only to have the kids yell out, “Throw those away!” as they walked away from the door. “Do you want to get poisoned? There could be razor blades or needles embedded in them!”

After that embarrassing experience, I tried to find out how many cases there were where children were harmed because of sickos that would do such a thing. At the time, there was only one verifiable case on record where a stepfather tried to poison his stepdaughter that he had gotten life insurance policies on.

Still, I switched to peanuts and raisins to play it safe. Of course, somebody always points out to me every year that a lot of kids have an allergic reaction to peanuts, and I realize that. But don’t you think those kids would be conditioned to not pick up bags of peanuts from one container and go for the raisins in the other?

Believe it or not, the great part is over the last four or five years, we now get around 20 kids looking forward to healthy treats. Hurrah!!! Maybe kids are more aware than their parents now?

The real challenge is figuring out how to get adults to stop giving kids the things that give them allergies in the first place. The most popular Halloween candies for trick-or-treaters, according to Google, are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Kit Kat and Butterfinger.

But the three candies of choice for purchasers this year turned out to be the same devastating Halloween staples for the last three years — Candy Corn, Circus Peanuts and Peanut Butter Kisses. I don’t want to accuse anybody of being bad, but look what these are made of.

Candy Corn is actually made up of several ingredients, including sugar, corn syrup (a manufactured product that the body can’t handle), confectioner’s glaze (whatever that is), salt, dextrose, gelatin, sesame oil, artificial flavor, honey, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, and Red 3 (manufactured color additives). And the others are even worse.

Circus Peanuts: Bleached white sugar, Corn Syrup, Gelatin, Pectin, Artificial Flavor, Color Added (Includes Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40). Allergen Statement: This product does not contain peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat or gluten. It has been manufactured on dedicated equipment.

But worst of all is “Peanut Butter Kisses”. These are neither Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, nor Hershey’s Kisses. Peanut Butter Kisses are basically peanut butter taffy. You will know them because they have a plain orange or black wrapper. Now they even note they’re Gluten Free! I guess that is supposed to make them sound healthier?

But my advice is to leave them in that wrapper and quickly throw them in garbage or just leave them on the shelf and reprimand the store for selling them.

Peanut Butter Kisses ingredients: Corn syrup, sugar, roasted peanuts, partially hydrogenated soy oil and/or cottonseed oil, molasses, Mono & diglycerides, soy lecithin, salt, hydrogenated vegetable oil glycerin, and natural flavorings that they seem to forget to list.

While researching these candies we came across a mix of miniature Hershey’s chocolates dressed up for Halloween with orange, black, green and purple wrappers. We followed the link and found they have different color combinations for every occasion you can think of, including a pink set for October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month!

Just as mind-boggling is the Gold & Black packaging to celebrate your 70th, 80th, 90th or 100th Birthday! What is wrong with this picture?

The pioneers warned us that white flour and white sugar are dangerous to our health. With the Endocardiograph, Dr. Lee pointed out that white sugar interfered with vitamin B, E and calcium metabolism, ultimately affecting HCl production (digestion) and liver biliary function (fatty acid metabolism and detoxification).  Then, Dr. Page confirmed the effects by using the calcium phosphorus ratio in blood laboratory tests.

Today, those pioneers are being proven right again. But as Dr. Lee used to predict, with more research and a better understanding of the biochemistry and physiology we should start to see how our body functions are all tied together. Now we need to start to see how these hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils in candies are just plain poison.

There has been a lot of publicity about the negative effects of trans fats, so some of you are probably wondering “how is this new?” It isn’t. It’s just that it’s been getting swept under the rug for a lot of years so the public wouldn’t be aware!

According to the web: The problem with partially hydrogenated oils is that they contain trans fat, which raises LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, lowers HDL (“good”) cholesterol and has other harmful effects. Naturally, that seems bad.

But then they have the nerve to state: oils that are fully hydrogenated are firmer, and don’t contain any of the dangerous artery-inflaming trans fat that’s found in partially hydrogenated oils. To the FDA, zero means .5 grams per serving, but what if you eat 2 or 4 servings?

Hydrogenation, complete or partial, is a chemical process in which hydrogen is added to liquid oils to turn them into a more solid form. Partially hydrogenated fat molecules have trans fats, and they may be the worst type of fat you can consume, but they’re both bad, and it takes 51 weeks for the half-life to clear your liver.

Dr. Lee and his fellow doctors warned us about the dangers of processed foods like margarine almost 70 years ago. Now the ingredients in margarine are recognized to be dangerous to our health and can lead to disease. But most people do not realize that any hydrogenated oils will start a chain reaction that upsets the body’s balance.

Few people take time to read labels to see what’s in the foods they eat. Most of our snacks and fast food are loaded with hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils (Girl Scout Cookies anyone?). Both children and adults unknowingly endanger their quality of life with these manufactured foods.

Let’s look at economic biochemistry. First, we eat white flour and sugar that interferes with metabolism of essential vitamins and minerals (like vitamin B, E and calcium), upsetting the digestive system so we can’t absorb the good foods properly.

Food manufacturers are allowed to load their products with partial and hydrogenated oils that clog the liver and gallbladder, upsetting our endocrine system. They are setting the stage for a slow downward spiral into minor and major symptoms, ultimately ending our life with some disease.

This drives our health care costs higher! The pharmaceutical and insurance companies get to maximize their profit, while the food manufacturers are helped by them, creating greater profits for starting the process.

What would Dr. Wiley say if he was still head of the FDA? We, my friends, are endangering ourselves and the next generation by allowing ourselves to be duped. These foods are as addictive as any drug and dangerous to our health.

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