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How do you define “Food”?
If you define it as “anything edible“, you are putting yourself at risk.
Be careful of definitions.
Because the world you think you live in is built on the definitions you believe.1
For example, people who define food as “anything I can eat without dying immediately” will have no problem eating edible potato chips from a bag.
They pay no attention to foods that kill them slowly.
Health depends on how we define food. Period.
But hey, if you’re looking to get fat, depressed, and insulin-resistant? Dig headaches, high-blood sugar, diabetes, most forms of cancer, and heart disease?
Eat dem chips, dawg!
Don’t care about belly fat even though research demonstrates that fat on the stomach increases your chances of myocardiac infarction (heart attack)?
Great! Who needs abs anyway?
Great health is not just about becoming thin. It’s about losing fat in the right places.
But if you want to get you some degenerative disease…throw definitions out the window.
This is important:
Long lifespans are linked with decreased belly fat.2
Notice how thin the fat on her stomach is?
While this individual does have some fat on her hips and glutes, it’s not the dangerous belly-fat that harms health. This woman has a healthy fat-to-muscle ratio and is not in visible danger of developing degenerative disease.
What a Shame… The woman above may be in for a healthy, long and prosperous existence.
A healthy woman like this has only about 1 inch of pinch-able fat around her umbilicus (belly button). A healthy man will have no more than ½ inch of pinch-able fat around his umbilicus.3
Who wants health, though?
In order to be at risk for some real death-dealing fun, we should be able to grab fist-fulls of fat around our belly button.
If you want to live in danger of disease at all times and if you’d love to have Massive Atheromas (fatty deposits) lurking in your vascular walls that account for 2/3 of all heart attacks4, then you need this one thing:
That’s right. We can cause all kinds of destruction to our world with these. In this post, I’ll explain how processed foods help us live on the dangerous side. There are 3 ways processed foods ruin our health and destroy the way we look.
I’ll also give 5 steps to Melt Dangerous Fat & Grow in Health without processed foods…
For people into that kind of thing.
Alright. So far I’ve been sarcastic, but seriously, if processed foods are in your diet and you’re wondering why you’re not burning fat, wonder no more.
This post is about how to achieve supreme health without processed foods…
For most people, visible abs are a consolation prize.
Make no mistake, processed foods are dangerous for Black people.
Food deserts exist in the Black community. Reduced access to health care is a reality. Chronic stress from racism is still a thing.
That’s why no one can afford to compound these public health issues with a poor diet.
We need all the nutrients we can get to ward off obesity, diabetes, and cardiac disease AND look good.
Processed foods stand in the way of all of that.
Processed foods are foods like White breads & rice, bagels, pastas, white rice, fruit juices including orange and apple juice, all cakes, cheeses, cookies, candies & cereal (anything that comes in box or plastic package).
Not only do these items have too many carbs and too few vitamins and fiber, but they also actually strip the body of nutrients.
When you eat Processed Food’s, they have to be digested like everything else we eat. This cost us in nutrients and calories.5
Did you know you burn 70 calories just digesting and processing ice water?
It takes calories and nutrients to break down everything we eat… including cakes and cookies.
That means the vitamin E in your body that protect you from free-radicals gets slowly drained whenever you reach for that Ho-Ho.
Don’t do it…
It’s one thing to know that you shouldn’t eat Processed Foods,
it’s another thing to know exactly WHY & HOW processed foods impede your progress…
Lemme show you what processed foods do to you:
Danger #1: Deadly Body Fat
When we eat processed, or refined foods, something strange happens in the body.
The Ho-Ho causes a spike in our blood sugar. The pancreas knows this and sends out a hormone called Insulin to deal with all of the sugar.
Normally, insulin takes care of sugar by pushing sugar from the bloodstream into the cells. This is how our cells get nutrients.6
But insulin also signals the body that it is time to start storing extra calories as body fat to be used for energy later.
Here comes the danger:
Fat gets stored on the body whenever we take in more calories than we need.7
Fat blocks insulin from doing its job, leaving excess sugar in the bloodstream.
When higher levels of sugar remain in the blood stream, the Pancreas (our insulin factory) pumps out even more insulin to deal with the sugar.
More insulin signals the body to store more calories as fat.8
This is a vicious cycle.
Let me be clear: Insulin does not make you fat. Too many cakes, cookies, high sugar fruit drinks, and overall calories do.
Insulin just helps your body store the cakes, cookies, & snacks as pudge more easily.
Bottom line: Processed foods are high in calories and trick the body into storing these calories as body fat.
For example- that Ho-Ho has about 360 calories. 12 grams of Saturated Fat & 54 Carbohydrates.
[By the way, You NEVER need to eat Saturated fats. There is no biological requirement for them.]
Imagine you eat a Ho-Ho. Your body breaks it down into fatty acids and glucose (sugar).
Mr. Pancreas produces Insulin to deal with the Ho-Ho you just ate.
The Ho-Ho leaves too many sugars in the blood to push into the cells.
Insulin tells the body to store the extra calories as fat on the belly. All 12 grams of Saturated Fat go straight to the stomach and get stored as good-ol’ flubbler.
Imagine though, that you just gotta have them Ho-Hos. So you eat one Ho-Ho 5 days/week for 5 years.
The fat on your belly prevents the insulin from effectively delivering the sugar to your cells. A lot of sugar just stays in the blood.
The excess sugar that remains in the blood wreaks havoc on your blood vessels, leading to stroke, blindness, and/or death.
We know this disease as Type II Diabetes. That’s why diabetics need to poke themselves with extra insulin.
Their bodies might still produce insulin, but they have become insulin-resistant often due to increases in body fat.9
Their own insulin is no longer enough to push the sugars from their blood into their cells.
Black people: healthy eating is not just about abs, it’s about remaining disease-resistant…
It just so happens that processed foods often stand in the way of both goals.
Oh, but the onslaught continues!
Danger #2: Peeing out Calcium
Did you know that when you eat cakes, cookies, added salts, sodas and coffee you actually cause yourself calcium loss and place your bones in jeopardy?10
Here’s how this goes:
Each of the above foods cause an acid load-up in the blood. In order to neutralize the acid build-up, calcium is released from the bones into the blood.11
That means you are depleting the calcium in your body just by drinking sodas.
By consuming processed foods, you are putting the body in a Calcium Deficit.
Osteoporosis (bone loss) is a possible result.
If your diet is currently low in fruit and vegetable intake, the calcium you might get from milk (if you’re not lactose intolerant) isn’t enough to stop calcium loss.
Dr. Sebi was right. Fruits and Vegetables are alkaline (non-acid producing) and do not induce urinary calcium loss. They actually provide the body with usable calcium.
I think you know where I’m going with this…
Your body works off a budget. There is a set amount of calories your body needs to digest the food you eat, run your immune system, regulate hormonal levels, keep your heart pumping, etc.
When you waist this budget on low-nutritional value foods (processed junk), you are adding stress to the body, exhausting the essential nutrients to support your mental health, ward off depression, maintain quality eye sight, and keep our cells from developing cancers.
When you eat packaged foods, the nutrients that would have gone to support your vision, cellular health and mental health are depleted during digestion of bad foods.
Is the Ho-Ho worth it?
Why make it harder for your body to live?
Danger # 3: Disease
Did you know that kids roughly ages 4-11 already have signs of heart disease?
Guess the percentage. I’ll wait…
If you guessed 48.6%…
You’d be incorrect.
It’s 75% according to the American Journal of Medical Sciences.12
Let me just say that again… Our babies are already in danger of heart disease because of the food we feed them.
Triglyceride levels (fats stored on the belly, thighs, and hips) raise when we eat refined, processed foods.13
Your triglyceride levels tell your doctor how well you are processing energy.
Any carb, protein or dietary fat that enters your body…and isn’t used…gets stored as Triglycerides. In other words, as body fat.
Triglycerides from sodas, cakes and cookies usually come with a buddy.
Her name is Cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a fatty wax we need in order to build our cells. She can be good for you, but when she stays too long in your arteries she begins to block oxygen to the heart.
No oxygen to the heart is how you get heart attacks.
The build-up of plaque and cholesterol in the arteries is called Atheroscelerosis. Atherosclerosis limits how much oxygen can flow to the heart.14
Again, heart attacks…
You probably know that some cholesterol is good for you. HDL or High density lipoprotein cholesterol is the good kind that prevents atheromas (fat clumps) in the blood vessels. LDL or Low density lipoprotein cholesterol actually induces atheromas.
Think of Atheromas as fat clumps that build up in your arteries after years & years of bad eating habits.
At the center of these fat clumps there is a core of cholesterol.
What do you think happens when Atheromas grow too large in your arteries?
That’s right, blood blockages and… heart disease, including heart attacks.
Hidden Atheromas account for “two-thirds of myocardial infarctions”.15
In other words, it’s the fatty deposits in your arteries that your doctor cannot see that eventually destroy you.
And you guessed it, Black folks suffer from higher levels of atherosclerosis and heart disease than White folks. 16
I know. It’s bad.
If you want to see your risk, check your cholesterol level. Most heart attacks occur in people with cholesterol between 175 and 225.17
Processed, packaged foods like sodas, candy, bagels, chips, fruit juices, pastas, White breads, and basically anything that comes in a plastic bag wreak havoc on the body.
These foods make it very difficult to lose weight…forget getting cut and ripped.
More importantly, they make it very difficult to live a long and healthy life.
But we’re never powerless. There is a simple solution for these problems.
There is a way to live without atherosclerosis and osteoporosis.
There is a way to severely limit heart disease and diabetes, two profound killers of the Black community.
With the plan below, it might even be possible to reverse heart disease and Type II diabetes.
Are you letting the Body show You its Wisdom?
The body has intelligence and wisdom. All you need to do is tap into it.
For example, inside the body, there is a network of chemoreceptors that line the digestive tract.
These receptors monitor how many nutrients are in every mouthful of food.
The hypothalamus in the brain receives this information and tells us if we should keep eating or not.18
Also, the stomach is lined with receptors that detect how much food has been eaten.
These stomach receptors only care about volume of nutrients eaten, not the weight of the food.
In other words, if you don’t get enough nutrients, your brain will keep telling you to eat more even if you’ve already had two double cheeseburgers, a large fry and a medium coke.19
Nutrients, including Fiber, fill you up so that you eat only as much as you need. Anything more runs the risk of raising your triglyceride levels, cholesterol, chances for atheromas and atherosclerosis, heart attacks and diabetes.
It’s simple: To be overweight is to consume too few nutrients.
Because people stop eating when they are full.
It takes a lot of processed foods to give you that full feeling.
But it only takes a few of the right foods to do the same job.
There are natural substances in this world that help to lower cholesterol, prevent diabetes, boost your immune system, reduce your risks of hemorrhoids, and help you lose weight.
It’s called Fiber.
People who include more Fiber in their diets experience healthier and faster weight loss.
I don’t care if you’re a fitness fanatic or just someone recovering from triple bypass surgery, you need fiber in order to burn the dangerous belly fat that increases cardiovascular disease.
This is about more than just losing weight. It’s about losing the right kind of fat.
Healthy Fiber-rich diets are also associated with normalized insulin levels and reduced risk for diabetes.20
Fiber. You know, that stuff that is always missing from processed foods.
I’m not talking about Fiber from tablets or supplements, but Fiber from natural plants including fruits, vegetables and beans.
When we ingest real fiber, we slow down glucose (sugar) absorption in the body, thereby limiting the spike in insulin that leads to so much obesity.
It is recommended that you get 25 grams of Fiber (on a 2000 calorie diet) daily.
With this plan, you’ll get far more than 25 grams of Fiber.
Here’s the plan:
5 Steps to Melt Fat & Stop Disease
- Stop it. Just stop eating the processed junk.
- Make a Salad. Everyday.
Use Romaine lettuce, kale, collards, or Swiss Chard as a base. These are super rich in Fiber, cancer and obesity preventing phytonutrients as well as vegetable protein.
If you don’t know the power of phytonutrients, check out my other post HERE.
Don’t play. I love using cucumbers, white mushrooms, and red, green, & yellow peppers for flavor.
Eat the entire salad raw. You don’t need to cook a thing. Use only a drizzle of any dressing. Avoid using vegetable or olive oil. Limit cheeses.
Raw vegetables carry the two things you need in order to remain healthy and burn fat:
High Nutrient Value + Low Calories.21
The beauty of this meal is that, when eaten raw, it has a negative-caloric effect.22
This means that you use more calories to absorb and digest the lettuce than the salad carries.
So if the salad has 75 calories, you burn 80 calories just by eating it.
The extra 5 calories comes right off your belly.
You will not starve because you’re still getting the nutrients, including Fiber, necessary to sustain your life. But you will get full and lose belly fat more quickly.
I repeat: You will get full by eating a salad. Have at least 2 large salads every day.
Get Black, Pinto, Red Kidney, Soy, even tofu or natto (Not Baked Beans with the cinnamon). These are jam packed with Fiber.
There is about 15 grams of Fiber per cup of cooked Black Beans.
Eat 1/2 to 1 cup daily.
Look, our bodies are meant to run off of carbohydrates…but we must get the right kind of carbohydrates.
When we eat carbohydrates, our body turns the carb into glucose (sugar) that can be fed to the cells.
As I said before, processed carbs provide too large a spike in sugars…resulting in an eventual crash in energy levels.
But Beans provide just enough.
When we eat beans, for example, the body burns 23% of the calories consumed from carbohydrates to convert it into glucose. That means you are burning calories in order to process the carbohydrates.23
When we eat the Ho-Ho, by contrast, only 3% of the total fat is actually burned to process the snack cake. 97% goes straight to the hips, belly or thighs.
The principle is this: We burn more calories eating carbohydrates than we burn eating fats.
Beans are high in carbohydrates, about 45 grams per cup of Black Beans.
They have also been shown to protect against cholesterol, blood sugar and colorectal cancer.24
Beans are resistant starches. This means that a good deal of the carbs listed for the beans aren’t even absorbed. Instead, beans “resist” digestion and pass through the small intestine without being completely broken down.
Because beans “resist” digestion, they provide a stable flow of energy to the body without spiking insulin. When insulin remains stable, the body stores less fat.
In other words, Beans help: Aid in weight loss, prevent constipation, reduce the risk of colon cancer, reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.25
Eat 3-4 fresh fruits daily.
Bananas, Apples, Blueberries, Melons, Oranges, Papayas, pears, peaches, raspberries, etc. Cut these up and place them on your salad.
Stay away from raisins.
These fruits not only supply you with needed energy as they are high in non-processed carbohydrates, but they also provide you with useful phytonutrients, protecting you against cancer and obesity.26
Always remember, you need more vegetables in your diet than fruit. But fruit has anti-cancer and anti-obesity properties. It damn sure is a better source of energy than candy bars and snack cookies.
Treat fruit as your new candy.
- Vegetable Medley: Go to Town on my special mix of Vegetable Soup.
My client, Yvette, sent me a pic of her stew:
Here’s what’s important:
Eat 3-6 spoon fulls of this with each meal if you can.
YOU MUST DRINK THE JUICE AS WELL.
Whenever you make a soup out of vegetables, you will notice how dark green your broth gets…
That is because all of the nutrients have bled into the liquid. Drink it in order to take full advantage of the liquid.
Here is your prescription:
- Get a Very Large Pot
- Get out a cutting tray
- Your prescription includes:
- Bok Choy
- Mustard Greens
- Mushrooms- shiitake, White, Jersey (your choice)
- Green and Red peppers
- Cut ingredients (or blend) into as small of pieces as possible
- Place ingredients in the Very Large Pot
- Pour water to the top of the Pot
- Heat just until Boiling
- Store in refrigerator
Okay, you just prepared vegetables for the entire week. Most of these vegetables are taste awful raw, that’s why I recommend cooking them.
You will find it easier to swallow when cooked.
But don’t sleep on the health benefits of the above recipe: Each of these Green vegetables as well as the Leeks contain organosulfur phytonutrients that inhibit abnormal cellular changes that cause cancer.
Further, the mushrooms actually have anti-fat forming properties that help to keep fat off of the body.
So yeah, you’ll easily burn the dangerous fat and protect yourself against disease.
Follow each of these 5 steps.
Keep up your gym training… and watch dangerous belly fat melt, arteries unclog and overall health dramatically improve.
What about the taste?
If you’re asking yourself about the taste, don’t worry about it.
Everything taste awful for the first week.
Then something funny happens:
You start to want the salad, the vegetable porridge, the beans and the fruit.
But it doesn’t stop there:
You also stop liking McDonald’s (If that was your thing before).
I went to McDonald’s the other day and the food tasted like rubber toys…
Literally, the food tasted like it came out of a Fisher-Price Box. All bad.
Psychologists have determined that humans learn to like that which is familiar to them.28
Thus, if you are to turn a diet into a lifestyle, you must be consistent. Just stay steady.
You are worth it. It is worth it.
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Hi, I’m Shawn, a Health researcher and writer deeply dedicated to the personal enhancement of Black Bodies, Black Minds, and Black Bank Accounts. I’m also the Founder of Black Health HQ. I created Black Health HQ to be a research driven platform for the development of Black physical, mental and financial health. Black Health HQ works toward the extreme well-being of Black people, offering free content along with services and products to assist you on your journey to maximum Black Living. Together, I believe we can build a vibrant and thriving Black community by strengthening what is most precious: our health and wealth.
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- co.uk: the global disease community. “Diabetes and the Body.” Accessed May 27, 2017. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/body/insulin.html.
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- Birgit Teucher, Jack R. Dainty, Caroline A. Spinks, Gosia Majsak‐Newman, David J. Berry, Jurian A. Hoogewerff, Robert J. Foxall et al. “Sodium and bone health: impact of moderately high and low salt intakes on calcium metabolism in postmenopausal women.”Journal of bone and mineral research 23, no. 9 (2008): 1477-1485. Nguyen, N. U., G. Dumoulin, J. P. Wolf, and S. Berthelay. “Urinary calcium and oxalate excretion during oral fructose or glucose load in man.” Hormone and metabolic research 21, no. 02 (1989): 96-99. Velimir Matkovic, Jasminka Z. Ilich, Mark B. Andon, Lily C. Hsieh, Michael A. Tzagournis, Becky J. Lagger, and Prem K. Goel. “Urinary calcium, sodium, and bone mass of young females.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 62, no. 2 (1995): 417-425. Katherine L. Tucker, Kyoko Morita, Ning Qiao, Marian T. Hannan, L. Adrienne Cupples, and Douglas P. Kiel. “Colas, but not other carbonated beverages, are associated with low bone mineral density in older women: The Framingham Osteoporosis Study.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 84, no. 4 (2006): 936-942.
- Joel Fuhrman. Eat to live. 2005: 104.
- Gerald S. Berenson, Wendy A. Wattigney, Weihang Bao, Sathanur R. Srinivasan, and Bhandaru Radhakrishnamurthy. “Rationale to study the early natural history of heart disease: the Bogalusa Heart Study.”The American journal of the medical sciences 310 (1995): S22-S28.
- Patty W. Siri-Tarino, Qi Sun, Frank B. Hu, and Ronald M. Krauss. “Saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease.”The American journal of clinical nutrition (2010): ajcn-26285. Nicola M.McKeown, James B. Meigs, Simin Liu, Gail Rogers, Makiko Yoshida, Edward Saltzman, and Paul F. Jacques. “Dietary carbohydrates and cardiovascular disease risk factors in the Framingham offspring cohort.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 28, no. 2 (2009): 150-158.
- National Heart and Lung Institute. “What is Atheroscelrosis.” June 22, 2016. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/atherosclerosis.
- Joel Fuhrman. Eat to live. 2005: 183.
- Amparo Castillo-Richmond, Robert H. Schneider, Charles N. Alexander, Robert Cook, Hector Myers, Sanford Nidich, Chinelo Haney, Maxwell Rainforth, and John Salerno. “Effects of stress reduction on carotid atherosclerosis in hypertensive African Americans.”Stroke 31, no. 3 (2000): 568-573.
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- E. Blundell, and J. C. G. Halford. “Regulation of nutrient supply: the brain and appetite control.”Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 53, no. 2 (1994): 407-418.
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- The World’s Healthiest Foods. “Black Beans.” Accessed May 22, 2017. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=2.
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