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    Why Avoid Faux Food?

    Excerpted from
    The French Don't Diet Plan: 10 Simple Steps to Stay Thin for Life
    By William Clower, Ph.D.

    Never before in human history (until now) have we had to ask the question, What is food? Our biology took care of that for us, through our senses. But now, synthetics can fool our physiology into thinking something's okay to consume, when it's nothing but a cheap imitation, a faux food that undermines your weight and health.

    Think about your body like any other machine for just a moment. The synergy between its optimal functioning and its energy source is absolutely vital-the kind of machine, for example, must match the particular fuel it expects. Cars run on gas. Computers run on electricity. And our physiology runs most efficiently on real rood. Put a banana in a gas lank and the ear won't run. Put gasoline in people and they won't run either.

    You may be twenty-nine years old (and holding . . .), hut your body lives at the end of a long genetic thread that's eons old. You exist as part of an ancient living gilt whose history trails back far beyond memory. Your physiology is alive today because of its fuel sources, which come from the earth.

    Over forgotten ages, the food grown here has adapted to us, and we to it. I his is a mutual biological understanding, a relationship, and it's as strong and established as our species itself. We exist because of this relationship, we thrive because of it, and we compromise our health as soon as we lose sight of it.

    Somehow we've moved away from this biological heritage of food in favor of man-made chemicals. We try to fool our taste buds with synthetic imitations, put them in a package, and sell them. But any product of this sort, by definition, cannot be food simply because our physiology has no biological context for inventions. If you need a rule to follow for your best health, don't eat inventions.

    If we forget the depth and importance of this most basic synergy, we will undermine the very foundation of our health. Our physiology is not an invention, and its food should not be either. These synthetics have never been alive or a part of the food chain. They've never been a part of our biology or present in the environment before the last biological nanosecond. If you give your body something it has never encountered, that it has no context for or relationship with, you will introduce weight and health problems. You might as well stick a banana in your gas tank.

    Need a real world example? High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is made to simulate sweeteners like sugar, but your body doesn't recognize it as sugar. That's w by your liver, which normally filters toxins, has to process it instead of your insulin response system, leaving you with elevated triglycerides.

    The problem we run into is that so many inventions spill from the grocers' shelves that we assume they're normal, nod our heads at the marketing, and eat them anyway: chemical fats, synthetic sugars, drinks made with phosphoric acid and high-fructose corn syrup (aka soda), plasticized fruit sheets, neon ketchup, and snack cakes with the shelf life of motor oil.

    Food companies would have you cat butter that never saw a cow and eggs that never saw a chicken. Others would feed you trans fats that the FDA now requires companies disclose on food labels, and the olestra faux hit that wicks vitamins out of your body so that the FDA requires a warning label on any product that contains it. Scads of diet drinks and chemically sugared candy bars and shakes line the shelves.

    Now were finding that these ingested inventions-hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and so on, are linked to cancer (preservatives like BHT and heart problems (hydrogenated oils). Does this surprise you, really? Who is shocked by the fact that novelties from the chem lab bench create problems in a body that expects normal foods?

    Don't eat inventions. We have a hard enough time with our weight and health as it is. Don't create problems!

    Friend or Faux?

    It's time for a fresh start. It's time to clear the corners and cubbies of the old foods that have been keeping you from reaching your goals for so long. You have a chance now for a clean start, like a good thorough spring cleaning for your physiology that will detox your entire system. But before we shop for real food again, we have lo gel the chemistry set out of the cupboard.

    Unfortunately, when you look for real food in your pantry you may find that the most familiar items are the first ones to go! Thai's because we've been sold these choices for so long that what we automatically think of as "normal has changed. Normal used to be fruit, now it's Fruit Roll-Ups and fruit-flavored products. Normal used to be Cheddar cheese, now it's Cheddar goldfish. Normal used to be apple turnovers, now it's apple Pop-farts. We have become so inundated with food products that we've lost our sense of what real food really is.

    But in order to eat clean again, you've got to shed the junk, cleanse your system of faux foods, and find a new, old-fashioned normal again.

    Get a large garbage bag (maybe two) and open your cupboards. Read through the ingredient first on every item, looking for the faux-food chemicals that are listed below. Then make a decision-friend or faux? I he friends stay, but the faux has got to go.

    One by one, toss them in the trash, lo be sure, at first you'll wince at "wasting" these products, and may consider donating them to a food bank-but then aren't you giving all the faux foods lo the people who most need better nutrition anyway? You could ease your conscience by just tossing them into the Dumpster it's a commitment to your health, and making a healthy canned or boxed food donation instead. If you return home from the heap and change your mind, don't worry. You can always go back, dig through the banana peels and coffee grounds and find these products again. They'll taste no different than they ever did.

    I'll provide very simple guidance on this process (below), so you can approach it in the way that works best for you. First, I've included the worst of the ingredients, so you can pick up each product and scan for the main offenders. If you find one, loss it out. Next, as a backup, I'll list specific examples of the most common chemicals people harbor in their cabinets. II you see any of these, toss them out.

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