My Clear Obsession with Carbohydrates and Added Sugars

It’s no secret that I love junk food. I consistently consume a variety of food items that are high in refined sugars and carbohydrates, but it’s not all bad! Carbohydrates come in three forms: fiber, starch, and sugar. Fiber and starch are the building blocks of complex carbohydrates, and sugar is also considered a simple carbohydrate. Foods that are commonly high in complex carbohydrates can actually be whole foods such as whole grains, sweet potatoes, or legumes. This fact is not just reserved for junk food! Household foods that contain simple carbohydrates are: honey, maple syrup, and brown sugar. The majority of all whole foods have some sort of sugar content (which has unfortunately been given a bad reputation), but works in different ways to allow nutrients to enter your body. Whereas foods with added sugar have been refined, processed, and contain a significantly lower amount of nutrients to virtually none and are usually derived from cane sugar and/or sugar beets.

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The dangers of eating too much refined sugars are:

-   Higher  intakes of sugar increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes  

-   The more added sugars you eat the more chances you have of gaining weight and becoming obese 

Due to my awareness of how junk food can damage my health, I try to find a healthy balance by consuming whole foods and whole grains. (There it is, that whole foods word again! Not the grocer, the product).  Whole grains are seeds that come from wheat. A whole grain is a non-refined wheat product that still contains the bran, germ and endosperm. Nothing but the good stuff! Next time you are reading a label or article, take care to know that whole foods will offer you nothing but what your body needs for clean fuel!

Fun fact: Restoration Hardware sells food! When you only feel like window shopping but want to experience an upscale dining experience, this is the place to go! Expensive wares and good food!

Fun fact: Restoration Hardware sells food! When you only feel like window shopping but want to experience an upscale dining experience, this is the place to go! Expensive wares and good food!

The health benefits of incorporating whole grains are included but not limited to:

  • Decreasing your risk of developing diabetes

  • Protection against heart disease

Some of my favourite whole grains to eat are:  Quinoa (high in fibre)  Oats (high in fibre)

Some of my favourite whole grains to eat are:

Quinoa (high in fibre)

Oats (high in fibre)

My favourite junk food high in carbohydrates and refined sugars is:  Instant Ramen

My favourite junk food high in carbohydrates and refined sugars is:

Instant Ramen

My favourite drink high in refined sugar is:  Ginger-ale

My favourite drink high in refined sugar is:

Ginger-ale

Below you will find my go-to healthy re-up kale and quinoa bowl recipe! I call this a re-up because I always make this meal when I need some more healthful food in my life. This is perfect for whenever you want to inject a clean meal into your diet! Happy dining!

How much:   1/2 Cup  1 Cup  2-6 Cups (optional)  1/2  1  2 Tbsp  4 Tbsp  1 Tsp

How much:

1/2 Cup

1 Cup

2-6 Cups (optional)

1/2

1

2 Tbsp

4 Tbsp

1 Tsp

What’s in it:   Quinoa  Water  Kale  Lemon  Shallot  Maple Syrup  Olive Oil  Salt

What’s in it:

Quinoa

Water

Kale

Lemon

Shallot

Maple Syrup

Olive Oil

Salt

Tools:   2 Steel Bowls  Ice  Mixing Spoon  Tasting Spoon  Pot with lid  Measuring Cups  Measuring Spoons  Chef Knife  Sieve  Whisk

Tools:

2 Steel Bowls

Ice

Mixing Spoon

Tasting Spoon

Pot with lid

Measuring Cups

Measuring Spoons

Chef Knife

Sieve

Whisk

Advance Prep

  1. Collect all equipment.

  2. Clean and sanitize work space.

  3. Collect, cut and measure all ingredients.

  4. Wash quinoa in cold water.

  5. Wash and rough chop kale.

    Cooking

  6. Place pot over moderate heat.

  7. Immediately add water.

  8. Once you see it boiling add quinoa and immediately bring to a moderate simmer.

  9. When you see the liquid reduce and small pockets of air appearing turn check moisture.

  10. Once the moisture is significantly gone turn off heat.

  11. Remove quinoa and add to steel bowl on top of ice bath.

  12. Steam kale.

  13. When kale turns bright green and stems are softer remove from pot.

  14. Add kale to steel bowl on top of ice bath.

  15. Once quinoa and kale are cooled down add to fridge.

  16. Brunnoise Shallot

  17. Add lemon, maple syrup, shallot, olive oil to bowl, whisk until emulsified.

  18. Add cooled quinoa and kale to bowl.

  19. Top with dressing and mix.

    Fin.

Remember everything in moderation (thank goodness moderation is subjective), especially junk food! I wish you the best of luck in your own discoveries of finding balance between junk and wholesome well-rounded food!

Nutrition And Food

Food choice.  [Photography]. Retrieved from Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopaedia.   quest.eb.com/search/132_1286833/1/132_1286833/cite .

Food choice. [Photography]. Retrieved from Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopaedia.
quest.eb.com/search/132_1286833/1/132_1286833/cite.

The topic that most interests me is the relationship between eating behavior and emotion control. Changing your eating habits can be tough especially if you're someone (like myself) who has used food as a means to cope. Throughout the majority of my life, I've struggled with maintaining healthy eating habits. My early childhood consisted of suppressing my emotions with food.  No one ever told me to stop, because nutrition was never a focal point in the household that I grew up in. Having food on the table was the only concern; quality of ingredients was of little importance. This is why maintaining a balanced diet as an adult has been an imperative challenge.

Along with learning more about the relationship between eating behavior and emotion control I would like to learn more about low income and unhealthy diets. What makes up a healthy balanced diet? Why is substantial food so expensive? According to the Canadian Food Guide, “a healthy diet consists of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, protein consumed regularly, along with more plant based proteins” (Health Canada, Canada Food Guide).

Health Canada.  [Photography]. Retrieved from Government of Canada Food Guide.  https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/guidelines/section-1-foundation-for-healthy-eating/#t2 .

Health Canada. [Photography]. Retrieved from Government of Canada Food Guide. https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/guidelines/section-1-foundation-for-healthy-eating/#t2.

With the rise of increasing health issues for many generations, having a balanced diet is turning into a complete lifestyle choice for many Canadians. However, “in 2017 about 50% of Canadians experienced cardiovascular disease due to poor dietary nutrition” (Health Canada, Canada Food Guide). Canada is a prosperous nation full of services that benefit all people. Why do lower income residents retain poor diets that usually continue into adulthood? Growing up in a low income environment, I relate to those will little resources. Especially when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. In an article by Science Direct Staff, one can even learn more about “living in deprived neighbourhoods and the relationship with unhealthy food.” This is something that I am truly passionate about, I am focused on pursuing this idea of study.

Guiding children's diets.  [Photography]. Retrieved from Britannica ImageQuest.  quest.eb.com/search/132_1291295/1/132_1291295/cite .

Guiding children's diets. [Photography]. Retrieved from Britannica ImageQuest.
quest.eb.com/search/132_1291295/1/132_1291295/cite.

As a person who has experienced all types of fluctuating dieting practices and self loathing, this is especially important. Healing oneself and helping others is what is integral to the human experience. I believe that if we change what lower income people are consuming, they may be able to activate higher levels of learning and engagement with their lives. With a resounding amount of people demanding better food I also believe that presently, and in the future, nutrition will play a more important role in the culinary industry. There is strong evidence that “improving taxation and subsidy policies will improve the populations dietary behaviors” (Science Direct, Healthy food subsidies and unhealthy food taxation). As someone who enjoys going out to local restaurants I understand that eating locally and purchasing nutritious food can become expensive. But with the rising diets such as veganism and different vegetarians fast food subsidies are being forced to adapt. With this change and the continuous adaptation of the culinary community I hope that the governments will follow suit in making the right choices i.e. subsidizing nutritious food companies.


Lifestyle change through food in today’s technologically inclined society may seem effortless but it can contain many misleading outlets of information. Fad diets, posts based on ad revenue, or simply uninformed writing can point those in need of assistance in odd directions. A credible source written by experts on the subject, containing references and citations, typically evaluated yearly by industry professionals that include research findings are the sustenance that people of all backgrounds need. Health is wealth and knowledge is power. I’ve listed a credible source below along with some very questionable websites (i.e. ones I wouldn’t redeem credible for your point of reference).

Credible: https://food-guide.canada.ca/static/assets/pdf/CDG-EN-2018.pdf (governed)

Non-credible: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutrition (anyone can edit it)

The more we know about nutrition, the more we can do better about it. As stated previously, a large amount of the Canadian population is struggling with cardiovascular ailments. Nutrition paired with physical activity are at the forefront of tackling health issues. Nutrition is an important aspect of society and will become even more valuable not just to those that are lacking, but all of us as we value a higher quality of living.


Works Cited

Food choice. Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2016. 
quest.eb.com/search/132_1286833/1/132_1286833/cite.

Guiding children's diets. Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2016. 
quest.eb.com/search/132_1291295/1/132_1291295/cite.

Health Canada. “Canada Food Guide.” Government of Canada, 2019. https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/guidelines/section-1-foundation-for-healthy-eating/#t2

Health Canada. “Canada Food Guide.” Government of Canada, 2019 https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/guidelines/.

Niebylski, Mark L in “Healthy Food subsidies and Unhealthy Food taxation: A Systematic Review of the Evidence PubMed, 2015. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899900714005486

Sciencedirect Staff. “Relationships with Food.” Science Direct, 2019. https://www-sciencedirect-com.gbcprx01.georgebrown.ca/search/advanced?docId=10.1016/j.appet.2019.05.009.