Eating clean is recommended for your day to day health. While working out and being mobile are what help build strength and agility, nutrition is the base of all the effort you put into the gym. After all, the gym is a mere 5% of your day. Essentially the bulk of your day usually includes eating and sleeping. You may have participated in Intrepid in house nutrition challenges. You might be a newer member in which case stay up to date and look for a challenge in the fast approaching new year. If you have never really thought about what you feed yourself and want to start, here’s an easy tip. Read you food labels. Recently I was drinking a POM drink assuming it was just pomegranate juice. That’s fine right? While juice is really just a fast way to get fructose into my system, it wouldn’t kill me right? Just not the best way to get my fruit in but life goes on. Then, mid drink I turned the bottle around. One of the top ingredients “natural flavors”. What the? Adding natural flavors to something that is already natural? Confused I turned to the Google machine for answers.Needless to say I didn’t finish my POM drink.
The definition of natural flavor under the Code of Federal Regulations is: “the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional”
Uhhhhmmmmm. Wow. Yes it’s a mouthful but the last line is what struck me like a train. “ . . significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional”. Chemicals to make my food taste like what you ‘think’ my food should taste like. And it could be any chemical in the world. It doesn’t have to be listed. So basically they could be using penguin feathers extract to make orange juice sweeter, or dandelions to make sausages more savory. I don’t know! And that’s the point. I have no idea what a ‘natural flavoring’ is. Granted, it’s probably not as extreme as those examples but rather an extract of whatever it is you are consuming which has then been modified in some way to enhance said food. Gross. This is why we should all read labels before putting things in our mouth. What you might think is ‘healthy’ or even things labeled as organic may have additives. This was a disappointing discovery for me and may already be well known to others. Make the right choice to fuel yourself and your families. Take a second to read labels. If anything looks sketchy, don’t buy it. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that the Google machine could find a suitable replacement that you could make at home that is all yours, all natural and will probably taste better.