Wikipedia: Obesogens may be functionally defined as chemicals that inappropriately alter lipid homeostasis and fat storage, change metabolic setpoints, disrupt energy balance or modify the regulation of appetite and satiety to promote fat accumulation and obesity.
I’ve been suspecting for a long time that many chemicals in our life, from those in the modest tomato to the pharmaceutical drugs can fatten us or harm us in other ways.
These are the obesogens, carcinogens and so on…
And now I wonder if I have any chance to avoid them, while living in a big city and shopping at supermarkets.
Yet, as my diet or any other diet doesn’t seem to work too well for me, I’m on a plateau, I have to try everything in my power to minimize the presence of these alien chemicals in my life.
I’m going to start my modest endeavour by taking a closer look at the daily bread.
A long time ago I noticed that if I replace bread with other starches for 3 weeks, I got rid of several pounds, without changing anything else in my daily life. I couldn’t find an explanation then.
And now I wonder if it is the gluten or what else in bread that it’s fattening me?
(Provided of course, I don’t eat too much of it, calories do count).
I haven’t thought until recently there could be something else besides water, flour, salt, bit of sugar, butter or vegetable oil and yeast in the bread I buy from the nearby shop. Well, I was very, very wrong so I’ve started to read labels more carefully.
And..ooops, my daily bread contains:
– Emulsifiers. I don’t even care if a chemical emulsifier is safe or not. For me, it’s a clear sign of a low-quality, industrial product. Egg yolks and milk can act as emulsifiers and provide added nutrition as well.
– Antioxidants I’m not a fan of added antioxidants, I’ll tell you why some other time. I don’t especially like them in my fresh daily bread, I don’t think they improve taste. As long as they’re natural, I might accept them in an industrial bread. But if it’s a nasty chemical, like Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), it’s a huge NO, NO!
– Caramel Coloring This I really don’t understand. Bran is not so expensive. But it seems chemical caramel coloring is even cheaper. This is really nasty because bran is healthy, while chemical coloring might include some carcinogens. It’s falsifying a healthy product and, in my opinion should be punished by law.
– Chemical leavening agents Don’t need them, I hate them, they make bread puffy, less tasty. I can’t prove they’re the enemies but I feel I’m becoming puffy too.
– There are for sure other chemicals too, I won’t lose time. Many are mentioned in Wikipedia as obesogens.
It was almost impossible to find a healthy bread in the supermarkets or in the small shops in my area, whatever the price, so there was only one option left:
Buy a bread machine and start making my own bread.
I’m still reading carefully the labels, as many ingredients in my bread recipe might contain unwanted chemicals. I’m also happy that my bread is much less salty than the commercial one,.
There are still huge problems with pesticides and fungicides in the food, including flour. Nothing to do here but to join the chorus asking for healthier products.
It won’t help too much buying bio product
I don’t trust the producers, not in my area, and they cost a lot more.
This set aside, the next problem to tackle is that I’m making such a good bread that I’m eating too much of it.
Too many calories still do fatten me, especially those from too many carbs, with or without chemicals!
I’ve tried to enforce a strict discipline, to stick to my daily portions but the smell is incredible and the taste so good….
Rule of thumb: don’t eat bread freshly baked, don’t even taste it if you can.
It’s healthier eaten after several hours or even the next day. Yeah, I know!
Again, I’ve tried the old strategy of adding instead of subtracting all or too much.
Like adding other tasty starchy foods like pre boiled rice, couscous, pasta, bulgur, oats a.s.o. to my menu. This is kind of working but only if I keep a food journal on www.myfitnesspal.com
I do have a problem, with all carbohydrates, it seems, I have to control the intake. Not to mention calories.
One other good idea has been to share my fresh bread with family and friends.
I’m becoming quite popular, you know?
Bonus, my bread machine makes a nice pizza dough but that’s another story that Sheherazada will tell you some other time.
I don’t always have time to procure ingredients and make bread. I still eat commercial bread from time to time, trying to choose those brands with a tiny-winni list of ingredients.
When eating at a restaurant, I choose some starchy food as side dish and avoid bread.
Fast food? Well, it depends. This needs a lot of thinking as there are some interesting fast food providers in my neighbourhood, Romanian, Turkish, Lebanese a.s.o. Some of them provide at least tasty food, traditional breads a.s.o., even if not exactly healthy when you come to think of the ingredients.
I’m not so sure if my bread strategy will work in time, there are so many parameters when it comes to diets, but it’s worth trying. At least I’ve tickled-tackled one possible cause.
I should mention that I’m on a Mediterranean Diet, adapted to my lifestyle, my traditions, my environment and my needs.