We are excited to share something a little different on the blog today! It is a health and wellness post, which Kelley Suggs of Lithe Wellness Solutions shared with us.
Hi there! I am Kelley Suggs, CHES from Lithe Wellness Solutions. My focus is helping people get real food into real life easily and affordably. That wasn’t always my focus though. Once upon a time, I focused on conventional wellness, like the Food Guide Pyramid and low fat living. I used to be so good at it that I was responsible for the health and wellness of 8,000 people including about 3,000 active duty Air Force members and I did consultant work for the Air Force Surgeon General and 72 Health and Wellness Centers around the globe.
Oddly enough, we never had great, long term results with conventional wellness. Once our kids were born and they started to have issues that conventional wellness didn’t fix, I started seeking out alternate solutions. Once I knew what they were, I had to share them with everyone else. What Purcell has asked me to share with you today is about one of the 5 Things You Need to Know to Survive and Thrive in the Grocery Store: Food Dyes and Colors. Packaged foods are loaded with colors and preservatives to increase their shelf life and make them look pretty while they sit on the shelf. Food additives also make those packaged foods smell good, look good and maintain the texture of the food.
Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics officially linked ADD and ADHD to artificial food dye. Parents and researchers in other countries like Britain and Australia have known and acted on this for years, and their food supply is dramatically different from ours, even though it comes from many of the same producers and suppliers. Aside from ADD and ADHD behavior, food dyes also promote sleep disturbances and extreme irritability. Aren’t you glad you aren’t a teacher after a neon colored birthday celebration? Not only is the day of the party going to be difficult, but just think of all of those cranky first graders who are missing a good night’s sleep!
Wonder why food dyes are such a big deal for kids? The amount taken in is dose and size dependant. Think of it this way. If you give a 170 pound man a dose of pain reliever, his pain would subside (hopefully!), but if you gave a 30 pound 3 year old the same dose, it would likely send the child to the hospital. A colorful serving of candy will give a 3 year old a much higher dose of colors than a full grown 30 year old parent, and that child will respond accordingly. Food dye effects grown-ups, too; we just have much better control over our thoughts, emotions and actions than children do and then we spend time wondering why we feel so odd. So what is a consumer to do?
Here is where to find the crazy makers (food dye):
Anything that starts with FD&C, specifically Red 40 (which is derived from petroleum), Yellow 5 and Blue 2. Found in food in a box like cereal and mac n’ cheese, yogurt (any kind), candy (conventional M&M’s), chips (Dorritos), crackers, bread, pickles, over the counter and prescription medication (Motrin/Tylenol/pain relievers/allergy medications)
Here are some great alternatives: Stonyfield Farms yogurt, plain potato chips with Daisy brand sour cream, chocolate chips instead of brightly colored M&M’s or Skittles , Homemade mac ‘n cheese or Annie’s Mac ‘n Cheese instead of Kraft or other store brands. You can also consider organic foods, which use vegetable based food dyes like beets.