5 Hidden Causes That Could Be Making Your Fat – Part 4: GMO…OMG!!
This is Part 4 of 5 in the series: 5 Hidden Causes That Could Be Making You Fat
If you missed the previous posts in this series you can check them out at the links below:
GMO stands for genetically modified organism.
You may be saying, “what the heck is that?” and “what does it have to do with weight gain?”
Let’s first talk about what GMOs are.
Many people are clueless as to what GMOs are despite eating them every day…often for every meal.
I was watching a documentary on GMOs the other day and was shocked by how little Americans know about them and how they may be impacting our bodies and health. Other countries ban them and protest in the streets about them, while we continue to march on with our lives without concern.
Genetically modified organisms are organisms, such as corn or soybeans, that have been genetically altered in a laboratory for the purpose of making them able to withstand high doses of herbicides or pesticides. It allows for more productivity and crops that won’t get destroyed by insects or pests.
GMO corn, for example, is modified to produce large amounts of Bt-toxin in its flesh in order to withstand high doses of herbicides. It is essentially a pesticide factory. The plant inactivates the Roundup or herbicide to prevent it from harming the corn. The Bt toxin kills insects by destroying the GI tract of the animal. Some scientists speculate the “inactivated” herbicide may become active in the human gut when digested.
According to the Non-GMO Project the top GMO crops include:
- Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
- Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
- Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
- Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
- Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)
Beware that GMOs are present in many other crops…and the list continues to grow. And don’t be fooled…many other sneaky ingredients are derived from genetically engineered substances such as: maltodextrin, “natural” and “artificial” flavors and xanthum gum.
GMOs exist in most processed and packaged food (75%) and fast food restaurants in America. And we eat them…like A LOT. 80% of all food consumed in the U.S. is processed. 1 in 4 Americans visit a fast food restaurant every day. And more than 2 out of every 3 adults in America are overweight or obese.
So…what are the possible health implications of consuming GMOs?
Is there a connection between GMO consumption and obesity?
Quite possibly so.
A 10-year project was conducted in Norway where researchers looked at the effects of feeding animals GMO foods. Animals that were fed the GMO diet had larger appetites, got fatter quicker and kept on the weight compared with the animals that were fed the non-GMO diet of the same crop. These results rang true for rats, mice, pigs and salmon across the board. The same results also occurred when animals (rats) ate fish that were eating genetically engineered grain.
In Anthony Samsel’s article entitled, “Obesity, Corn, & GMOs” he makes the following statement about this Norwegian study:
“Translated to humans, the study suggests: if you dine on meat from an animal which was fed GE (Genetically Engineered) grains or consume products made from GE grains like corn, you could get the same adverse life altering effects. You could get fatter faster and retain the weight. These GE foods transfer their effects to you.”
Beyond weight gain, studies with animals demonstrate serious and disastrous health consequences of consuming GMOs that may be a culprit behind many of our modern disease epidemics such as, diabetes, IBS, autism and autoimmunity. Animals fed GMO foods demonstrated alterations in the immune system, liver, kidneys, pancreas, adrenal glands, reproductive organs, and digestive system. These animals had difficulty with digesting proteins and showed changes in the intestinal lining.
If you are overweight, want to avoid being overweight and/or want to protect your health…here are some things you can do:
- Choose organic fruits and vegetables. That extra $1 for organic doesn’t sound so outrageous now…does it? Totally worth it for your weight loss goals and your health!
- Avoid grain-fed, conventional meat, fish, dairy and eggs. If the animal eats the GMOs and you eat them…you indirectly ingest the GMO.
- Look for food labeled with the Non-GMO Project label.
Blessings in Health!
Brenda Walding, DPT, FDN