So when I started this blog, my purpose behind it was to share my story about my Hashimoto’s and the path that hopefully leads me to healing. However, I come across several things throughout each day that are health related, but aren’t always directly related to Hashimoto’s, that I feel I need to share. Although, I would probably argue the point that anything health related can be related to Hashimoto’s, or any autoimmune condition or disease for that matter. Anyway, I came across one of these things yesterday and it about blew my mind! So, I had to share.
My eight-year-old was due for her annual wellness check up back in October but it just slipped past us. So, she had an appointment yesterday and my husband took her. Probably a good thing after reading the information they sent home with us. I like to think that I can keep my mouth shut when it’s not an appropriate time to say things however, I might have had to say something yesterday.
I was reading through the information and looking at her height, weight, her percentiles, etc. because all of those things I find fascinating. I can’t believe how much kids grow in a year! Then I got to the section titled “healthy eating habits”. As I read through the information provided (cause now I’m REALLY interested in what they have to say), it became very apparent to me why we have children, more than ever, dealing with diseases, illnesses, obesity, allergies, asthma, diabetes, etc. I could not believe some of the information that they provided as healthy options. I could talk about several things mentioned throughout the nine suggestions they gave but the one that sticks out the most is their discussion of grains and sugar.
In one particular suggestion they say, “provide several servings of grains (bread, cereal, pastas). Whole grains (oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat bread) are much better than highly processed grains (refined sugars and flour). Limit sugary drinks like soda and juices.”
The amount of contradictions in this one suggestion is insane! Let’s start with this one: bread, cereals, pastas are suggested as servings of grains. Yes, they absolutely are. But a few sentences later it says “whole grains are much better than highly processed grains” and then tells you that refined sugars and flour are highly processed grains. (This is absolutely true, by the way) What do they think bread, cereal, and pastas are made of?!?! REFINED SUGARS AND FLOUR!!! Yet they just stated them as grain options one can give their child. The worst part is that they say “whole grains are much better than highly processed grains” giving you an indication that highly processed grains are actually OK for you, just not as good as whole grains. The problem is, highly processed grains aren’t good for you What. So. Ever.!!
The second thing on here is that they say oatmeal, brown rice, and whole wheat bread are whole grains. The only whole grain that is listed is brown rice. Whole wheat bread is not a whole grain nor is oatmeal! They are both processed! Anything that has flour in it or has something done to it to change it from it’s original state is processed! I guess they could possibly argue that they’re not “highly processed”, but they’re still processed!
I love that they say to limit sugary drinks like soda and juices! They absolutely should! However, the problem with grains in general is that they all break down to sugars. I’m not saying that I am anti-grain (for people who tolerate grains, real, true-whole grains can be fine), but I am saying that having several servings a day isn’t necessarily a great thing. If you’re telling someone to limit their sugar and then you’re telling them to eat several servings of grains, and then you mention later on to have calcium fortified orange juice to increase their calcium intake (after you’ve said to limit juice intake), I have to question you!
My other issue with them mentioning to limit sugary drinks, indicating that they want you to watch your child’s sugar intake, is that they say to “provide other dairy servings like yogurt or cheese” if your child doesn’t drink that much milk. My problem isn’t with the cheese, as long as your child tolerates it, my problem is that the yogurt that most people will grab at the store for their kids, contains a lot of sugar.
The last thing that kind of fired me up on here was that they say to “limit “extras” like oil, butter, salad dressing, mayonnaise etc.” I would very much argue oil and possibly butter. Good oil’s like avocado, olive and coconut oil contain wonderful things for your body and should be a part of a healthy diet. You have to have fat. They do say to avoid fried foods so I will give them that.
I just wish they could be more clear on some of these things. Some of this is just bad information. I wish they would talk about the healthy fats and how they are a necessary part of a persons diet. I wish they would give examples of healthy fats versus bad fats. I wish they would have accurate information on whole grains versus processed grains and what a true whole grain is. Maybe even a food comparison chart to show the difference between things like a kids yogurt that is packaged in bright colors, making it appealing to the kid, and is full of sugars, to an organic yogurt without added sugars, just so parents can see the difference. And even better, compare that organic yogurt to a serving of greens. Just so parents can really see the difference and why vegetables are so important and where sugars can sneak in. And I wish instead of having one simple sentence that says “provide at least five servings a day of a variety of fruits and vegetables”, they would have a whole page on the importance of adding vegetables into your child’s diet. It’s really sad to me to read this. And it definitely helps me understand why, as a culture, we have such a skewed view of what healthy food really is.