Wednesday, August 29, 2007

When vegetable juice kills.

As we become a society of more educated consumers, more conscientious of health and what we are eating- marketers are taking notice and modifying their products accordingly. Some, willingly (eg. when Stouffers developed Lean Cuisine meals with lower fat options) and others not so much (when the government mandated that trans fat be labeled and then removed from all packaged good products).

Most of the product changes follow trends- and "Buzz ingredients" - "Whole grains" (Fruitloops?! Really?!?), "Omega 3", no trans fat, and one that is gaining more traction : low/reduced sodium. People are realizing that there are massive amounts of added salt to most packaged products-and it's salt we don't need.

I am very conscious of buying the low sodium version of products- we all know that too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which leads to heart attacks or strokes, which lead to death. So it makes sense to stay away from it right?
I love V8 juice- but the regular version has something crazy like 650mg of sodium per serving. So I choose the low sodium version- which has 75mg per serving. Amazing, And it still tastes great, Even more amazing. So aren't I doing the right thing for my body?! For my heart?

Well here's what I learned today... V8 has to put something in their drink to provide the salty flavour. Its not just a removal of salt, but a replacement. (The same as Diet Coke replacng the sugar with aspartame, which incidentally causes blindness when taken in large quantities!). So what has v8 added?

Instead of "Sodium Chloride" (salt) they have added "Potassium Chloride". What is that you ask? Well a quick search on wikipedia tells us this: < used in medicine, scientific applications, food processing and in judicial execution through lethal injection.> All in the FIRST paragraph!

It then goes on to say: "high doses can cause cardiac arrest and rapid death. A massive overdose of intravenous potassium chloride is used to stop the heart in execution by lethal injection." Yum. I'd like some more please.

Here is the link for more details:

note: It does also say that regular salt in massive quantities can also be toxic- and that Potassium is vital in the body and KCI (Potassium chloride) is a means to replace it- so I'm being a bit of a drama queen- but it still gives you pause to think.

I'm ready to start growing my own veg and grain...and live a "whole foods" life. It's scary what we ingest everyday without even realizing it.

No comments: