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Everything you need to know about sugar, salt, and fat

Updated on March 2, 2013

Another thought provoking episode was featured a few days ago in the Dr. Oz show. An investigative reporter of The New York Times by the name of Michael Moss exposed how some food laboratories use salt, sugar, and fat to make consumers addicted to the products they buy in the supermarket. Moss, the author of Salt, Sugar, Fat did a two year research in food laboratories and interviewed insiders regarding these 3 pillars of processed foods. According to Moss, the food industry needs these three main ingredients in order to survive. These laboratories make food at a low cost to make profit. Let us first start with Sugar. According to Moss, sugar is a miracle ingredient. This is because it helps the food to stay on the shelf much longer. He coined the term "bliss point" to describe how food laboratories add a perfect amount of sugar to foods that will make the consumer get hooked. These products fly off the shelves easily. The people in food laboratories use children as guinea pigs for a taste test and if they have proven that these children like it, then that's the amount of sugar they use to create the product. Moss said that this ingredient creates "craveability" in foods to make it taste as good as possible. Let's move on to salt. This is a magical ingredient that adds crunch to food such as crackers. They also add flavor and color to selected food items. Most food laboratories use Kosher salt because it is flat-sized and it sticks to food better. Kosher salt is hollow inside to make a person salivate. This is also called a flavor burst. When we taste regular salt, our taste buds illicit a small reaction because it is solid. When we taste a grain of Kosher salt, it stimulates reaction in the taste buds and make our addiction stronger. Let's take for example meat. The fat oxidizes in meat and the salt masks the flavor. The third ingredient that most people tend to overlook is fat. According to Moss, fat uses twice the calorie of sugar. A stunning discovery that Moss made was that the brain doesn't react to fat. He said that fat creates a warm and gooey taste in most food products. Dr. Oz mentioned that the snack food that has all these three key ingredients is potato chips. Oz said that chips have salt and starch. This is how they process potato chips. First, they cut into slices, then they drown it in fat by frying. Then the chips are covered in salt. When eaten, sugar is released making it easy to gain weight.

This topic makes us think twice about buying junk food in the grocery store. A wise man said that "You are what you eat". I believe this saying is true. We have to be sagacious when buying products for our kids because some foods contribute to health problems such as obesity. We have to select naturally grown products with no added preservatives to protect our children from allergies and diseases.


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