As Dr. Michael Cutler points out in his book, The Part-time Health Nut, the foods the typical American eats are designed to boost the profits of food companies, not your health. Filled with addictive additives, refined sweeteners and artificial ingredients, this type of processed food diet is nutrient-deficient and disease-promoting.
When you start eating these fake foods that are tricking your brain, you truly can’t hold yourself back. The sugar, fat, saltiness, crunchiness and even the way these foods feel in your mouth are carefully designed by food scientists to be irresistible — and addictive.
And that’s why America is facing a health crisis grounded in obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
Since the food industry is partly responsible, wouldn’t it be great if they would share some of the responsibility and help fix the problem? That’s an argument put forth by a University of Southern Denmark professor of biophysics.
Professor Ole G. Mouritsen is the author of several books touting the benefits of seaweed as food. Recently he co-authored an article in the journal Phycologia reviewing knowledge on the health effects of 35 different seaweed species — and feels that seaweed should be added to fast food to make it healthier.
“We know that many people have difficulty distinguishing between healthy and unhealthy food. By adding seaweed to processed foods we can make food healthier. In many cases we also get tastier food, and it may also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases,” the authors believe.
Seaweed contains beneficial proteins, antioxidants, minerals, trace elements, dietary fiber and polyunsaturated fatty acids. But one very important feature of seaweed is umami. Umami is a “taste” known to promote satiety. If someone is more satisfied by taste, then cravings for salt, sugar and fat are reduced making it easier to control appetite.
Dried and granulated seaweed can easily be added to flour used to make dry pasta, bread, pizza dough, snack bars and much more, according to the authors. Seaweed can also be added to meat products to increase dietary fiber and antioxidants.
The food industry already uses a bevy of additives in the manufacture of foods. Wouldn’t it be great if they added something truly healthy for once? But I wouldn’t hold your breath.
If you’d like to add a little seaweed to your food yourself, here’s how:
- You can add up to 5% dried seaweed to dough without affecting its ability to rise.
- Dried seaweed can be added to food as a powder, granulate or pieces in pastries, egg dishes, mashed potatoes, dressings, or sprinkled on vegetables or fish dishes.
- Seaweed powders and granulates can be used a salt substitute (Seaweed’s content of potassium salts does not lead to high blood pressure — unlike the sodium salts, typically encountered in the processed food)
- Dried seaweed can be stored for months or years without loss of flavor or nutritional value.