Packaged food has got to go. If you can’t read what is on the ingredient list then ditch it. Trans fat, high fructose corn syrup/added sugars, refined/enriched wheat, sodium benzoate and sodium nitrate, artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners, GMO's,.. the list goes on and on.
The word refined should tell you that what you are eating has been messed with. Refining takes away what is good in the grain.. the vitamins, minerals and natural fiber. Processing foods and adding artificial ingredients to replace what was removed doesn’t make it healthy again. Stick with 100% whole grain and avoid foods that have ingredients like enriched or refined on the label. Better yet, make your own breads , crackers and granola bars with less processed flour.
Artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. The word artificial says it all, so just get rid of the food you have with these listed on the label. Artificial additives that are in foods we eat are banned around the world . Makes me wonder why they are still allowed in the United States. I like to avoid these as much as I can.
Sodium Benzoate is added to your drinks and condiments…. and is also used to make fireworks…. ?! And when combine with vitamin C it is known to be a carcinogen. While it is still being studied as to whether or not it is dangerous I’d rather do without it. It’s not a natural preservative.. so it’s just added junk to your food.
High fructose corn syrup or added sugars make the carb and sugar count much, much higher. Eating foods with a lot of added sugar messes with your body. Since there’s a lot that goes into it I’ll save that for it's own post but pretty much when you consume sugar your body releases Insulin, due to the increase in blood glucose levels. Insulin’s job is to store the glucose (to later be used as energy) into fat cells. Too much sugar = more fat stored. So getting rid of food that has added sugars and sticking to foods with natural sugars like fruit is a much better option.
Not all package food is bad and a good way to avoid a lot of the preservatives and unhealthy additives to food can be done by buying organic. I bet if you picked up a organic product you’d be able to read everything on the label.. and that’s a good thing!! Don’t you want to know what you are putting in your body?
By getting rid of the processed food in your house, you are getting rid of the extra sugar, trans fat, artificial yucky-ness, which isn’t helping you lose weight or be in the shape you want to be in. Eating more wholesome, nutritious food will keep you healthy and fit!
So get rid of your packaged food and replace it with healthier options!
A better way to shop at the grocery store:
1. Shop the perimeter- this is the easiest way to avoid the packaged food. The middle of the grocery store (if you haven’t noticed before) has aisles filled with packaged junk. Chips, candy, cereal, cookies, granola bars, soda, canned food.. the list goes on and on. I will bet you if you went down each aisle and picked up one thing from each and read the label.. you’d find one of the things I’ve listed above, so forget about adding it to your cart. The perimeter offers much healthier choices.
2. Stock up on fresh fruits and veggies.. I prefer organic but that’s just my preference! When you can’t get fresh the next best thing is frozen.. just make sure you read the label! ;) (They sometimes add sugar or other unnecessary ingredients.. your frozen fruit/veggies should only have one ingredient!)
3. If your local grocery store has an organic section, get your packaged food there. You can usually find breads, cereals, whole grains (like quinoa or spelt flour), granola bars, etc. to replace the not as healthy versions. Just read the labels and make sure you like everything on the ingredient list. Still look out for the added sugars. I don’t buy anything over 10 grams per serving. (Just an FYI, 4 grams= 1 tsp and 15 calories)
Also the organic products may have more wholesome, less processed ingredients but you still have to be careful . Replacing your Cheez-its with organic cheese crackers doesn’t mean you can eat more of them- still pay attention to the nutrition facts and serving size.
4. Dairy products- I buy organic dairy products because regular cheese, yogurt and milk have unnecessary things added to them or are made with GMO’s. Same goes for meat.
I know that it is almost impossible to cut out processed food entirely but by getting it out of your house and not having it readily available all the time helps. If you don’t think you and your family can get rid of the processed foods and snacks, start by trying to have one meal a day that does not contain anything processed. Or limit yourself to one processed snack a day and replace other snacks with more wholesome foods.
It doesn't have to be the New Year for you to set goals and make changes. The summer is the perfect time- so raid your pantry for your packaged food and replace it with healthy, REAL ingredients. You'll be on your way to a healthier you!
. Be happy and healthy,