Most everyone is trying to eat healthier these days...I hope. Ever since self-diagnosing myself with gluten-intolerance, I've been much more diligent about the foods I buy. If it's not in our house, we can't eat it. Using this logic, I've changed the way I grocery shop so my family can lead healthier lives. Below are some simple rules of my grocery shopping road:
- Don't buy anything with high fructose corn syrup. Some studies link consumption of HFCS with obesity and metabolic syndrome (which basically means one is at an increased risk of heart disease or type 2 diabetes). HFCS raises triglyceride levels (blood sugar). Google it or look it up on Wikipedia. I'm not a doctor nor do I claim to be one. I'm just someone with family experiences which have necessitated my doing a little research in this area.
- Always read labels, & only buy items with 10 or fewer ingredients. If the ingredient list looks like a page from a novel, put the item down & back away from it! If you don't know what it is or cannot pronounce the ingredient, it's probably not something that is good for your body.
- Limit processed foods by staying on the outer edges of the supermarket. The fresh, natural food is found here...vegetables, fruits, meat, dairy. The middle is generally composed of processed foods...the stuff in boxes & bags. This typically has those long ingredient lists you should avoid.
- Stop drinking soda. I haven't had Coke in 5 years & I haven't had Sprite in 2 years. I plan to never drink soda again. When we stop eating something for a decent period of time, our body no longer craves it. I do not want it, I will never want it.
- Stop drinking sports drinks. My husband used to drink a lot of Gatorade. Then I realized HFCS is one of the first few ingredients. We haven't bought it in a couple of years. Instead, he drinks coconut water...much more hydrating than sport drinks (which are laden with sugar) and it has more potassium than a banana.
- Buy more fish & less red meat. Omega 3 fatty acids in fish are good, saturated fat in red meat is bad. Again, research it yourself...I'm not a nutritionist.
- Avoid the words "hydrogenated," "partially hydrogenated," or anything similar. This process increases the shelf life of food (i.e. to those processed foods in the center of the supermarket). This process creates trans fats which turn into saturated fats in your body. This all raises your risk for heart attack, etc.
- Buy 100% whole wheat bread and pasta. Stay away from white and even "whole grain." You must look for that "100%." White bread is refined and bleached, then has "stuff" added back into it. All this = unhealthy. Again, research for yourself for more details.
Maybe you learned something by reading this. Maybe you said "duh" to yourself. Maybe you doubt my credibility. I don't know...I just know following a list like this will definitely not harm you...and it will most probably make you healthier. Start by changing your mindset, then by changing your habits...the result can change your life.