Monday, February 13, 2012

If food products were honestly labeled

Just wanted to share with you something that my friend sent me. My favorite part is the screaming kid with the "ADHD Flakes" haha

So, here are some tips to avoid eating processed foods:

  • Stick to the "outside" of the grocery store. Buy mainly fruits, veggies, fresh (whole wheat) bread, and animal products of choice (eggs, fish, meat). The only actual isle I really go into while shopping is the "natural foods" isle. Frozen veggies and fruits in the frozen section are okay too.
  • Read the label! The less ingredients, the better. Ingredients that you can't pronounce are bad.Many foods contain tons of chemicals to increase the shelf life.
  • Read the label again! "Low fat" on the front label does not necessarily mean healthy. Also double-check words like "natural" (natural what?), "organic" (who is it certified by?), "made with whole grains" (could still be mainly made out of processed flour), etc.
  • Sugar is bad. Buy food with less than 5 g of sugar per serving. Foods with natural sweeteners like honey and agave are an excellent alternative. Look for these foods (cereal, peanut butter, crackers) in the natural food isle. They may be more expensive, but you will save more money later in life on medical expenses.
  • Eat before shopping. Eat a meal or snack before going to the store and stick to your shopping list. This will help you avoid grabbing that box of cheez-its because you're starving.
  • Cook from scratch. When I first became a vegetarian, I was buying a lot of imitation meats, like veggie burgers, because I didn't know what else to eat. However, these weren't necessarily much healthier than meat itself. I now try to cook everything from scratch, e.g. lentil burgers, and only eat imitation meat and cheese in moderation.
  • No fast food. Obviously. My main weaknesses are mexican and sandwiches, like Chipotle and Subway. Some fast food meals can be okay if eaten in moderation and especially if you can choose your own ingredients. At Chipotle, you can skip the tortilla and get brown rice. Opt for whole wheat bread, lots of veggies, and mustard (no mayo) at Subway
What are your tips for avoiding processed food?

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