There are so many products on the shelves at your local grocery store that want you to think or believe that is it the best healthy option for you when you are doing your usual grocery shopping. In fact, some of the “Low Fat” options can be more UNHEALTHY for you than the regular options!
The key to picking out the right foods is reading the label and knowing what is in the food you are eating.
The 100% fool-proof way to consume healthy, non processed, no sugar added or artificially enhanced foods is to stick with your fresh produce and fresh meats. Eating fresh foods will allow you to get the most nutrients you can out of the food you consume. But, being realistic, you will also buy other things when you go to the supermarket.
The first thing you should look at…The Nutritional Facts on the side of the package/box/food item:
This label will tell you all that you need to know about the food that you want to purchase. Yes, you want to have food low in sugar, sodium, fat, and cholesterol!
You also want to take a look at the ingredient list
What is the ingredient list? as defined by the FDA:
The ingredient list on a food label is the listing of each ingredient in descending order of predominance. Listing ingredients in descending order of predominance by weight means that the ingredient that weighs the most is listed first, and the ingredient that weighs the least is listed las
This means that the first things listed on the ingredient list of the label have a higher presence in that product compared to the last item on the label.
Word of advice…if you can not pronounce what is in that product, that is a good sign that it is not as healthy as you thought it was.
HERE is a great resource to help you understand what those fancy complex words in the ingredients list really mean.
The healthy food options will have ingredient list that you can read and understand. They should consist of products such as: whole wheat, nuts, fruits, vegetables, or other healthy foods that you can read and recognize. You want to be aware of the bad oils, over processed ingredients, and high sugar or salt content that may be in some products you like to eat.
Eating healthy is not rocket science, but it can be tricky and confusing. You just have to start reading the fine print and figuring out what are the best food options to have in your diet.
Like I stated before, the best options are to stick with your fresh meats, fruits, veggies, beans, and etc. The fresher it is the healthier it is for you!
So, start looking at the labels on the foods you already have in your cabinet! And remember, if you do decide to do some spring cleaning in your food pantry DO NOT throw the food away (unless it is expired or not good anymore). There are tons of food pantries and charities you can donate your unwanted food!
Stay focused…stay fit! Dig deep and do work in the gym!