I don’t’ know about you, but I think finding healthy options at the grocery store can seem difficult and overwhelming at times.
This can make the goal to eat healthier difficult! (And I think It’s safe to assume most of us have that goal.)
Thousands of packaged products attract us with their gleaming wrappings, promising us that they are a “healthy choice” or “Trans fat-free”. However, you can rarely trust the face of a product. Reading and understanding food labels is a must if you are serious about making better food choices.
Here are 3 things to look for when buying processed or packaged foods at the store:
Three Rules When Buying Processed Foods (So You Can Eat Healthier!)
Is it hydrogenated? (hydrogenated soybean, cottonseed, and palm oils are most common)
Hydrogenation occurs when unsaturated oil is heated to such an extreme temperature it essentially becomes liquid plastic. Now imagine that clogging your blood vessels. EW! Avoiding Trans fat and hydrogenation is my NUMBER ONE RULE. Stay away from it!
Does it have unfamiliar ingredients or ingredients you can’t pronounce?
Ingredients like butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT), High Fructose Corn Syrup, and Acesulfame-K do not belong in your food or in your body. The FDA allows a shocking amount of harmful artificial sweeteners, chemicals, and enhancers in processed foods. If you’re not sure what an ingredient is, it is probably best to avoid.
Is the sugar content (in grams) higher than the fiber and protein content combined?
Sugar has been linked to diabetes, cancer, obesity, inflammation, heart disease, and liver damage. Unfortunately, sugar is found in virtually all processed and packaged foods. An effective way to evaluate if the sugar content is too high is to compare it to the fiber and protein content. Generally, there should always be more grams of fiber and protein than grams of sugar.
Follow these three simple rules and you’ll be able to find healthier options at the store and eat better. It’s that simple!
For healthy recipes, click here.