Better Living through Informed Grocery Selections
Hello World & Happy New Year!
First of all, I want to wish all of you a New Year filled with many blessings, happiness and good health! And in the spirit of goal setting for 2018, I commit to expanding the reach of my 'Better Living' message to help as many people as I can, and eliminate the obesity crisis in this country!
In pursuit of my continuing education and research on this topic, it has become clear to me that as consumers, we are victims of American food manufacturers’ and producers’ decisions to promote their own cost savings over quality! They either knowingly or ignorantly degraded the nutritional value of much of our food leaving us with addictive substances that we cannot ‘go without’, which will lead many of us to obesity, cancer or heart disease. Genetically modified, full of chemicals, too much sodium & sugar, and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in particular, are the major culprits! They have done this without our knowledge, in order to increase their bottom line at the expense of our health.
Unlike glucose, the basic form of carbs which is easily transported and utilized by every cell in your body, the fructose from high fructose corn syrup or table sugar needs to be converted to fat or glycogen (stored carbs) by the liver before it can be used as fuel. HFCS adds unnatural amounts of fructose to your diet, which the human body is not equipped to handle properly. In fact, up until the last few decades, your diet would have contained only a very small amount of fructose from natural sources such as fruits and vegetables
Companies that you had previously come to trust in providing wholesome, quality food which we grew up eating without issue, now have to be scrutinized with every grocery store visit.
The bottom line is that it's not entirely our fault that more than 38% of the people in our country are obese, up from 11.1% in 1990, according to the "State of Obesity" report by the Trust for America's Health. And it is not your fault that you cannot lose the weight you have been trying to lose for the last 2, 5, 10, months...or even years.
The good news is that there is something you can do about it! Choose wisely at the grocery store and don’t trust things you have always trusted until you read the labels. I still promote organic whenever possible, but if this isn’t in your budget then at least choose products that adhere to the following 3 good nutrition values:
- NO High Fructose Corn Syrup (this can also be disguised on labels as isoglucose, HFCS, glucosefructose, maize syrup, high-fructose maize syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, corn sugar)
- No more than 5 ingredients on the label (unless you’ve got something like a string of multi-grains in a cereal or bread, anything that has more than 5 ingredients means the manufacturer has likely modified the product beyond healthy)
- Avoid foods with Trans Fats completely…and keep your overall Saturated Fat consumption to 10-15 g per day
This doesn’t mean that you have to spend more money on grocery shopping, as many expensive brands are guilty of the misgivings above. It just means that you should be cautious when you shop and choose wisely.
One example that will surprise you is cereal. Wheaties, originally promoted as the "cereal of champions", as well as Special K, promoted for reducing your waistline, both contain high fructose corn syrup and about 4 g of sugar per serving. Cheerios, on the other hand, is free of this Fructose enemy, and only contains 1 g of sugar per serving!
I will be putting together a guide to help you in the months ahead, but in the meantime, let me know if you need any guidance.