Read The Ingredients!

My husband teases me that I have taken all the fun out of eating by label reading.  It's become more than something I "should" do to something that is just a natural habit.  I can no longer run into the store for a loaf of bread or jar of BBQ sauce without scouring over the labels in search of the best option of the bunch.  I care less about the cost (we follow a budget, trust me, I DO care) than I do about what I will be putting into my family's bodies.  And it's hard.  It's stressful.  It's frustrating.  So much of today's food comes in a box or package and contains added ingredients and things I would never consider consuming individually, and yet it's become the norm of our society.  My conviction tells me strongly that the sharp rise in cancer and auto immune disorders might have something to do with the fact that the majority are not concerned about what chemicals, preservatives or additives they might be ingesting.  If they didn't exist in the Bible, I just don't think our bodies were created to process them!  So what do I look for when label reading?  Here's a few items that can very easily cause me to put the item back on the shelf no matter how tempting it looks or how badly my kids are begging for it:
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Food dye (especially Red #40)
  • Modified food starch
  • Carageenan
  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Soybean oil
  • Autolyzed yeast extract
  • MSG
  • Splenda
Keep in mind that ingredients are listed in order of the most to least used.  If one of the top three ingredients contains one on my "no" list, it goes back.  If the offending ingredient comes nearer to the end I might be swayed to get it as a "treat" once in a while.  But it won't be on my regular shopping list.

I find it gets harder and harder to eat well and avoid some of these things.  But it IS possible.  It's called clean eating and it's what I strive for.  I still eat chocolate - but I make sure it's as close to it's pure form as I can get it.  I drink coffee - but it's organic decaf.  My kids like hot dogs every once in a while - but they are organic uncured 100% beef.  They like Mac N Cheese too - but it's Annie's organic.  It takes a shift in the budget (there aren't as many coupons for healthy options!) and the mind but it can be done and in the end, I think it's worth it.  I truly believe that how we teach our children to eat today will either nurture them for a lifetime of health...or set them up for a laundry list of medical problems later.  At the very least, start label reading and know what you're eating and feeding your loved ones.  You might be surprised.

PS  Stay tuned for further posts on WHY some of these ingredients are avoided and what they do to your body.  Eat well!

No comments:

Post a Comment