As a Blaster, hopefully more and more of the food you eat daily is real food from the garden. But, realistically, I know we have moments when we indulge in not-so-healthy foods. This is when knowing what you're eating is so important. Remember: our health is not only impacted by the healthy foods we leave out of our diet, but also the chemicals and toxins that we leave in our diet, thanks to processed and refined foods.
Did you realize that more than two-thirds of your favorite grocery store is made up of refined and processed packaged foods? That’s why you must be able to accurately decipher an ingredient label. Many of the ingredients can be harmful, especially when consumed consistently over time.
Reading a food label is your first line of defense in keeping your body healthy!
Real foods do not need an ingredient label. A tomato is a tomato and broccoli is broccoli. However most of what America eats is not real food. It is food that has been dismantled, altered and then added to other non-food ingredients to make a food-like product. This food-like product has very little natural nutrition and always contains ingredients that are not native to the real food it was designed to mimic. Many of these ingredients are preservatives, flavor enhancers, artificial sweeteners, emulsifiers, conditioners and antiseptics, which can be harmful to our health and should be avoided or certainly limited.
There are over 3,000 food chemicals used in the American food supply. Can you believe it? Many of these are not allowed in the food industry in other countries and are deemed unsafe. That should make you shocked and angry!
All processed foods are acidic and cause our bodies to lose calcium. This, in turn, can cause diseases and conditions of the bones known as osteoporosis and osteopenia and more. Our bodies need to be slightly alkaline to maintain a healthy state of being. Alkaline foods come directly from the garden!
Stop gambling with your health and start reading food labels! they're broken down into two sections: the Nutrition Facts panel and the ingredients list.
Keep in mind that food manufacturers are sneaky. They can take a high-calorie food and divide the servings, making it look like fewer calories. Knowing how many servings are in a package is very important, especially when you're consuming simple calories and not calories from heart-healthy fats. This is where the ingredient list is paramount to your health! If the fats are from vegetable oils, hydrogenated oils or partially-hydrogenated oils (not than olive oil, coconut oil or sesame seed oil), then put the food product back! These oils are highly inflammatory and harmful.
The ingredients list is by far the most important. It identifies as much as is legally possible about what's in your food. I say "legally possible" because federal laws in some instances will allow food manufacturers to hide some ingredients. Why would they do this?
This is typically how you'll see the Nutrition Fact Panel and the Ingredient List on the package. The ingredient list is usually under or beside the Nutrition Facts Panel.
Always pay close attention to the ingredients listed on the foods you eat and to the amount of vitamins and real nutrients you're consuming. And check back next week! We'll explore the most harmful ingredients you should be limiting and even avoiding completely.