Another food list:
This week I got an email which contained a link to 51 foods that you think are healthy, but in reality they are not. I initially thought that was a long list of items, but the more I read the list it seemed pretty short. In case you would like to see it, this is the link:
What is nice about the list is that it gives reasons WHY each item isn’t as healthy as you would assume that it is. Some great examples were flavored almond milk (lots of sugar, suggested that you use unsweetened original flavor), frozen diet entrees (crazy ingredients which are difficult to pronounce but have to be added to keep calories low and not have the consumer gagging on the food), 100 calorie packs (you’re still eating cheetos honey, just 100 cals at a time), granola bars (high sugar, high fat). The list also sheds light on a few key points to a healthy diet:
You still have to read labels. Items labeled as “organic” or “natural” doesn’t mean that it’s still healthy. You have to be vigilant about learning what the ingredient list details about the item. If it’s got more than 4 ingredients, or any of the ingredients are difficult to pronounce…then it’s probably not good for you.
Just because it’s gluten free doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Gluten free simply means that it does not have wheat, rye, spelt, barley or malt. That’s only part of the equation for paleo people. If you’re going gluten free because you have celiac disease then these foods will be fine for you. If you’re gluten free because you want to lose weight or become healthy (like Miley Cyrus has purported), then gluten free is not enough. I’ve had friends say that they were gluten free and gained weight because frequently the items have added processing to make the food taste acceptable.
Another case in point: Gluten free Rice Chex, GF Corn Chex. Sure. These items are rice and corn based. But does paleo allow for rice or corn in a normal diet? No- because rice and corn are simply carbohydrates which are quickly metabolized into sugar. Just because it’s Gluten Free doesn’t mean it can go in your basket.
Shop on the outside aisles of the grocery store. You don’t like reading labels? There’s whole sections of the store which have items that have very short nutrition labels: Fresh Produce and Meat sections. They are almost always on the outer edges of the grocery store. I mean, you look at a head of broccoli and you know what’s been done to it. It’s been cut and sent to the store. It’s not loaded with food colorings, artificial sweeteners, preservatives or anything else to make it “natural”. It’s just broccoli. Pretty easy to get the read on that nutrition label.
The items in the middle aisles of the store have been processed and in general they aren’t allowed on paleo. Does that mean you should never get items there? No. But you shouldn’t get the majority of your items there.
Don’t put all your trust in items labeled “organic” or “natural”. Organic soy mac and cheese? Really? Are you feeding this to your kid and thinking it’s “healthy”? Organic hot dogs? Ok, so the meat is organic but you know what hot dogs are made of, don’t you? If you don’t, please google “Dan Aykroyd Great Outdoors hot dogs”.
Eating healthy can be easy when you make it a habit. However, you can’t check out and rely on product packaging and promotion to create a short cut. Think about it, and read your labels.