Diane's Healthy Living Blog

Grocery Shopping Need: a PhD in “Label Reading”


Grocery shopping can be overwhelming as we try to avoid chemicals and make good choices for our families.

You have probably heard the advice, “If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t eat it!”.  This statement refers mostly to the tens of thousands of laboratory-made additives that are in our food supply. They make our food appear both fresher and more attractive, and also make it last longer on the shelf. However,
food additives have been linked to asthma, hives, nausea, headaches, cancer, and even hyperactivity in children.  


Most people today are trying to “do the right thing” for their bodies by eating more whole foods, fruits, and vegetables like Kale and sprouts. They are also trying to avoid fast food, fried food, salty food, and sugary desserts. While this is wonderful, it’s also important to be sure that your food is free of harmful additives. Sometimes, these artificial ingredients are added to enhance flavor, improve texture, or prevent spoilage.  Other potentially harmful additives might come from pollutants that come in contact with food from the environment during growing, processing, or packaging. The average American ingests five pounds of additives a year through processed foods.


I’m overwhelmed!  What should I look for on the label?


We’re bombarded with information today concerning what’s good for us and what’s not good for us from vitamins, to food, to exercise. There are a few ‘key’ ingredients to look for (and avoid) when grocery shopping that will ensure that we don’t unknowingly cause any unnecessary harm to our physical and emotional well-being


Mathew Lovitt keeps it simple and highlights “3 Foods To Avoid At All Costs in his recent blog for the Vibrant Wellness Journal.  


For those of you who are more advanced and already have your PhD in Label Reading, I found a list of 15 common chemical additives found in our food. You have likely already heard of at least half of these. With a history of heart disease and cancer in my family, the one I am most passionate about and avoid at all costs are hydrogenated oils. For me, these stand out as one of the most harmful. When my boys were young, we didn’t know that these processed vegetable oils were harmful. Organic produce was difficult to find, and most people thought foods like granola bars were healthy choices for their kids.


Though I know it can be confusing at times, it sure is wonderful to have access to so much information today about harmful chemical additives, allowing us to make wise decisions as to what we allow into not just our bodies, but our families’ bodies as well! Before you head out to the grocery store again, read up on these harmful chemical additives and become more informed. Don’t worry. You’ll earn that PhD in no time!

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