Everything in Moderation? You need to know your ingredients.

To say “Everything in Moderation” when talking about food and ingredients is subjective to the individual.  We all know some of the obvious things we should not eat too often…basically your typical junk food list.  What we fail to recognize, is that some of this so-called junk food, is no worse than most of the things we eat every day.  For example, what comes across as a healthy, whole grain cracker or bread, oftentimes is filled with more “junk” than the bag of chips the next aisle over.

We are visual people and are easily mislead by the way a box looks, or by a slogan saying “all natural ingredients,” when in fact, it is filled with anything but.  It frustrates me that people who want to moderate harmful foods and eat healthy, are unable to do so, unless they buy 100% organic. That is why learning and becoming aware of ingredients is so important.  Not only with food, but everything we are exposed to that goes into, or onto our bodies.

 

Moderate the Harmful Ingredients

A typical daily diet unfortunately includes ingredients like artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors, highly processed foods, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, MSG (has many hidden names), BHT, and so on.  These ingredients are in almost everything and are given to our children every day at school and daycare, to patients in hospitals and nursing homes, and we regularly bring this stuff into our own homes not realizing the harm it causes, and more importantly, not realizing it is even in the food we buy.  It is destroying our physical and emotional health because they are being eaten every day, sometimes with every meal, if not the entire meal itself.

Look at the labels on your cereal boxes or crackers…any packaged food you have…it likely has a handful of these ingredients if not all of them.  Condiments, juice, granola bars, most sauces and dressings have many of these.  I was shocked to see that even pickles have artificial yellow food coloring, an otherwise very healthy snack.  I am not saying that we should eliminate 100% of this stuff altogether, as food should be fun, and we all have those food favorites that we cave to now and then.  What I encourage people to do is to read labels and be aware of the ingredients in order to have that choice to consume or not to consume.

It is important to maintain a healthy balance that our bodies can keep up with.  If we throw caution to the wind and do not moderate our intake of harmful substances, we get sick, and we will very likely come down with disease.  America’s health, in particular, is suffering.  The “system” in place that we think protects us from harmful ingredients is not adequate, so that means you need to be aware. Plain and simple.

A good goal is to make 80% of your daily diet consist of whole and minimally processed food consisting of as many fruits and vegetables as you can manage.  Not always doable, but if you keep that goal in mind, then even making one or two better choices on a daily basis will make a big difference in your health. Lastly, when faced with a food product choice and in doubt as to which is better for you, choose the one with fewer ingredients. It is usually the healthier option.

Check out my Ingredients 101 page which is a detailed list of ingredients to avoid, and what to choose instead.

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