Updated: Dec 15, 2021
By Dr. Skye Davis, ND, CNC
First and foremost, junk food is expensive! Pssst... so is eating out but that’s another post.
I could say... just don’t buy it, but most of you don’t even know you are buying junk food in the first place.
My clients are shocked to hear they are spending hundreds of dollars every month to deplete their health on snack foods- and here they thought they were eating “healthy”.
1. Ignore claims on the front of the packaging.
Every food package is a tiny billboard trying to lure you in. They put misleading claims to get you to buy them and most of the time are completely false.
2. Study the ingredients list.
Product ingredients are listed by quantity — from highest to lowest amount.
This means that the first ingredient is what the manufacturer used the most of.
If the first ingredients include refined grains, a type of sugar, or hydrogenated oils, put it back on the shelf!
3. The longer the ingredient list the more processed it is.
4. Don’t be fooled by “health” claims. Examples below.
Natural. This does not necessarily mean that the product resembles anything natural. It just means at one point the manufacturer worked with a natural source like apples or rice.
Organic. This label says very little about whether a product is healthy. Organic sugar is still sugar. However, when buying animal products products should be organic whenever possible!
5. No added sugar. Some products are naturally high in sugar.
My daughter will bring me foods in the grocery store that say there is no sugar added on the label. I’ll look at the nutrition label and explain to her that it has a bunch of concentrated fruit sugar. I would rather her eat a piece of fruit which has the fiber needed to process the sugar than packaged processed fruit.
The fact that they don’t have added sugar doesn’t mean they’re healthy.
Unhealthy sugar substitutes may also have been added.
6. Gluten-free. Gluten-free doesn’t mean healthy. The product simply doesn’t contain wheat, spelt, rye, or barley. Many gluten-free foods are highly processed and loaded with unhealthy fats and sugar.
7. Low-fat. This label usually means that the fat has been reduced at the cost of adding more sugar. SUGAR TURNS TO FAT.
Keep an eye out for sugar! Sugar is highly addictive so food companies put it in EVERYTHING, I’m not kidding. We are being dosed with it without even knowing it.
It’s your job to be aware that sugar goes by countless names — many of which you may not recognize. Food manufacturers do this on purpose to trick you!
Listen up... sugar is sugar. “Natural” or “organic” sugar is still going to make you sick.
8. Avoid purchasing foods with sugar. Watch out for the following names of sugar in ingredient lists:
Types of sugar: beet sugar, brown sugar, buttered sugar, cane sugar, caster sugar, coconut sugar, date sugar, golden sugar, invert sugar, muscovado sugar, organic raw sugar, raspadura sugar, evaporated cane juice, and confectioner’s sugar.
Types of syrup: carob syrup, golden syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, agave nectar, malt syrup, maple syrup, oat syrup, rice bran syrup, and rice syrup.
Other added sugars: barley malt, molasses, cane juice crystals, lactose, corn sweetener, crystalline fructose, dextran, malt powder, ethyl maltol, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, galactose, glucose, disaccharides, maltodextrin, and maltose.
Many more names for sugar exist, but these are the most common.
9. Work with a health detective that can monitor your foods for a few months and help guide you on which foods are beneficial and which are harmful to you.
It's no mystery that what we eat is directly related to our current state of health.
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