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List: Posted: 04/22/11
With each trip to the grocery store, you are setting yourself up for either a week of healthy eating, or a week of wrecking havoc on your body by buying the wrong foods. By focusing on the right foods and making a big effort not to put junk in your cart, you’ll avoid the sugar/ fat/ salt traps set by many food manufacturers and gain control of your nutritional health on a day-to-day basis.
One easy tip to improve your overall nutrition is to spend more time shopping in the produce section. A good way to do that is to go there first, before you run out of steam shopping the rest of the store. The obesity rate and poor health of the vast majority of Americans comes from over consumption of processed foods like pizza, white bread and cheese, and not eating enough unprocessed, plant-based foods. Fruits and vegetables should be the cornerstone of the American diet, combined with wholewheat bread and lean proteins such as fish and chicken.
Another suggestion to improve your nutrition is to read the nutritional data on every item you purchase regularly. While this step takes a little time, eventually you’ll know what items are good and which items are hazardous to your health. If you’re pressed for time, you can just glance at the label and look for foods with the fewest ingredients. Generally speaking, foods with fewer ingredients are going to contain fewer bad fats and man-made sugars than those with a list of fifty unpronounceable words. Your ideal nutrition depends upon simple and natural foods, with simple ingredients.
Most experts agree that organic products are best for your health. In the US, the USDA controls whether or not a food can be certified as organic. Look for the “USDA ORGANIC” seal on eggs, meats, and produce. You'll find your health improves dramatically after six months or less of eating only organic foods.
You probably already know that the bakery area is a landmine for even those of us with strong wills and narrow waistlines, but you'll be surprised to learn that the cereal aisle can be just as devastating for good nutrition. The very word 'cereal' sounds healthy, but manufacturers know this, and use it as an excuse to basically sell candy that floats in milk.
In addition to being unhealthy overall, most processed cereals are high on the glycemic index (GI), which is a measure of how your blood sugar responds to a given food. Cornflakes in milk are worse than a slice of white bread and butter on the GI chart, so look for whole grain cereals with no artificial ingredients and no added sugar, cane juice or artificial sweetener.
With a few commonsense tweaks to your weekly shopping list, your supermarket trips won’t sabotage your health or your waistline.
The material in this article is for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Local.com. See Additional Information