Learning to read labels on all your food will help your entire family experience better health. Here are some things to consider as you up-level your nutrition.
Conventionally Produced Products
Glyphosate is the #1 herbicide sprayed on conventional crops and it is implicated in a host of health problems. Choosing certified organic foods will ensure you avoid potential health challenges that are associated with this contaminant. Please note that foods certified Non-GMO are still sprayed with glyphosate.
Refined sugars are acidifying to the body and have no nutritional value. Corn Syrup can put stress on the liver and can have dangerous contaminants from the manufacturing process. Choose sweeteners like dates, maple syrup, and honey that maintain their natural nutrients.
Like refined sugar, refined flours are stripped of their nutrients. Choose whole-grain products. Even better is sprouted whole grain.
The frying process is high in unhealthy fats and very acidifying. Choose baking or roasting.
Artificial Dyes and Flavorings
Many dyes and flavorings have compounds in them that are associated with over-excitement of the nervous system. Choosing natural colorants like beet, turmeric, and pomegranate and natural flavor extracts over synthetics will help you avoid nervous system reactions like hyperactivity, sleeplessness, and anxiety.
Healthy fats are key to biological functions like hormone production, cell membrane health, and brain health. Low-fat fads usually replace the fat with sugar for taste. Choose healthy fats from things like avocado, coconuts, nuts, and seeds.
Fast foods are often full of chemicals, preservatives, herbicides/ pesticides, and are very low in nutritional value. If you’re looking to save time, consider raw foods like fruits and veggies in healthy dips, crockpot, or Instant-pot meals, or browse through the recipes on the Million Mom Movement website.
The body uses enzymes to speed up biochemical reactions. Those enzymes are like keys to a lock. They are designed to work with natural compounds. Synthetic, man-made foods and compounds have a different shape, and therefore the key doesn’t fit the lock. Whether we are talking about isolate and synthetic vitamins, preservatives, or things like artificial flavorings, natural substances will always be better absorbed and more nutritious for the body. There are also unhealthy side effects associated with man-made food additives. A good rule of thumb is if you don’t know what it is skip it.
Most grocery stores have fresh foods on the outer perimeters and more processed, man-made foods in the center aisles. Shop the perimeter for best health. When choosing dry goods, check out the labels. The fewer the ingredients the better.
Read Jodi’s blog post on the Family Nutrition Pack protocol
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