Part II: What to Buy (Nutrition)

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Saturday, March 07, 2009

Last week I introduced the topic of grocery shopping. I covered the first part (preparation) in a five-part series. Today I’d to talk a little bit about nutrition. Nutrition is a very controversial topic. Why? Because the science behind it is complicated!

Case in point: fat. You’ve likely heard a litany of recommendations on fat intake; eat a low fat diet for heart health, decrease your saturated fat, avoid trans fat like the plague, increase your monounsaturated fats, decrease belly fat by eating more polyunsaturated fats, and on and on and on we go.

While I’m not about to go into the science of fat intake, you should know that food companies use the latest and greatest scientific breakthroughs to sell you a product. A CocoaVia dark chocolate bar can improve your heart health, you can increase your fiber intake by adding Splenda to your tea () , and improve your digestion by eating Activia yogurt with a special probiotic blend. Do not be fooled!

The best nutrition advice I can give it to you is this: ignore the snazzy health claims plastered all of your processed food boxes. These “functional foods” are often injected with one element or another to give the allure of good nutrition but are often a mix of synthetic substitutes which are a poor second place for the real deal. Instead, start buying REAL FOOD. How, might you ask?

Here are a couple of examples of what I mean:
Whole grain cereal with fresh blueberries rather than a Blueberry Nutri-grain bar
Whole grain cracker with peanut butter rather than the bright orange peanut butter crackers in the cellophane packaging
Whole wheat pasta mixed with frozen veggies and marinara sauce rather than a Lean Cuisine

So here’s a challenge: take a look at the food you eat for convenience sake and see if you can turn it into a more nutritious, less processed option. I’m eager to see your results.



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