Do you sometimes choose food because it says gluten-free or because it is low in calories and fat? Do you think that this is a healthy choice? Have you ever taken a minute to check out the list of ingredients and realised that you can’t even pronounce 80% of the ingredients? Many of the foods that we eat today are highly processed and are designed by food scientists. They consist mostly of ingredients derived from corn and soy along with some chemical additives. There are 17,000 new products that show up in our supermarkets each year that are false foods.

Simply looking at the number of calories or fat grams doesn’t tell the whole story of whether the item is real food. The general rule of thumb is that less is more when it comes to ingredients.  A healthier choice for breakfast instead of cereal is steel-cut oatmeal or eggs. The ingredient list for eggs is “egg” and the ingredient list for oatmeal is “oats.” When you pick up a product with a long and complicated ingredient list, let it be a red flag that you are holding a false food item. Ingredients that you cannot pronounce are likely manufactured. If the package has ingredients like diglycerides, cellulose, xanthan gum, or ammonium sulfate, leave it behind. Most of these food science ingredients are put in the product to extend shelf life and to encourage you to eat more.

No-fat foods may look great on the stats, but when you look at the ingredients, you can see that all of the nutrients and wholeness of the food have been stripped to make the nutrition facts look good. There is a perception that fat can cause fat, but we have actually gotten fatter as a nation living on no-fat and low-fat foods. These no-fat foods typically contain more sugar and are not as satisfying as their full fat counterparts (which means we eat more of it).

As consumers, we should demand the healthier version of food products. As eaters, we should opt for whole foods that do not contain funny (non-food) ingredients.

Remember that when it comes to making healthy food choices, less is more. Keep it simple and stick to whole foods. With this strategy, you can’t go wrong.

Visit Health Nook’s Shop for a wide variety of real foods.

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