Navigating Grocery Aisles

woman_farmers_marketIf you want to eat healthier, lose weight, and /or feel better, you are going to have to learn how to shop wisely.  Ideally, to achieve such goals you would completely eliminate all sugar, flour, and trans fats — but I know that is not desirable nor doable for everyone.  With that in mind, here are my top tips for upgrading your food purchases:

  1. Does it have the words “hydrogenated,” “partially hydrogenated,” or “mono-diglycerides”  in the ingredient list?  Put it down.  These oils are full of trans fats and do a body no good.  Even if the label says “no trans fats,” it could be a lie.  Food products can claim 0 percent and still contain up to 0.49g per serving.

    Want to take it a step further?  Avoid refined and vegetable oils like canola and safflower oil, as they are usually cooked at high temperatures and turn into trans fats.

  2. Avoid foods that have sugar (or any derivative of) in the first 5 ingredients.  Of course, this won’t apply to your dessert choices.

    Or avoid all foods that list sugar, no matter where they are listed on the ingredient list.

  3. If buying flour products, choose gluten-free or made with whole grains or sprouted grains.  (Keep in mind that gluten-free doesn’t mean healthier, and many have a similar effect to white flours.  However, simply avoiding gluten can make a big difference since many people are unknowingly sensitive to it.  It can cause digestive problems, an inability to lose weight, faitgue, body rashes, and more. Whole wheat has been getting a bad rap too, lately – seems to spike blood sugar as much as white flour.  Bother!)

    Take it a step further: only eat unprocessed whole grains and make your own baked goods with almond flour, coconut flour, garbanzo bean flour, etc.

  4. Buy lots of vegetables and fruits that you like.  And don’t underestimate frozen variety — just double check for the fats, sugars, and flours — you might be surprised what companies hide in their packaged goods.  Frozen can sometimes be better than fresh, depending on the season and where you live, and are great for those empty fridge days.

    Upgrade even further and buy organic and/or local.  Organic, and most of the time local, equals less pesticides and chemicals.

  5. Step away from “fat free” and “low fat” products.  They are usually filled with chemicals and sugar – which means they hinder your weight loss rather than help.  Your body uses its fat to protect itself from incoming toxins, so the more chemicals you consume, the less weight you’ll shed. And unless you are a marathon runner or exercise a lot, sugar turns into fat once it hits the lips.

Want help navigating the grocery aisles?  Call or email Brook to schedule a date and time, and discuss your specific goals.  Prices range from $35-$60/hr depending on location.

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