Monday, September 29, 2008

Healthy Eating Plan -- Changing the way you shop

Before I get into menus, I want to talk about shopping. If you only learn to make one new meal a day and have lots of unhealthy food choices around during the day, you probably won't notice many changes in your health or the health of your kids. Until you change the way you shop, your kids will want the food that you've always bought before. You probably will too.

I wrote a post a few months ago about Dr. Mehmet Oz's recommendations (or Food Hall of Shame) to avoid certain foods ( & to look for them on labeling -- they're in more foods than you may realize) -- namely:
  • Sugar
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Refined flour (or enriched wheat flour)
  • Saturated fat
  • Hydrogenated oil
I'm going to copy and paste from my earlier post so you don't have to go back and forth:

If any of these 5 ingredients are in the top 5 listed on a food ingredient list, Dr. Oz says not to buy it (or eat it either -- you may not always be buying :)). I tend to reject the food if they're anywhere in the label. It's a great place to start if you want to shop (and feed) healthier in your home.

  • Top 5 Ingredients to AVOID – Read the labels before buying for yourself or family

    Learning how to read food labels is like looking at a prescription for your health and your life. Dr. Mehmet Oz says to look for red-flag ingredients—if they're listed among the top five ingredients overall, steer clear!
  1. Sugar - When you eat or drink sugar, Dr. Oz says the sudden energy surge your body experiences is followed by an insulin surge that rapidly drops the blood sugar level—so two hours later, you feel famished and tired. To keep an even keel, Dr. Oz says to replace simple carbohydrates with complex ones so the absorption is more controlled and you experience long-term satiety. "Sugar is supposed to be eaten, of course," says Dr. Oz, "but it should come together with fat or some element like fiber—as you would find in fruit—so you can absorb it a bit more slowly."
  2. High fructose corn syrup - Although they taste sweet, Dr. Oz says food products that contain high fructose corn syrup should be avoided. Dr. Oz says the body processes the sugar in high-fructose corn syrup differently than it does old-fashioned cane or beet sugar, which in turn alters your body's natural ability to regulate appetite. "It blocks the ability of a chemical called leptin, which is the way your fat tells your brain it's there," says Dr. Oz. "It's not so much the 150 calories in the soda pop—it's the fact at that same meal you will normally consume an extra hundred calories of food than you would have."
  3. Enriched wheat flour (white flour) - Contrary to what its name suggests, Dr. Oz says enriched flour is actually poor in nutrition because most of the grain's nutrients are destroyed in the refining process. "The reason they enrich it is because they already stripped out anything that was worth a darn in it, and they add a little bit back so it doesn't look so bad," says Dr. Oz. Instead, he says to look for whole grains and whole grain flours. "It has its kernels, it has its B vitamins—all the things you want to be in there," says Dr. Oz.
  4. Saturated fat - Found mainly in animal products, Dr. Oz says to avoid saturated fats that are solid at room temperature, like lard. "You can actually use this kind of material for furniture polish—lots of fun things—but don't put it in you," he says.
  5. Hydrogenated oil - To increase their shelf life, Dr. Oz says certain oils are hydrogenated. This process turns the oil into a solid at room temperature, but it also makes the oil unhealthy. "This stuff is great because it doesn't go bad, but it's very bad for you," says Dr. Oz. Avoid food products that contain hydrogenated oil, often labeled as "trans fats."

I'll be back to share tips on what foods don't have these -- it takes some looking & hunting around for awhile to figure it out. I'd love it if I could save you time (and hopefully you'll love it too! :))

Okay -- I'm back -- I think what I'll do is address one food at at time. I'm not sure if I should make separate posts for each food (since this will take several days) or if I should just keep them all in this post. Decisions, decisions. Perhaps I'll make new posts and have the links all listed here?? I'm just thinking if I do them all in this post, it will get buried -- hmm, hmm, hmm. I have to go pick up my son from Kindergarten right now. I'll think about it. TTFN!

I think I'll write it here for your convenience (like if you plan to print this for easy reference or something), but if it's big enough for a full post, I may post it in individual sections too for those who can't read something this long in one sitting (plus it will show up on the archive and someone may want to read about hydrogenated fat, but not know it's within this post). Boy I think these things through to the hilt, don't I? :)

I've decided to take each of the foods and make a separate post out of it. That way, you'll know that I've written more -- it will get buried here if I keep adding on (but make new posts up above).

I will give links to all the new posts though. And I'll keep the sugars and fats together. So here we go with the links:

Sugar -- Shopping for Healthier Eating
Saturated Fat/Hydrogenated Oil -- Shopping for Healthier Eating
Flour -- Shopping (& Baking) for Healthier Eating

See you at the new posts!

No comments:

Post a Comment