When loading up at the supermarket, steer your cart clear of unhealthy choices that can take years off your family’s lives.
Here are 5 grocery items that should never make it through the checkout line.
1. Simple Sugars or Carbs and Unhealthy Fats
Skip foods laden with simple sugars, also called simple carbohydrates. Sugary breakfast cereals, donuts, pastries, cookies, ice cream, cakes and soda are loaded with them. Often referred to as “empty calories,” simple sugars are rapidly absorbed, spiking blood sugar levels for an initial energy high. This triggers an insulin reaction, driving levels back down and creating fatigue. You’ll feel hungrier and crave even more sugar. Plus those rapidly absorbed extra calories are stored as fat, putting you at risk for obesity.
2. Meats High in Nitrates and Saturated Fats
Processed meats such as cold cuts, bacon, sausages and hot dogs contain nitrates, chemical additives that preserve freshness. Nitrates have been linked to stomach cancer and other degenerative diseases.
3. Ingredients You Can’t Pronounce
Does ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate or partially hydrogenated soybean oil sound appetizing to you? Follow this rule of thumb: if a food product is made of stuff you need a course in chemistry to comprehend – or —if you can’t pronounce the first 5 ingredients, don’t let it near your cart.
4. Fake Health Foods
Fake health foods are those deceptive foods, billing themselves as “low in fat”, like certain cookies, salad dressings or yogurt brands. Look closely at their labels. To make up for flavor, these items are inevitably high in sugar or salt. Other tricky foods include packaged breads and crackers with labels stating “contains whole grains.” This often translates into considerably less fiber than 100% whole grain products.
5. Canned Foods High in Sodium
Eighty percent of our sodium intake comes from processed and canned foods. In fact, many canned foods are so chockfull of salt, they contain half or more of your daily recommended intake. A diet high in sodium is dangerous since it can lead to high blood pressure.