I get it .. packaged foods are just a part of our busy lives .. it is pretty hard to avoid that and truthfully there is nothing WRONG with eating packaged foods. The part that makes it bad for you is not the fact that you're choosing something convenient and pre-made .. it's the fact that MOST of the things that are packaged are filled with crappy ingredients that not only provide little to no nutritional benefit .. but can even be damaging to your health when consumed regularly. It doesn't have to be this way! There are companies out there (like Mindful Gourmet) that are trying to change this. Right now healthy packaged foods are the exception not the norm .. i hope soon it's the other way around. Until then, there is a simple thing to be mindful of when you're choosing that convenient packaged food.. INGREDIENTS. By avoiding these three ingredients lurking in everyday foods, you are one step closer to a truly healthy balanced body..
Three Ingredients to Avoid
1. Industrial seed/Vegetable oil/Hydrogenated oil/Trans fats - Think canola oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, soybean oil, palm safflower oil to name the most common. These oils were never created to be a healthy addition to human diets .. they were created to increase food company profit.. they make things cheaper to produce, easier to make, and keep them ''shelf stable'' for longer. News flash, real food is not supposed to be able to sit on a shelf for a year. These oils have a very imbalanced omega profile, are processed heavily with toxic chemicals, and the rendered product is rancid and damaging to health. These oils have negative effects on cholesterol, are not easily processed by the body, and contribute to things like gut dysbiosis, inflammation, diabetes, certain cancers, obesity, and heart disease while bringing NO benefit to you at the same time.
2.Sugar Substitutes - PSA: SUGAR FREE IS NOT BETTER FOR YOU .. i repeat SUGAR FREE IS NOT BETTER FOR YOU. Lets say your choice is between a ''sugar free'' pancake syrup and maple syrup ...guess which one is actually healthier ? ... its NOT the sugar free syrup .. it's maple syrup. Despite having WAY more grams of sugar in it .. maple syrup would still be better for you than sugar free/0 calorie syrup. I get it , in our world we should definitely be avoiding eating actual sugar regularly .. but the healthy way to do this is to just stick to real whole foods that give you sweetness naturally (like dates, fruit, raw honey, maple syrup) OR just simply eat less of the sugary processed items you're used to. To tell you the truth .. i wish the artificial sweetener industry would just DIE .. i see no place for it and i hate that it's the norm to see those packets of equal/splenda/and sweet n low on every cafe table in America. Eating sugar substitutes is legitimately eating powdered chemicals and this has negative impacts on everything from metabolism to gut health when eaten regularly for a long time. Don't pick up the diet coke instead of the regular coke ... just realize you don't need the soda at all .. change you habits and your mindset.
3.Food Dyes- Dyes are another ingredient that has no place in a healthy diet and in my opinion should never have even snuck into our food in the first place. The ONLY purpose food dyes have is to make things look ''fun'' or look like what we associate certain colors with.. for example ..mint chip ice cream ? well mint is GREEN so green color is added into the ice cream that would have otherwise just been white and tasted exactly the same. Green food dye is actually banned in Europe and has been linked to bladder issues. Certain food dyes are not allowed in major brand name companies any longer (like Kellog's) in Europe however they are ok to use in the US. Food dye is completely unnecessary and potentially harmful so why even use it these days ? It goes pretty deep and in the interest of keeping this short i will just leave you with that example and share a link that illustrates what other food dye colors could mean for health. https://www.special-education-degree.net/food-dyes/
There are so many non-food ingredients out there lurking in our everyday foods. It's not just in the sweet stuff .. it is in virtually EVERYTHING. Little amounts of this here and there are no big deal but the truth is since these ingredients are so prevalent in our food system .. most people are consuming it every single day .. and in that case it can be a problem. Next time you're in a convenience store start paying attention to what is on the shelves and in the drink fridge .. you will notice that easily 90% of the choices you are given have one or ALL of these three ingredients in them and it's honestly so frustrating to look at. It's actually hard for a consumer to navigate all the crap that the food industry is shoving in your face and i hope just being mindful of these three simple things can help you make better food choices. If you ever need tips or alternative to certain things you eat and you're not sure what is out there feel free to DM me on IG (@mindfulgourmet) or send me a message on FB and i would be glad to help out
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