The last time I was at the market, I picked up a box of macaroni and cheese. I know what you’re thinking – “mac and cheese, is that really healthy?” Just to be clear, it’s not my choice for a healthy meal, but our grandkids love it, and it’s a nice treat for them every now and then.
Anyway, back to the macaroni and cheese…I was amazed at the long list of ingredients – most of which I couldn’t pronounce! It reminded me of the advice I read in “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual,” a great book by Michael Pollan. In his book, Pollan recommends that you not eat anything you can’t pronounce. That’s good advice, though it can be difficult to follow.
Most products today have lots of added ingredients, many of them artificial. These are usually the ones that you can’t pronounce. To make healthy choices, try to select products that have fewer ingredients, and try to avoid products with ingredients that you have to sound out.
If that we’re confusing enough, many products also have seductive marketing claims on the front of the package. Claims like “heart healthy,” “all natural,” “part of a healthy breakfast,” or “farm fresh.” Remember that these claims are on the package for only one reason (Hint: It’s not to help you make healthy choices or inform you about what’s actually in the product). It is to draw your interest in hopes that you will buy the product.
So, what can you do to eat healthier? First, remember to read the Nutrition Facts and the Ingredient List before you purchase any packaged food. Also, remember that you and your family can eat really well by shopping just in the produce aisle and at the meat counter. In fact, you can really get all your body needs in these two places alone. You may want to add some dairy, some other carbohydrates like whole wheat bread or brown rice, and certainly some spices to add more interest and flavor to your food too. But all-in-all, if you did 95 percent of your shopping in the produce aisle and at the meat counter, you would eat pretty well. The next time you visit the market, remember to read food labels. Knowing what you’re eating is the first step in eating healthier.
To learn more about healthy eating and how you can transform your life, check out our Eat Great, Live Well Program. It will show you how to eat well and be healthy without giving up the foods you love! What have you got to lose, except some unhealthy habits!
Johnell McCauley is a Certified Food Psychology Coach, nutrition expert, and best-selling author, Johnell is the owner of Vitaerobics, a company dedicated to helping people everywhere create a healthy future for themselves and the ones they love. In her Eat Great, Live Well™ Personalized Wellness Program, Johnell focuses on the root causes behind our food choices, and helping people create lasting, life-long transformation that eliminates the need for calorie counting or fad dieting. Vitaerobics’ approach to wellness has already helped more than 750,000 people create a healthier future, and Johnell knows that it can make a difference in your life too.