Stop Eating “Foods” Your Grandmother Wouldn’t Recognize as Food

As has become the norm, my friend and I always go for grocery shopping for the week on Sundays.  One question we always ask ourselves is “What is that? Even after reading the name on the packaging we still look at each other in surprise since we are always discovering a “new food” on the supermarket shelves! This got me thinking of the traditional days when our grandmothers survived without things like the supermarkets and the many processed food products that have now become part of our life. The process of cooking that was sacred in the earlier days has now become a “one second” affair and we rarely enjoy it anymore since we want things FAST!!

So have you ever thought of the food you buy from the market and how it impacts your health? Can you pronounce the names of the foods you eat everyday? Do you ever take time to read the ingredients of the food you purchase? How much time do you take to cook if you even do?

Here are some 5 tips that challenge you and I to do better next time:

Know the names of the ingredients in your food

Unless you are eating out occasionally, when buying from shelves always take your time to know the components of your food. This allows you to know and appreciate what you eat as well as ensure you are getting the best from your food choice. If you find a name you are not aware of, it is advisable not to purchase the product. As well, it is advisable not to buy the product if has got more than five ingredients since the more the ingredients, the more processed the product must be!

Stay out of the middle of the store shelves

As is very common in the set ups of many food stores, most of the processed food are mostly located in the middle rather than the peripheries. In the middle you are most likely to find that “Magic” food that will be the beginning of your worries. If you have never noticed this fact in your market, pay attention next time and realize what you have been missing. The less processed food products are normally on the peripheries of your store.

Don’t eat anything that will not eventually rot

Have you noticed just how immortal some food products have become? Some food stuff that previously lasted for a short time are now said to last forever. Take caution on the expiry date of a food product. If you were used to buying a certain food and it suddenly becomes immortal, be ware it most likely has been processed to fit the profit needs of the producer.

Avoid food with  health claims

There is no such thing as a food with “MAGIC” power to change your nutrient needs by night. Many people fall into prey of producers who claim to have found the cure of a disease from products recently made from certain authentic herbs from a “location that has just been discovered.” Beware of such claims. Remember eating the natural form of foods is what you must pay attention to for a good lifestyle.

Cook

Finally, Cook your food. Do not trust other people (restaurants) to always cook your food. When you cook you are keen to certain specifications of preparation and nutrient combinations that allow for balanced meals. You are also able to track your health better and reduce the many visits to the doctor. It is better to pay the grocery than the doctor!

Look at your plate, Is it what your grandmother would have eaten during her days? I know we hail from  different cultures and probably had poor cooks for grandmothers, but this is a call towards making better choices in the food we eat. Remember all things in moderation even moderation itself.

Written by Nduta Wambura

Nduta Wambura is a certified Clinical Nutritionist and Public Health advocate

Website: http://www.ask-thenutritionist.com