Hi Guys! I wanted to start a new little series called “The #1 Mistake You Make…”
This is not to make you feel like an idiot or like you’re doing something necessarily “wrong”, but rather just to put it into perspective a little bit for you and hopefully make you more aware of these things in the future!
So here we go..
The #1 Mistake You Make At the Grocery Store
Let’s create a visual here.. You’re in a rush. You’ve gotta get your week’s grocery shopping done in record time. Certain packages are catching your eye and making their way into your cart: “SUGAR FREE!” “FAT FREE!” “ORGANIC!”
The mistake you’re making is not taking the time to read the nutrition label.
Sugar: Just because a product is sugar free doesn’t mean that other harmful sugar alcohols or substitutes haven’t been added, such as sorbitol and isomalt. I myself aim to stick to non-processed foods in the grocery store but duh, I’m human, and sometimes those yummy sugar-free Jell-O snacks get the best of me. Then I realized – sure, there may not be sugar, but there are even WORSE ingredients. Boo too, that was a sad day.
Fat: Fat free – sounds awesome, right? Like when there is a Fat Free balsamic dressing and a full fat balsamic dressing sitting next to each other – you’re OBVIOUSLY going for the fat free, right? Wrong. Our body needs fat; it loves it. Fat = energy and without fat our body’s essential nutrients are not being provided. When a fat free dressing is made it is stripped of it’s heart-healthy oils and nutrients that our body needs to survive. When it comes to picking a dressing next time, stick to full-fat, and I don’t mean reach for the Blue Cheese. Avoid cream based dressings and stick with oil.
Organic: “Oh my God this is totally good for me – it’s organic!” Again, wrong. Organic is great in the sense that yes, it was raised pesticide free and is indeed “better” for us. However, many processed food manufacturers have caught on to the consumer demand and interest in eating organic, so now they’ve manufactured organic chips, organic burritos, blah blah. The way it was prepared can still be extremely unhealthy. Those organic potato chips were still made with a ton of salt and fried in oil. No bueno my friends, no bueno.
To master Nutrition Label reading though, you’ve got to set the time aside to educate yourself a little bit. Know that one serving of sugar should be in the single digits. Know that a bread is not truly “Whole Grain” unless the very first ingredient is just that – “Whole Grains”. Know that a truly healthy, unprocessed food has 5 ingredients or less, and you should be able to pronounce them all! Anything more than that is just plain fishy.
It may be time-consuming at first, yes, but after you get the hang of it it will take you less than 10 seconds to scan a Nutrition Label and determine whether its a food worth making the cart or not.
I know it’s a lot to take in, so feel free to ask me questions!