Usually, I like to stay more on the positive side and talk about things you can have rather than things you can’t have. Today though I want to address some food ingredients to avoid.
I realize that some of these things are hard to avoid because it seems like they are in everything. The more we can avoid them the better we’re off, however.
I like to choose foods that are closest to their original form as possible so that they are processed less and are less likely to include any of the ingredients we really should avoid.
If you currently eat out a lot or eat a high amount of processed convenience foods I don’t want you to freak out about the list below. Stay with me you can make small changes, one at a time. Read more below to find out how.
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Food Ingredients To Avoid:
- Typically labeled – partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil & shortening.
- Found in – They are often found in baked goods like cakes, cookies, crackers, biscuits, pie crust and frozen pizza. Fried foods, microwave popcorn, peanut butter & margarine.
- Why they are bad for you – They significantly increase your chance of heart disease. Trans fats can cause insulin resistance, increasing the risk of type II diabetes.
- Extra notes – if it is something you eat only once in a while, I wouldn’t stress over it but if you eat it every day I’d try to find a trans-fat free version. For example, Justin’s Peanut Butter does not have trans fat in it. You can also grind your own peanut butter.
- Typically labeled – Red 40, Red 3, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, and Orange B
- Found in – Baked goods, cereals, condiments, candy, soda & snack foods.
- Why they are bad for you – Linked to hyperactivity, allergic reactions & tumor growth.
- Extra notes – This is probably one of the hardest ones to avoid if you eat processed foods on a regular basis. During the processing of food most color is stripped away or it looks way unappealing so companies add food coloring to make it more appetizing. And so it looks more like it does in its natural state.
- Typically labeled – acesulfame-k or acesulfame potassium, saccharin, aspartame, Splenda, sweet & low, equal.
- Found in – baked goods, soft drinks, candy, canned foods, jams and jellies, dairy products, diet or sugar-free things plus so much more.
- Why they are bad for you – Some are linked to cancer. Plus artificial sweeteners fool your body into thinking it’s getting sugar so it automatically prepares your body for the sugar high and then when it has no sugar to process it messes you up! It overstimulates your sugar receptors actually making you crave more sugar.
High-fructose corn syrup
- Typically labeled – corn sugar, corn sweetener.
- Found in – Soda, candy, yogurt, canned fruit, juice, salad dressing & even nonsweet things like bread.
- Why it is bad for you – This spikes your blood sugar & insulin levels like nobodies business. Plus it leads to fatty liver, diabetes even heart attacks and strokes.
- Extra notes – It is used because it is a cheap sugar and it is sweeter than normal white sugar.
How To Avoid These Ingredients
If we eat healthier whole foods and less processed foods we naturally avoid these ingredients. Plus our taste buds are quite literally retrained to enjoy the natural foods and sweetness of fruits and vegetables.
We crave the sweetness of candy and cakes less. Heavy fried foods lose their appeal … just the smell will become off-putting.
If you currently eat out mostly or eat a lot of processed convenience foods this can feel really overwhelming since these food ingredients to avoid are in so many things.
I don’t want you to read this and say I can never eat anything again. Instead, focus on one change you can make that you are willing to try. Maybe that means cooking a home cooked meal twice a week with fresh ingredients. Maybe that means packing your own lunch instead of hitting fast food every day.Did you know that people who eat out more frequently will typically eat more calories and few nutrients than the person who primarily eats at home?Click To Tweet
Small changes can make a difference. They help you build up habits that are lasting and build upon themselves. Read my How to Improve Health with Small Changes to give you some more help with this
One step at a time will get you there. This is a journey, remember that. You can’t run a marathon if you’ve never run a day in your life … baby steps will still get you there.
Reading this post on New Year Goals might be helpful also.
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