Hello, everyone! The idea for this week’s column came from one of my readers. Unfortunately when we spoke I forget to get her name, so if it was you, please call or send me an email so I can give you credit. Anyway, after my last “Apple A Day” nutrition column she called me and mentioned that she had been in the grocery business for a number of years and was appalled at what was happening with our food. She mentioned that she’d like to see an article that talked about what to look for when grocery shopping. I thought that was a great idea, so here we go.
1. Stick to the outer edges of the store. What do we find on the edges of the big box known as the local grocery store? Fruits, vegetables and meats for the most part. What should the vast majority of our diet consist of? You got it! Fruits, vegetables and meats! By the way, if you’re a vegetarian, the tofu is in the vegetable aisle.
2. If it takes ten minutes to read the ingredient list you probably shouldn’t buy it. The fewer the ingredients in any food the less that food has been processed and the better and more complete the nutritional value. What are the ingredients in an apple? An apple. What are the ingredients in a fruit roll-up? Well, out of the 17 things on the ingredients list of General Mills’ Fruit By The Foot, only sugar and water were not either a highly processed food or a chemical. Mmmm, this Acetylated Mono and Diglycerides tastes great!
Which one has better ingredients?
3. There’s nothing wrong with frozen veggies. On the excellent show “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” (Friday nights at 9 on ABC), Jamie pointed out that frozen vegetables are picked when ripe and then frozen very soon afterwards, preserving the nutrients extremely well. This can help save some money and make sure that your broccoli doesn’t go bad.
4. High fructose corn syrup isn’t good. Basically, for reasons that I barely understand, our country produces a incredible amount of corn. Far more than we could ever eat. For this reason new uses for corn had to be discovered such as ethanol and the aforementioned high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is used as a super cheap sweetener in all sorts of fruit drinks, sodas and many other foods, as well. While there is conflicting research on it’s health effects, it does seem like foods that contain high fructose corn syrup are much more likely to be, in technical terms, garbage.