Most people would love to eat a bit healthier … but doing that is a lot easier said than done! Making a few smaller changes can be a great way to start. I recommend focusing on adding an abundance of healthy foods to your diet.
As we add foods that support our body, we have less room for unhealthy choices. Feeling deprived can sabotage our efforts toward better health. I have provided information below on why some foods don’t support us. Do what’s correct for you at this stage of your life. Small gradual changes over time make for big long-term results. Here are 3 steps I recommend towards better health:
- Focus on eating whole, real foods.
These are foods that only have one ingredient, like apples, beans or fish. Combine whole foods together, like potatoes, carrots, coconut milk with curry for a healthy meal. In the grocery store, purchase items with less than 5 total ingredients and make sure you can picture it growing in a field. I like shopping at Trader Joe’s (TJ’s) for this reason. They have high quality standards with no artificial flavors or preservatives, no MSG, no GMO and no trans fat or partially hydrogenated oils in any of their products. My shopping trips are faster with less label reading when I shop at TJ’s. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, look for a familiar food under their label and check to see if it’s a healthier version. (I’m not affiliated with Trader Joes in any way. I just love shopping there.) Whole real food has the power to give you your life back.
- Eliminate all processed foods with trans fats and high fructose corn syrup.
Trans fats are considered unsafe by the FDA and according to this article both trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) cause excessive damage to the liver. HFCS is said to become the new trans fat regarding our health. In the book “The Daniel Plan” it says trans fats cause increased bad cholesterol, risk of heart attack, obesity and type 2 diabetes, cancer, dementia and inflammation. Here are some common foods the could have hidden trans fats & HFCS:
- Baked goods – muffins, cookies, cakes, doughnuts (Trans fats & HFCS)
- Frozen and boxed dinners (Trans fats & HFCS)
- Non-dairy creamers (Trans fats & HFCS)
- Peanut butter (Trans fats & HFCS)
- Microwave popcorn (Trans fats)
- Sweetened yogurt (HFCS)
- Salad dressing (HFCS)
- Bread, granola bars, breakfast cereal (HFCS)
- Ketchup & BBQ sauce (HFCS)
These 2 highly processed foods are detrimental to your health. If you become aware that you are eating trans fats or HFCS switching to a healthy brand is a great first step towards eating a diet that supports your body.
- Be aware that food has changed over the past 100 years.
This article describes what’s happened in more detail. Animals are fed differently now than they were when our grandmothers were young. Food has been tampered with in laboratories, genetically modified and grown with pesticides. I stopped eating eggs, dairy and gluten because of the negative effects I’ve experienced them to have on my body. There is an abundance of conflicting information available on what foods to eat or not eat. Whatever you choose to consume, I would encourage you to pick high quality food. Here is an article from the Cleveland Clinic that explains the benefits of grass-fed beef.
Regarding high quality produce, I review the dirty dozen and the clean 15 produce lists here. The dirty dozen are the 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide content for the year. The new information for 2020 is raisins. Newly tested, raisins show higher pesticide levels than any other fruit.
So pay the extra for organic:
The clean 15 are the fruits and veggies with the least amount of contamination, so buying conventional would save you money with these foods:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas (Frozen)
- Honeydew melon
- Kiwi fruit