Yeah, what you eat is that important
By Nikki Prosser
Ever wonder if the combo meal at your favorite fast food
restaurant is good for you? How about that batch of chocolate chip cookies you
just made? Or the bag of low-fat potato chips stashed in the pantry?
If you haven’t, you should.
What you eat can severely impact how you feel, look, live
and age. And depending on how nutritious the foods are that you consume, you
can increase or decrease your chances of getting diabetes, coronary artery
disease, cancer and high cholesterol. But eating right takes planning and some
know-how at the grocery store.
Following are some shopping tips that will help you stock
your refrigerator and cupboards with nutritious foods that can get you eating
the way God intended you to eat.
Skip the enriched white flour
When you shop, look for whole-wheat breads, pastas and
beans. Because a large portion of your daily caloric intake will come from the
grains you consume, you need to be sure to choose the right ones.
Read the labels
The first item listed on the label is the most abundant
ingredient in the food. If the first item has the word refined anywhere in it,
avoid it. Such food has been stripped and processed and has a lot of sugar and
fructose corn syrup.
Visually inspect food
Visually inspecting the food you buy — especially
bread — can help you determine if what you are buying is nutritious or
not. When buying bread, look for loaves that are dense, have pieces of grain in
them and are known to you to be chewy. Whatever you do, skip the smooth, fluffy
Go for the fiber
Foods that contain fiber will aid your digestive system,
which is a very good thing. High-fiber foods can also help you control your
weight because fiber is known to absorb water in the stomach and delay the
emptying of the stomach. This can make you feel full and satisfied for a longer
period of time.
Avoid high fructose corn syrup
Since the early 1980s the average person’s consumption of
high fructose corn syrup has more than tripled, from about 19 pounds to 60
pounds per person annually. High fructose corn syrup is a highly purified blend
of sugars derived from corn. Because the fructose in HFCS is part of a man-made
blend (as opposed to the natural compounds of sugars found in fruit), the body
metabolizes it very differently from other sugars.
Increased consumption of fructose has been found to double a
person’s ability to make fat. It has also been linked to higher levels of
triglycerides, a blood fat, that is an independent risk factor for heart
They’re low in fat and loaded with protein. So eat some
beans — soybeans, chickpeas, pinto beans, kidney beans, and lima beans.
Any way you like them, many beans are very good for you.
Don’t shop on an empty stomach
Make sure you shop after a meal or a light snack. Doing so
will help you resist the temptation to buy foods that are unhealthy.
Shop the perimeter of the store first
That’s usually where all of the healthier choices are, and
you’ll avoid all the more processed, costly items in the middle.
Choose large bags of fruit (like apples or pears) instead of
the single fruit items priced per pound. By doing so, you’ll save money.
NIKKI PROSSER is a certified nutrition and wellness
consultant through American Fitness Professionals and Associates of the United
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