I’ve come a long way from my childhood days of eating Doritos and peanut butter toast with sugar sprinkled on top. At first glance, you may think my fridge and pantry are healthy. I know I did. But with a closer look I’ve found that some of our “healthy” foods have room for improvement. Here are a few examples:
- Yogurt (with high fructose)
- Lunchmeat (with nitrites)
- The rare treat of juice (with artificial sweetener)
- Granola Bars (with corn syrup, fructose, tocopherols, etc)
Last week we discussed Step 1:: how to gather information to make better choices with our food.
STEP 2:: Alter your diet. Take a good hard look at the foods you eat most often. If it has things you’ve learned you should avoid then you need to find an alternative. I’ve chosen not to throw out food because the pantry challenge is allowing us to eat the things we already have. However, we’ve come up with a beginners list of things 5 things to remove from our diet:
- Store bought bread (Make homemade bread)
- Artificial sweeteners
- High fructose corn syrup
- Meat with nitrites or nitrates
- Frozen or Boxed meals (I always bought the ones that said “no artificial flavors or preservatives” but when I took a closer look I saw xanthan gum, sodium alginate, corn syrup, etc. What is that stuff?)
Michael Pollan’s Food Rules is a list of 64 easy to understand statements to help you make healthier choices. A few of my favorites are:
- Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
- Avoid products that have more than 5 ingredients.
- Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.
- Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk.
- The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead.
What five things will you remove from your diet? Remember, baby steps.
Next week: Step 3:: Understand Produce