Do You Know What Is In Your Pantry?

Despite what food advertisers and manufacturers tell us with their marketing messages and promises conveniently displayed on food packaging, we need to be aware of hidden and potentially harmful food additives lurking in our pantry or refrigerator.

Are there hidden “poisons” in the form of food additives and food chemicals in the foods you eat and feed your family?  A quick look in your cupboards and pantry will provide the answer!

Despite what food advertisers and manufacturers tell us with their marketing messages and promises conveniently displayed on food packaging, we need to be aware of hidden and potentially harmful food additives lurking in our cupboards, pantry, refrigerator, freezer, or desk drawer.

When was the last time you cleaned out your pantry and refrigerator and not because food was expired or had become too stale to eat?

Do you often buy food products even though you know they are not healthy?

Are you confused about which are the unhealthiest foods and why?

Do you currently grocery shop for food bargains with little regard to the nutritional value?

If you answered ‘yes’ to these three questions, consider the idea of purging your pantry and refrigerator of foods with hidden food additives.  Begin by reading the label on the back of each food product for the unhealthiest ingredients.  Below is a list of ingredients that should be avoided because they may be toxic to the body.  Most of these ingredients will be found in processed foods, which are nothing more than foods manufactured with the ability to sit on a shelf for an indefinite period of time.

1.   All food products containing partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils of any kind. All margarine and solid vegetable shortenings and foods made with them.  Any foods with trans-fats.

2.   All foods containing high fructose corn syrup. (This one stands on its own – one of the worst.)

3.   All foods containing added refined sugar or its synonyms: high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup or sweetener, brown sugar, dextrose, fructose, glucose, or sucrose.

4.   All foods containing artificial sweeteners, which include aspartame (NutraSweet), saccharin, or sucralose (Splenda).

5.   All foods with MSG (monosodium glutamate), a flavor enhancer added to many foods to create a taste addiction so people want more.

6.   All food products made from GM (genetically modified) or GE (genetically engineered) foods, which is the practice of altering the genetic blueprint of living organisms.  According to the book Food Inc., today most processed foods found in grocery stores “test positive” for the presence of GM ingredients, which now includes canola oil, corn, cottonseed oil, dairy products, papaya, potatoes, soybeans, soy oil, squash, and tomatoes.

7.   All foods with artificial food coloring, which may be listed on the label as: “color added,” “artificially colored,” or the specific FD&C dyes, including Blue #1, 2; Red #3, 40; and yellow #5, 6.

8.   Any food products whose labels list more chemicals and/or words difficult to pronounce than recognizable ingredients.

Want to get started? After reading the ingredients of each food product sort them into groups.  Keep in mind ingredients are listed on the label in order from highest amount to lowest amount by weight.

1) Foods unopened and not expired take back to the store where purchased for a refund or store credit, especially those containing two or more of these ingredients.

2) Foods opened and containing several of these ingredients should be dumped.

3) Foods opened and containing only one of these ingredients may be finished with the decision to not buy more.

4) Foods that pass the label test, can be kept!  If there is no label, i.e. the food doesn’t come in a box or package like an onion, then it typically is a healthy food choice.

Make it a goal to stock your pantry in the future, with as many items from #4 as possible.  These are positive and healthy steps to take that will benefit every member of your household.

To your good health,

Lynn

How many unhealthy ingredients can you find on the Kellogg’s® Fruit Loops Nutritional Label shown above?

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