After researching and diving a little deeper into the reason I believe what I do, it’s clear that there are widely different opinions on all things health. I suppose you can’t take any as a rule of thumb, but rather a suggestion or piece of thought.
With that, one of my general rules of thumb: If you don’t know what is it, your body doesn’t either.
Perhaps you’ve heard this before, or another similar message. And maybe you already do this- which is awesome. But if you’re not one to read ingredients or have never realized the junk that’s in our food (not including junk food), it’s time to do some digging. Let’s look at a few samples of common household foods you may not have thought twice about.
For example, check out this ingredient list for your favorite pastime snack. Warning- this is a sad one. If I had to choose what ingredients were in Goldfish it’d look something like MADE WITH SMILES AND AMAZINGNESS, DELICIOUSNESS, CRUNCHINESS AND MORE SMILES. With my utmost regret, I must tell you that these fishes, along with just about everything else in its class (Cheez-itz, Ritz, etc) is not on the “yay all these ingredients are natural” list. As stated in this article, Goldfish come from several sources of artificial and processed ingredients, such as folic acid, enriched flower, and GMO cheese. Are they the worst things ever? No. But they certainly don’t make the cut to feed your body with only things it likes.
Another childhood favorite? Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
GRANOLA (WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, BROWNSUGAR, CRISP RICE [RICE FLOUR, SUGAR, SALT, MALTED BARLEY EXTRACT],WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED WHEAT, SOYBEAN OIL, DRIED COCONUT, WHOLE WHEATFLOUR, SODIUM BICARBONATE, SOY LECITHIN, CARAMEL COLOR, NONFAT DRYMILK), SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS (SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, COCOABUTTER, SOY LECITHIN, VANILLA EXTRACT), CORN SYRUP, BROWN RICE CRISP(WHOLE GRAIN BROWN RICE, SUGAR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, SALT), INVERTSUGAR, SUGAR, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, GLYCERIN, SOYBEAN OIL. CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF SORBITOL, CALCIUM CARBONATE, SALT, WATER, SOY LECITHIN, MOLASSES, NATURAL ANDARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BHT (PRESERVATIVE), CITRIC ACID.
RED ALERT! This recipe says “sugar” 8 times. In that teeny little bar, there is all this junk. Don’t get me wrong, they are so tasty, but it’s a whole lot of things your body doesn’t need. And let’s be honest, whether these “bad ingredients” are worth is a different story. Ice cream? Worth it. A basically bite-sized granola bar that you need 3 entire boxes to actually make a dent in your hunger? Maybe not worth it.
Or the classic ingredients in Ketchup, which does not consist of any tomatoes (yes, really. Google it).
Consider checking the ingredients before putting these snacks in your cart and indulging in a little treat. It seems silly and time-consuming but it’s well worth the extra few minutes at the store to ensure you’re treating your body right. If you want other grocery store tips, check out my next article about the grocery store map. Try it out!
It’s a sad realization. I grew up on a bag of Goldfish a day, and it’s now one of those things that is hard to go back to, knowing my body doesn’t agree. But don’t let me fool you. As with all my thoughts and posts, they are just mindful tips and it is not to say I sneak a handful of crackers and fish occasionally (because they are in my office and I can’t walk by without sneaking some).
By the way, Maltodextin is a food additive commonly found in chips, pop, starch and many processed foods.
If you don’t read anything else: try sticking to food that has natural ingredients (it’s quite surprising what you’ll find).