5 Items You Need to Stop Buying at the Grocery Store Today
The food industry has changed dramatically over the last 60 years, we have moved from buying fresh foods (produce, meats & fruits) to buying more boxed, canned & frozen foods. Also due to advanced technological changes and new chemical discoveries, foods have been altered and processed foods have become increasingly more popular (and also more affordable) than fresh foods. In the same way, diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and allergies have also risen dramatically. Most grocery stores offer a higher variety of processed foods vs. fresh foods making it easy to shop for foods that are not nearly as nutritious for you and your family. Read 5 items you should stop buying from your local grocery store to reduce the amount of empty-calories and other toxins you and your family may be consuming.
There is an entire aisle dedicated to these unhealthy snacks. You can find these by the cereal selection and also in the bakery area. Most of these are usually individually packaged, designed to be the "perfect" snack for you or your kids, examples of these include: 'little bites,' 'twinkies,' 'Swiss rolls,' 'honey buns,' & 'oatmeal cream pies.' The truth is that these pastries are the farthest from healthy. They are full of empty-calories, sugars and other preservatives that provide no nutritional value to your body. Most grocery stores also offer their own baked goods usually decorated based on season or upcoming holidays, and though they are usually a little bit 'fresher,' they still provide no nutritional value for your body. The best thing you can do for your and your families health is to scratch these off your regular grocery list.
alternative: bake your own goods at home with natural ingredients. Replace table sugar with natural & nutritious sweeteners.
Most people are shocked to find out that boxed juice is not actually healthy because boxed juice tends to give us the 'good for you' image. Boxed juice is one the most sugar-filled drinks in the market and many doctors have equated a glass of boxed juice to a glass of Pepsi. Unfortunately, a lot of juice brands that label "healthy" or "100% juice" are made with large amounts of sugar that are hiding in the juice concentrates along with other unwanted chemicals.
alternative: keep in mind that the best juice you can consume is made at home with a juicer and from real fruit.
Honey is known to be one of the world's most faked food. The demand and supply of honey in our world do not add up, this is one of many facts that prove most of the honey sold in the market is not 100% pure. Most honey sold at grocery stores may be honey that has been diluted with fillers like high-fructose corn syrup yet labeled and sold as pure honey. In fact, the largest producer of honey in the US, Groeb Farms of Michigan, admitted to buying millions of dollars of laundered honey.
alternative: Find a local supplier in your area whom you can trust and know supplies local honey as it is known to reduce allergy symptoms. You may also look into other natural sweeteners such as coconut sugar, dates & other fruit syrups.
Canning is a method used to preserve foods for long periods of time. Though it can be argued that canned goods are not completely devoid of nutrients, they are known to certainly contain significantly less nutrients well as other unnecessary additives such as salt, sugar, and natural/chemical preservatives. Moreover, there have been traces of BPA found in canned foods from the can's lining. BPA has been linked to various illnesses including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and male sexual dysfunction.
alternative: Most people buy canned foods for convenience & price. Believe it or not a 2-pound bag of beans is much cheaper than it's alternative. Though it can be intimidating to learn how to cook beans, garbanzos & lentils - cooking big batches of these & freezing is equally as convenient, cheaper & will produce much less waste.
Frozen meals are not as unhealthy as what may happen in the process of preparing them. Frozen fruits & vegetables are mostly okay to consume, but what is mostly unhealthy are frozen meals - especially the kinds that are individually wrapped in plastic due to BPA concerns. Though frozen meal brands may claim that their plastic is safe for microwave use, you may want to have extra caution as many brands that claim to be BPA free have been found to be the opposite. Other concerns with frozen meals can be unnecessary additives such as excessive salt, sugar, and natural/chemical preservatives. To read more about the 30 Unhealthiest frozen meals, check this list.
alternative: Make your own frozen meals at home and package them in glass containers. Better, cheaper & healthier for you!
My hope is that this list does not overwhelm you, but inspire you to take on these suggested changes. Most Americans are used to buying processed foods due to prices, false labeling, convenience and culture. Start with one of these categories at a time and adjust to its new replacement before you move on to the next item. Let us know, which of these changes are you ready to make?