The ingredient list for some foods out there is quite scary. Here’s a nutrition label from a popular “healthy” granola bar from Kellogg’s.
CRUST: WHOLE GRAIN OATS, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, VITAMIN B1 [THIAMIN MONONITRATE] , VITAMIN B2 [RIBOFLAVIN], FOLIC ACID), WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, SOYBEAN OIL, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, SUGAR, CALCIUM CARBONATE, WHEY, WHEAT BRAN, SALT, CELLULOSE, POTASSIUM BICARBONATE, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, SOY LECITHIN, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, WHEAT GLUTEN, NIACINAMIDE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, CARRAGEENAN, ZINC OXIDE, REDUCED IRON, GUAR GUM, VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE), VITAMIN B1 (THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE), VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN) , FOLIC ACID.
FILLING: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, RASPBERRY PUREE CONCENTRATE, GLYCERIN, SUGAR, SODIUM ALGINATE, NATURAL FLAVORS, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, CITRIC ACID, MALIC ACID, METHYLCELLULOSE, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, CARAMEL COLOR, RED
I have to admit that my kids would love it if I bought these for them all the time and let them count it as breakfast. However, as I lost weight way back when and even more during the ensuing years, I began to discover that the only way to be as sure as you can about what is in the foods you eat is to just do-it-yourself.
There are prepackaged diet plans out there in dietland that give dieters the opportunity to use boxed foods as the mainstay of their eating plan as well as diets that recommend shakes, lots of frozen diet foods, or other types of more processed options. However, although people may lose weight using those programs, not being conscious about the ingredients in the “diet” foods they eat may cause problems later. Extreme sodium, chemical additives, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, and other ingredients can put them at risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and other conditions.
If you, like me, are concerned about what you are putting in your body, you need to become an avid label reader and probably need to learn to cook.
Even foods like cereals can have inordinate amounts of sugars, which is why we eat a lot of cereals from Attune foods, make our own oatmeal, and avoid highly sweetened breakfast foods.
Processed meats have an ingredient list that looks pretty scary. Here is one for Louis Rich turkey bologna:
Turkey Ingredients (Mechanically Separated Turkey, Turkey), Water, Modified Corn Starch, Contains less than 2% of Salt, Sodium Lactate, Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Flavor, Enzyme Modified Skim Milk, Sodium Phosphates, Sodium Erythorbate (Made From Sugar), Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Nitrite, Extractives of Paprika
Although I am not a gourmet cook by anyone’s imagination, I have learned to cook most of our foods from scratch and avoid using a lot of processed foods.
I guess I call myself a do-it-yourself cook and weight loss person. It’s the only way I know to the best of my ability what is in the foods we eat. Here are some things that I make myself that I previously used processed foods for:
Healthy Substitution Ideas
- Use milk and seasonings in place of creamed soups such as cream of mushroom soup.
- Make my own bread using freshly ground flour.
- Bake turkey or chicken breasts and slice it thinly for sandwiches or on top of a salad.
- Homemade chicken broth instead of boxed or canned broths.
- Use olive oil, vinegar, and fresh herbs instead of bottled dressings.
- Make homemade bread crumbs and croutons instead of purchasing them.
- Pop my own popcorn instead of using microwaved popcorn.
- Make granola bars instead of purchasing them.
Are you a DIY cook? What are some of the ways you avoid processed foods? Any tips would be appreciated! DianePhoto