I know that many people feel powerless and overwhelmed when it comes to avoiding the ‘nasties’ in their diet. The amount of advertising and marketing that’s involved in tricking you into believing a certain product is good for you is confusing and confronting.
My advice would be to not even walk into the supermarket!
Head straight to your local grocer (Ravenswood Fresh Foods, Gilberts, Spud Shed) or farmers market (there is one every Sunday morning opposite Mandurah Performing Arts Centre) to get your fresh food and do not buy anything with a label. Good food, which nourishes your body, does not come in a freezer pack or cardboard box; and it definitely shouldn't need 'marketing' to sell itself.
This isn’t always easy, but trust me on this one, the more you practice it and the harder you look, more healthy options will appear to you. If you need to buy processed items, stick to those with the least amount of ingredients. I have formulated a nice little guide of common ingredients that you shouldn’t allow (under any circumstances) near your children, partner and most importantly, yourself.
1. Monosodium Glutamate aka MSG.
So we’ve all heard of this one. MSG a highly addictive additive commonly used in Asian cuisine to enhance the flavour of the food. MSG is notorious for causing headaches, weight gain, nausea, chest pain and excessive sweating.
Found in: Asian foods, canned veggies, soups, salad dressings and processed meats.
Sneaky disguises: flavour enhancers, hydrolysed vegetable protein, textured vegetable protein, yeast extract, glutamate, & glutamic acid.
How to avoid it: Unfortunately most processed foods contain MSG. The only way to avoid this is to eat whole, fresh foods whenever possible. Opt for basics like salt, pepper and fresh herbs instead of flavoured dressings.
2. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
At Waters Family Chiropractic, this is a big no-no. It is a cheap and nasty sweetener known to increase your risk of obesity, cancer and liver disease, and can destroy your hormonal function. If you have diabetes, insulin resistance, PCOS or endometriosis, run away now!
Found in: processed foods such as fruit juice, soft drinks, lollies, yogurt and tomato sauce.
Sneaky disguises: corn syrup, fructose.
How to avoid it: Ditch the junk food and read labels. You will be shocked to find that fructose corn syrup is hiding in your breads, pasta, peanut butter and processed meats!
3. Trans Fats + Margarine
Please, just don’t do it. It a completely synthetic toxin that boosts flavour and increases the shelf life of your foods. Eating this increases your risk of heart disease faster than you can say ‘McDonalds.’
Sneaky disguises: hydrogenated oils, trans fatty acids.
4. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweetners such as Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, Sweet’N Low are seriously bad news. The list of negative health effects are so comprehensive, they need a blog post for them alone (I’ll make a mental note). Headaches, food cravings, anxiety and depression are just a few.
Found in: yoghurts, lollies, soft drinks, sugar free alternatives
Sneaky disguises: aspartame, neotame, saccharin
How to avoid it: Carefully read all labels on protein shakes, powders, yogurts and cereals and keep clear of diet soft drinks. Why don’t you try honey or stevia instead?
5. Sodium Nitrate
This preservative, used in processed meat products, has been shown to increase your chances of diabetes, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and bowel cancer.
Found in: hot dogs, bacon, ham, sausages, salami and some red meats.
Sneaky disguises: nitrates, sodium nitrite.
How to avoid it: Stick to grass fed and organic meats, there are plenty of options around Mandurah. Otherwise, limit yourself to 1-2 servings (palm size) of meat a week.
With this list to arm yourself, next time you are shopping you and your family will be well on the way to lead a toxin-free life. If you can recommend any other good food places in the Mandurah area, make sure to email it through or post it on our facebook page!