Some Things Should be Labeled

Like most complicated things, some people are better at doing them while the rest of us forget, or perhaps just don’t care to take part. Let’s be honest: when was the last time you looked at a food label?

Think about it…

How many times a day do you look?

Recently, I came across a blog by the NYTimes about the misrepresentation on food labels. It got me thinking…

Whether you look at every food label before you buy the item or not, putting food in your body without REALLY knowing its contents is risky at best. I realize that some people don’t care what is going in their body; maybe they are oblivious, or maybe it makes no difference. All food is meant to be consumed, right?

WRONG!

It’s essential to know what food contains because manufacturers, especially those with a cheap product, will sneak ingredients that are unhealthy, or even hazardous to the body. Of course, these contents can and are often consumed daily by millions and millions of people when they shouldn’t be. In order to sync yourself on the right path with the food you should be consuming, here is what I suggest:

  1. Gather the food you eat most often that is currently in your fridge, pantry, cupboard, etc.
  2. Then, make a list of all the ingredients that are unrecognizable
  3. Find each ingredient on wikipedia or a simple Search Engine
  4. When you find an ingredient that is not natural or that sounds potentially harmful to the body, put that food in a donation pile
  5. Once, you have a pile of “keepers” and a donation pile, make a note not to buy the bad stuff anymore

The next step will be to make better future food decisions. Next time you visit the grocery store, repeat this process with the food you are about to buy. Before you go to the store, make a list of the bad ingredients that you will NOT be buying. If you have any uncertainty about which ingredients are bad and which are good or at least acceptable, make an appointment with a registered dietician. One appointment shouldn’t cost much and then, you will have the knowledge set. To get you started on which ingredients to exclude from your diet, here are a quick few:

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Artificial Flavoring/Color
  • Hydrogenated (or partially) oils
  • Aspartame
  • MSG
  • Many, many more…

Diversity is a Good Thing

These days there are so many diets available. SO MANY! There’s Paleo, there’s Vegan, there’s South Beach, there’s Pritikin, there’s Raw, how many “there’s” are allowed in one sentence? Pretty much any method of consuming calories that one could desire is already designed and available to try. Each methodology has its own set of rules and boasts to be the best. Of course, we wouldn’t expect anything else. A diet without rules or claims would likely be a flop.

The truth is, however, there are so many diet options available simply because they all work. A particular diet may not have worked for you, but surely any mainstream diet worked for someone and likely continues to do so. Whether you eat carbs and no fat, fat and no carbs, meat and no gluten, or gluten and no meat, respect the diversity of diets. Just because a certain way of eating works for you, doesn’t mean it will for someone else. We all have different taste-buds, capabilities of acquiring tastes and perhaps most importantly, different body chemistries.

One of the biggest diet conscious travesties is when someone gets a little too preachy about their nutritional beliefs. For some people, eating becomes religious and quite honestly it’s not such a bad thing. However, when they feel the need to push that religious mentality on others it unquestionably crosses the line. It’s annoying and pretty darn unattractive. Let’s celebrate the diversity of food available to us. Find your Optimal eating methodology, but let others have theirs as well!