Going shopping for your family isn’t always the highlight of your week. Between the kids wiggling in the cart and making sure that you have enough time to get everything on your list before one of them has a breakdown at the cash register, it’s often about grabbing whatever is the most convenient.
However, it’s crucial for the health of your family that you take the time to understand the components and chemicals which go into the food that you eat. Knowing what’s in the products that you buy is in the best interest of your health long term.
Therefore, here are the most important things to look out for to ensure that you’re making the healthiest choices for your family at the store.
Read The Ingredients
As a general rule of thumb, the shorter the a list of ingredients on a product, the better. When something you’re considering eating has a long list of ingredients that you can’t even pronounce, it’s usually a red flag.
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the most dangerous additive names out there so that you know what to avoid and what’s ok.
Often at first glance, a product may seem like it’s got an acceptable amount of carbohydrates and unhealthy fats. However, when you look closely, you may be surprised to see that the amount of macronutrients listed are actually per a very small serving.
Sure, maybe you’re only eating 100 calories per serving, but when the serving size is two tablespoons, and you’re eating an entire bowl, you’re consuming a lot more than just 100 calories.
A lot of products have hidden sodium in it. Look out for foods which have high amounts of sodium since nutritionists recommend no more than about 1500 mg a day.
One of the biggest reasons that the United States is one of the leading countries suffering from an obesity epidemic is because of the number of hidden sugars in allegedly “healthy” branded foods.
Make sure to read the labels carefully. Just because something is labeled as “gluten-free” or “low fat” doesn’t mean that it’s not packed with sugar to make up for the lack of taste.
You should educate yourself on ingredient names which are synonymous with sugar.
Buy Organic When Needed
Some people think that absolutely everything that they buy has to be organic, from their ketchup to their Ziploc bags; however, slapping an “organic” label on a product is often just a marketing ploy.
Organic products are more expensive, and some things are made without pesticides and therefore already “organic.” Instead, save yourself some money and only buy products with an organic label which are known for usually having high levels of pesticides.