How to Food Shop Healthily

Checking serving sizes and shopping organically can be the means to a healthier diet.

Making healthy choices while food shopping isn't the easiest thing to do. Many companies turn a profit by lying to their consumers and putting attractive labels on their products, such as organic or low-calorie foods. To help you avoid simple mistakes that may lead you to buy unhealthy foods, follow the tips below. 

Be on the Lookout For Shorter Ingredients Lists

When you’re food shopping and see a food with a long ingredients list, disregard it entirely. Instead, choose a food that has a smaller list of three to five ingredients or less. Unfortunately for the consumer, which is you, the majority of these ingredients are chemical additives, which are added into the food to benefit the company that processes them. These additives make the food taste and last longer, giving them more time to ship the product.

However, some of these additives can have harmful effects on our bodies and lack the nutrients and vitamins that we need to operate effectively. So, the next time you’re on a food shopping run, always be on the lookout for food with shorter ingredients lists and watch out for any chemical additives that may be in the food you are consuming.

Know What the Word “Organic Means

Just about anyone can be confused on the topic of foods with the word “organic” labeled across them. However, organic means so much more than just a label. In fact, a product being organic means that it went through a rigorous certification process. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, organic fruits and vegetables must be grown without irradiation, pesticides or herbicides, fertilizers made from chemicals, or genetically modified seed. Organic growers must also have records upon demand by accredited inspectors.

For meat, the organic label means that the animals that were fed no by-products of other animals and were only fed certified organic feed. The harvested animals also cannot be given antibiotics or hormones and must have access to the outdoors. Organic animal farms must keep good records in case of an inspection by an accredited inspector.

However, with the growing popularity of organic food in grocery stores, such as Whole Foods Market, the number of organic farms are increasing as well.

Be Careful of Natural Labels

Unfortunately, most food companies think that “natural” and “organic” labels are the same thing. However, the term natural has a much different meaning than organic. Even though there are no set requirements for labeling products as natural, many food companies do so to sell their product quicker. So, the next time you buy a “natural” or “organic” product, do your research first to make sure it’s the real deal.

“No Cholesterol” Labels Mean Less Than You Think

The main reason that companies put the label “no cholesterol” on their products is that they know their consumers care about their personal cholesterol. This is why so many plant-based products have “no cholesterol” stickers because they literally contain none and they try to make their consumers think they took the cholesterol out of them. In truth, cholesterol is a type of fat found in animal products, such as milk, fish, eggs, and butter. So, the next time you pick up a plant product, don’t be fooled into buying it simply because it says, “no cholesterol,” there wasn’t any in there, to begin with.

Be Careful of Serving Sizes

The main basis behind nutrition facts is to make you think you’re consuming fewer calories than you really are. However, you should really be looking at the servings per container line. For example, a tub of ice cream that you may normally eat by yourself in sitting may actually have three servings. By reading up on the calories, you can trick yourself into thinking you’re actually eating less. Don’t fall for these marketing tricks. 

Be on the Lookout For Shorter Ingredients Lists

When you’re food shopping and see a food with a long ingredients list, disregard it entirely. Instead, choose a food that has a smaller list, of three to five ingredients or less. Unfortunately for the consumer, which is you, the majority of these ingredients are chemical additives, which are added into the food to benefit the company that processes them. These additives make the food taste and last longer, giving them more time to ship the product.

However, some of these additives can have harmful effects on our bodies and lack the nutrients and vitamins that we need to operate effectively. So, the next time you’re on a food shopping run, always be on the lookout for food with shorter ingredients lists and watch out for any chemical additives that may be in the food you are consuming.

Know What the Word “Organic Means

Just about anyone can be confused on the topic of foods with the word “organic” labeled across them. However, organic means so much more than just a label. In fact, a product being organic means that it went through a rigorous certification process. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, organic fruits and vegetables must be grown without irradiation, pesticides or herbicides, fertilizers made from chemicals, or genetically modified seeds. Organic growers must also have records available upon demand by accredited inspectors.

For meat, the organic label means that the animals were not fed by-products of other animals and were only fed certified organic feed. The harvested animals also cannot be given antibiotics or hormones and must have access to the outdoors. Organic animal farms must keep good records in case of an inspection by an accredited inspector.

However, with the growing popularity of organic food in grocery stores, such as Whole Foods Market, the number of organic farms are increasing as well.

Be Careful of Natural Labels

Unfortunately, most food companies think that “natural” and “organic” labels are the same thing. However, the term natural has a much different meaning than organic. Even though there are no set requirements for labeling products as natural, many food companies do so to sell their product more quickly. So, the next time you buy a “natural” or “organic” product, do your research first to make sure it’s the real deal.

“No Cholesterol” Labels Mean Less Than You Think

The main reason that companies put the label “no cholesterol” on their products is that they know their consumers care about their personal cholesterol. This is why so many plant-based products have “no cholesterol” stickers because they literally contain none and they try to make their consumers think they took the cholesterol out of them. In truth, cholesterol is a type of fat found in animal products, such as milk, fish, eggs, and butter. So, the next time you pick up a plant product, don’t be fooled into buying it simply because it says, “no cholesterol,” there wasn’t any in there to begin with.

Be Careful of Serving Sizes

The main basis behind nutrition facts is to make you think you’re consuming fewer calories than you really are. However, you should really be looking at the servings per container line. For example, a tub of ice cream that you may normally eat by yourself in one sitting may actually have three servings. By reading up on the calories, you can trick yourself into thinking you’re actually eating less. Don’t fall for these marketing tricks. 

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How to Food Shop Healthily