Unfortunately, our “FDA-Approved” Food Pyramid isn’t working so well for the Standard American Diet (SAD). It is pretty sad (pun intended). Soon, they will need to flip the food pyramid on its head, as we have more and more evidence that a diet rich in healthier fats and a large variety of plants is the key to a healthier life. With diabetes, cancer, and other diseases on the rise more than ever before, it’s no wonder something is wrong.
Good new is, you can take control of your health starting today, just as we did a few years ago. Please read my personal story behind healthier ingredients to learn about why we made the change, how we did it, the cost of switching, and how to get your family on board.
We slowly started to change our pantry, eliminating almost everything we thought was healthy. It started to take me a little longer to shop because I had to start reading all the labels, but before I knew it, I was a professional label reader. Ha!
It can be really tricky out there if you’re not reading labels. Just because something says it’s “gluten-free” or “made with olive oil” doesn’t mean it’s healthy. For example, there’s a mayonnaise on the market that says it’s made with olive oil. It automatically makes you believe it’s healthier for you, but did you read the ingredients before adding it to your cart? While olive oil is one of the ingredients, so is canola and soybean oil (two oils you want to avoid like the plague). I’ve actually resorted to whipping up my own homemade mayonnaise when I know I’ll be using it in the near future. It’s not something we use often, so when we do, I’ll just whip it up in the food processor!
I have a rule of thumb for reading labels: if I can’t pronounce it, I’m not buying it. Also, sugar hides under many different names on food labels. You can find a more detailed information about sugar here. Also, always check the nutrition facts section of the product label to identify the actual sugar content. Just a few grams of sugar isn’t so bad, but 25 grams of sugar is a bit of a problem.
I’ve compiled a half-page-sized printable list of simple everyday ingredients that I’ve replaced in my kitchen, along with the healthier replacements for each. So, every time you reach for one of those regular ingredients in the grocery isle, reach for the healthier ones instead. Also included in this printable guide, is a list of “other names for sugar,” so that when you’re reading your labels, you can remember which names are disguised as sugar.