Kristi Whitley

Healthy Living

One if the most frustrating things about changing my diet was all the misleading product packaging. I spent hours in the grocery store reading labels. Now I know to just shop in the produce section and stay out of the aisles. I know you will have to learn for yourself so here are a few pointers for reading product labels. 

1) Go straight to the ingredient list, not the nutritional information. It is the fine, fine print usually below the nutritional breakdown. A bag of potato chips should say potatoes, oil and salt. A long list of ingredients is a clue that there will be poison in the product. Check every packaged product u buy. Stevia, tomatoes, corn chips, coconut milk, almond butter may all have unwanted added ingredients. Never assume just because it's tea or beans etc., that there isn't anything else in the can or package. Be prepared to be shocked and disgusted. 

2) Some "all natural" and "organic" ingredients are still bad. Sugar is the worst, followed closely by fructose, lactose, high fructose corn syrup or solids. In fact, avoid anything that has any form of added sweetener even honey. If the nutritional label says it has less than 1 gram of sugar per serving, I will sometimes buy it anyway. Look for milk and milk solids in unusual places. They can be "organic" and are of course natural. They also cause cancer. Look out for gluten and wheat in the wrong place too. They cause GI irritation or worse. Soy is another sneaky additive. If you don't avoid it your intake will unintentionally skyrocket. Soy is high in estrogen which promotes cancer. Another natural ingredient found in a lot of health food is carrageenan. It is a carcinogen that is used as a thickener in non-dairy milks like almond and soy milk as well as non-dairy cheeses, sour cream and ice creams. Just remember "dose makes the poison" so keep ingestion of it to a minimum.
3) "organic" may only mean one ingredient. I buy only organic, non-GMO corn products. Some corn chips are made with organic corn but fried in GMO soy or other vegetable oil. Argh! You have to read the ingredients carefully.
4) Nutritional labels are tricky. A food may have a ton of sugar per serving but when u read the ingredient list there is no form of added sugar except fruit. It is still important to limit intake of sugars in one snack or meal. Be careful of the sugar content in granola and energy bars. 

Like I said, sometimes it's just easier to go straight to the produce aisle. 
Happy Shopping!
Here's a recipe for which there will be no label-reading required!

Dehydrated Raw Granola
5 cups organic, gluten-free oats
3 cups chopped, raw, organic nuts and seeds
(Always include walnuts and/or almonds for omega-3 fatty acids and never use peanuts. Brazil nuts are a major source of selenium. Seeds can be sunflower and/or pumpkin.)
1 cup organic, dried coconut flakes, unsweetened
½ cup organic, raw sesame seeds
2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)
1/3 cup coconut oil
½ cup organic honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix all dry ingredients including cinnamon in an extra-large mixing bowl.
Measure melted coconut oil and pour into dry ingredients.
Measure honey in the same measuring cup used for the oil. Add in the vanilla. Stir and mix into the dry ingredients. 
Mix all ingredients until consistently moist.
Spread granola onto parchment paper-lined dehydrator trays. Dehydrate for 24 hours at 104 to 107 degrees. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Dehydrating is healthiest but this recipe may be baked on sheet pans at 250-290 degrees for about an hour. Be careful not to burn it. 
Proverbs 19:20-21

Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.Reply, Reply All or Forward | More

Misleading Product Packaging