I’ve got to be honest, researching for this post has nearly made me throw up. Do yourself a favor and go to Pinterest and start searching key words like “worst foods to eat”, “unhealthy food”, “what foods to avoid” and you’ll see what I mean. The chemicals and ingredients that are in even our seemingly “healthy” foods are alarming. The ones in fast food restaurants and soda should be illegal. I seriously want to be sick. I tend to be a bit obsessive about things and am pretty sure this might be my next thing. Figuring out how to eat CLEAN, WHOLE, REAL food.
Did you know that there are 10 teaspoons of sugar in one can of Coke and they add a chemical just so that you don’t throw up from all the sugar? Or that the popular energy drink Gatorade contains an ingredient called BVO (brominated vegetable oil) that is banned in other countries but allowed in the US?* One of its elements (bromine) is used most often to make products flame retardant. It’s also been used in gasoline additives and pesticides. Awesome.
I’m not a scientist but this doesn’t even pass the smell test. My boys love an occasional can of Coke or bottle of Gatorade for a “treat.” Some treat. It angers me that these products would even pass the FDA, especially ones that have already been banned in other countries. Unfortunately for us, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
All we can do is become informed. Chances are, if you see it advertised on TV, you shouldn’t eat it. If it comes in a can or a box, it’s probably fake or filled with chemicals. The sad part of this is that not only are we eating these foods every day, but our kids are too. Their bodies are still developing, their brains still forming…we have no idea what all these chemicals and additives are going to do to them. We can only imagine.
I feel even more passionate about this week now, than ever. This change is for you and me, yes, but also for our kids. For their health and well being. We have to start watching out for ourselves and our families because the FDA certainly doesn’t seem to be watching out for us.
After researching myself and talking with some of my favorite, trusted health experts, these are their (and my) recommendations for the best and worst foods for health and well being, and the top ingredients to avoid when you’re looking at labels. As with the list on Monday, it is not exhaustive. There are other foods that are healthy and great that are not on this list. This list is merely my informed opinion of some awesome options and some really, really bad ones. You can download and print it here.
Objective: Go through your pantry and cupboards and start reading the labels on your favorite foods. Study this list. Memorize it! When you go through the grocery store start reading labels. Start paying attention to the ingredients that are in the foods you eat and the foods you feed to your children. Make small changes. Eliminate one thing at a time. One ingredient at a time. Slowly change the way you eat, the things you crave and the health you have.
Assess: What do you find? Are you outraged? If you’re anything like me I cannot KNOW and not make a change. We don’t have the power to change the foods available but we have a tremendous amount of power to change what we buy. Dollars matter and when we stop spending them, eventually they will notice.
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*Since posting this I learned due to consumer demand, Gatorade agreed to remove BVO from it’s popular energy drink.