Everyone knows that it’s good to make healthy food the mainstay of our diets – conceptually, at least. We’ve been taught to eat a balanced diet at every meal, but what are healthy foods, really? The answer to that question has evolved with time. But the short and simple answer is that healthy foods are those that are good for our bodies, and that are actually food. Pin It
Healthy Food Choices
One example is that the ingredients list on most processed foods contains more “non-foods” such as chemicals, preservatives, thickeners and dyes than ingredients we know to be food. Many of those identifiable food ingredients are also compromised in that have been dehydrated, cured or treated with one of the aforementioned non-foods. And yet we continue to buy processed foods and feed them to our families when the conscious and healthy decision would be to prepare foods ourselves from scratch, with ingredients we can control. Or, at a minimum, to be vigilant Ingredient Readers so that we only purchase packaged foods we feel good about eating.
Read the Ingredients
It’s important to not only be an Ingredient Reader, but to also understand how and where your food was raised. Meaning, were pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, saline or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) used in the production of the fruit, vegetable, eggs, milk or meat you’re eating? Were the seeds used to grow the feed for the cows or chickens genetically engineered?
According to The True Food Network, over 70% of the processed foods on supermarket shelves in the U.S. contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, and 85% of corn and 91% of soy is GE. Corn and soy crops in the U.S. are almost exclusively grown using GE seeds from Monsanto, the company featured in the documentary, Food, Inc. GE and GMO foods have been directly linked to serious health problems, including cancer.
Why does any of this matter? It matters because study after study has confirmed the adage “you are what you eat”. If we put chemicals, hormones or even fat into our bodies, what do we truly hope the optimal outcome will be? Why would we eat foods with those ingredients, and why would we feed those foods to anyone else we love?
Time and Money
In the end, food choices are often really choices made of convenience or economics. We feel we don’t have the time, the energy or the money to make healthy meals. However, we can’t afford not to make more conscious, healthy food choices. By paying a bit more for healthy food and taking the time to prepare our meals from scratch, we’re making investments in our short and long-term health that will pay dividends in the form of lower healthcare costs and greater health.
Catherine Mason is a writer, former educator, and someone who has multiple food allergies. As Tribe Leader & Chief Wellness Coach at www.mydietribe.com, she helps people identify, assimilate and maintain sustainable health and wellness practices in their everyday lives, with a focus on physical, emotional, spiritual, mental and financial wellness. Catherine may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@mydietribe).
Healthy Food Choices
Tune in next week for tips on inexpensive and simple ways to eat healthier. In the meantime, what choices do you make eat to eat healthier?