Grocery Shopping: How a Chef Shops
You aren’t the only one confused about what is considered healthy!
It is SO hard to figure out what is “healthy” and what does that even mean anyways. With everyone’s bodies being so different and needing different things what is “healthy” for one person is not “healthy” for another.
The article below says the FDA is going to put new regulations on what is considered healthy and create a new symbol that food manufacturers can put on their products similar to the organic symbol or the Non-GMO labels.
This is very concerning for me. It’s way oversimplified.
Maybe you have heard the advice to buy what is around the edges of the grocery store. This is a great rule of thumb. The produce, dairy, and meat sections are always placed around the outside of the stores because real food is perishable. It needs refrigeration to keep it from spoiling too quickly. This is how real food works.
The bags of Lays potato chips and boxes of cookies that line the aisles of the middle of the stores can be on the shelves for months, maybe even years without spoiling because they are so heavily processed and loaded with preservatives that it is no longer a natural food.
This is how I decide for me what is healthy when I’m shopping at the store:
#1 Is it a whole, real food with a single ingredient?
These are things like all fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, eggs, beans, whole grains. Nature made them. Most likely these are HEALTHY!!!!!!!
The only question left is “can I afford organic?” “No antibiotics + hormones?” The cleaner the better. Buy the best quality you can afford.
You should also be asking yourself “do I tolerate these foods, do I want to eat that amount of carbs, etc..
Just because they are healthy does not mean they are good for YOUR goals or YOUR particular body.
#2 Is this product made from whole foods?
These are things like yogurt, cheese, bread, etc…These are items I buy premade. I don’t bake my own bread or make my own cheddar cheese so I am looking at the ingredient list.
Is it made from whole foods? Is there artificial coloring in my cheddar cheese, corn syrup in my bread, artificial flavors or sugars in my yogurt?
If the answer is yes, it’s made from whole foods, then I ask myself again: Does this support MY goals? Does MY body feel good when I eat these things?
#3 How much sugar does it have?
Eating a diet low in sugar is important to me. All types of sugar are hard on your body, even honey, and maple syrup. It’s a major contributor to inflammation and hormone imbalance that interrupts hunger cues. It spikes your energy and then crashes which sets you up for a sugar craving cycle that is hard to stop. I want to limit sugar in all its forms in my diet.
To help with this I avoid all foods that are not meant to be sweet that are made with sugar. I’m talking about mayo, crackers, bread, salad dressings, pasta sauce, etc…Sugar lurks everywhere in processed foods and if I’m eating it in all these foods then I can NEVER have creme brulee 😫 and I really want to have a small delicious treat sometimes. So if I avoid sugar in all the other areas, then I feel fine about indulging once in a while on a true sweet.
#4 Does it have any artificial colors, flavors, sugars, fats?
I NEVER buy foods that have been made from artificial ingredients. Those are seriously toxic. And never worth it.
I’m talking about things like red #40 (the worst!), sucralose, aspartame, flavorings, etc…Anything like this is a toxin that I know my body does not want.
#5 Is it in season?
The last thing I think about is if it is seasonal or not. I don’t buy strawberries in the winter or pears in the summer. Not that they are necessarily bad for me but they are way more expensive, have been grown, picked and flown from some faraway place and taste like crap! I don’t need to explain that! 😆
What are some things you consider when grocery shopping?
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Tastily, Rose 🍓