If you’ve been reading my blog, or have talked to me in the last couple years about food, you know that I’ve been working to change how we eat. I’ve read many books, blogs, articles, etc. on the subject and there is such a wealth of information out there.
The book starts out with basic info on reading labels ~ and I’m not talking just calories, fat, and carbs. I’m talking about the INGREDIENTS. In the past few years I’ve been doing what they suggest: read ingredients first, then the nutritional info. For me, quality ingredients are more important that one item having more fat or carbs than another. To sum up, their list of the main things to avoid are:
- Trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils)
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Artificial Colors
- Artificial Flavors
- Artificial Sweeteners
While I already had weeded out many of those items from our food, I learned a lot about the things I might be missing. There was also food I should have been looking at closer. For example, my youngest daughter LOVES Life cereal. Its her first choice if she’s going to have cold cereal. Awhile back she tried the cinnamon life and declared it her favorite. So we had been buying that for months. I started to re-evaluate some things in our cupboards after reading the book and when I looked at her Life cereal I realized it had artificial red coloring [red 40]! I never would have guessed! I still don’t see the purpose of SO much food coloring added into food products. I’m pretty sure Cinnamon Life would still taste and look great without it.
Another thing I found interesting in the book is the MANY names for artificial preservatives and sweeteners in food. Many I knew but some I didn’t. One particular artificial sweetener was new to me: Acesulfame Potassium [or Ace K]. Also, preservatives like BHA and BHT as well as TBHQ. I found that the BHT/BHA is often found in cereals as a preservative ~ so choose wisely!
To sum up, Unjunk Your Junk Food is a great resource for anyone who wants to eat healthier, less processed food. The book gives a wealth of basic info on the types of foods you should be choosing and ingredients to avoid all together. In addition there is some helpful tips on how eating certain ingredients can affect your body.
Many people would love the idea of eating “real food” all the time, but we have to be honest in that its HARD to completely give it all up. When we go all or nothing, we are often left with cravings and missing things. It’s a great goal to eat all real food, but in reality it doesn’t always happen. That’s why its important to be informed about the ingredients in processed food so that we can make wise choices as we shop. Unjunk Your Junk Food is a great resource to help you choose your “junk” food so that it avoids the worse ingredients.
Remember ~ eat real food a large part of the time, but allow yourself a small “treat” occasionally.
[I received this book for free as part of Naturally Savvy’s blogging program. I received no other compensation. All of the opinions here are mine and mine alone. 😉 ]