As we dive into spring cleaning, I want to bring attention to spring cleaning the kitchen and pantry. It’s a great time to start with a natural slate!
What does natural mean to you? Perhaps, it means eating organic and non-GMO, choosing natural house-hold cleaners or body-care products. It might be a combination of things in the food you eat to what you use on your garden.
With the contstant inventions man makes, it’s not strange, but it is interesting that we are surrounded by a lot of artificial things.
Only you can decide what feels best to you in the quest to limit toxic or artificial things in your life, but the first step is always knowledge that can help us make informed decisions and become aware of the available options.
If you’re looking for ideas, I have compiled a list of Food Labels and Ingredients and what they are so that you can choose if you want to include them in your diet. Next week we will discuss alternatives to these 12 items and then we will move on to household products!
Food Labels/Ingredients to Avoid
There are many ingredients on food labels that are best to avoid. By staying away from these ingredients, your body will thank you by running smoothly and performing all the normal bodily functions with ease. All of these items are best kept to a minimum to maintain a healthy body that can heal from the inside and that has a better chance of bouncing back when our health shifts.
Here are twelve ingredients to consider when cleaning out your pantry; if you’re replacing foods that expired, choose foods without these ingredients going forward:
- Sugar: Sugar is in almost every single processed food you can buy today. Such a massive intake of sugar can influence an irregular metabolism, high blood pressure and eventually have a negative impact on the liver.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup: High fructose corn syrup can be found in just about any sweet processed food. Aside from it being made from genetically modified corn, high fructose corn syrup can cause accelerated weight gain, insulin resistance and even diabetes when consumed in large quantities over a long period of time.
- Low-Fat or Fat-Free Products: Low-fat or fat-free products are not the healthy items they appear to be. Manufactures compensated for flavor by adding massive amounts of sugars and artificial sweeteners to give the taste of a full-fat food. Check the labels for these other ingredients because you might find them there!
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): MSG is commonly found in all processe foods, everything from canned goods to potato chips. When you ingest MSG it sparks your appetite, causing you to eat more. (MSG is found in many restaurants, so find out ahead of time if they use this ingredient and avoid that place. It will help you honor your fullness when you’re eating out).
- Hydrogenated or Fractionated Oils: These oils are man-made or so severely changed from their original form, there is nothing natural about them. It’s basically eating plastic… so yuck.
- Canola oil/Vegetable oil: Be mindful in selecting oils. We will talk more about the healthiest oils for cooking foods next week.
- Sucralose: Sucralose is a not a good choice. Also called chlorinated sugar—sucralose contains chlorine, which is prevalent in bleach and disinfectants.
- Soy/Soy Lecithin: Soy can disturb estrogen in women and it interferes with the uptake of thyroid hormones. Most soy is genetically modified and therefore not natural, but pesticides are another huge concern. Soy is in so very many products, that we just have too much in our diets. The only soy that is good to consume is organic fermented and whole organic soy products (those with thyroid imbalance should only chose fermented like tempeh to reduce the interaction with the hormone replacement they take).
- Table Salt/Sodium Chloride: This becomes a man-made ingredient after processing. Know what’s in your salt and how it’s drastically changed from the source!
- Aspartame: While aspartame is 200 times sweeter than conventional sugar and only has four calories per gram, it is man-made in a lab.
- Artificial Flavors: Found in a majority of foods today, artificial flavors are just that, artificial!
- Artificial Coloring: Remember that candy scare in the eighties? Well, need I say more?