It is clear that chemical food additives aren’t good for the body. They are chemicals. They’re not real. Your body can’t really use them, and in very large quantities, they may actually be damaging to your cells. BUT BUT BUT: Obsessing about chemical food additives and food overall can be far worse for your health than eating them.
There is absolutely, 100% no doubt about it that real, whole, natural food is the best thing you can do for your body. However, there is also no doubt about the fact that your body is an amazing organism that can handle a few additives here and there. The more you worry about food, the harder it is to make consistent healthy decisions.
If you find yourself confused at the grocery store, agonizing between options on the shelves for far too long, constantly researching food on the internet, becoming frustrated that you don’t know what to eat or buy, and feel like you hear something different about food and eating every day, Here is what you do:
Make sure you eat at least one cup of fruit or one cup of vegetables at every meal and every snack. That way you are effortlessly displacing an enormous amount of processed food that you would other wise be eating.
Start bringing snacks such as fruit with hummus, cheese and apples, plain oatmeal with honey or agave nectar and berries, or natural peanut butter and celery to work or to school, you are naturally and effortlessly cutting back on the chemical food additives you are eating.
When you’re looking for delicious salty, crunchy, fried or baked snack foods, it is best to shop at stores you know carry less-processed, processed foods like Lucky’s Market, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Sunflower Farmers Market, Wild Oats, Thrive (online), Sprouts Farmers Market, and so forth. Know that all snack food is processed and it is always better to eat real, whole, natural foods. But, also understand that you cannot do that every day. Any know that there are excellent alternatives out there.
Here are some of my favorite less-processed, processed food brands:
- Food For Life Baking Company: bread, tortillas, cereals, buns, and english muffins. Click here to see and purchase products from Food For Life Baking Company
- Amy’s Kitchen: pizzas, burritos, ‘tv dinners’ Click here for Amy’s Kitchen Products
- ALEXIA Gourmet Foods: garlic bread, sweet potato fries, onion rings Click here for ALEXIA Gourmet Foods
- Van’s: cereals, waffles, snack bars, granola, pancakes Click here to see Van’s products
- Bob’s Red Mill: flour, oats, baking aids, mixes, cereals and granola Click here for Bob’s Red Mill products
- Annie’s: snacks, cereals, mac and cheese, and other kid friendly foods Click here for more info on Annie’s
Look for products with as few ingredients as possible, or with more ingredients that you can pronounce than you cannot pronounce.
You do not need a chemical food additive encyclopedia to eat well, although I know you may feel like you do. It is time to #StopTheHysteria over food. Be sensible. Eating well is not complicated. Focus on eating real, whole, natural food, and then when you do eat processed foods, it will have little to no impact on your health. You can do it!!!!
Never hesitate to reach out with questions. My email is Caitlin@SmartBellyNutrition.com