If you haven’t watched “MAN UP!” Episode 2 yet (above), I talked about the lies that grocery suppliers are telling to consumers. Because we have begun to become more knowledgeable about junk food VS healthy food, suppliers have jumped on board the “health train” and will purposely deceive consumers into thinking that something is healthy for them when in reality it isn’t. It’s why you’ve seen terms such as “low-fat,” “fat-free,” “low-sugar,” “sugar-free,” “natural,” “multigrain,” and “made with whole grains” pop up everywhere within the past 10 years. Really, it’s made it tougher for us who are looking to be healthy to purchase healthy food. You have to really have a lot of knowledge to understand what is healthy VS not healthy anymore. In the examples above, you might be surprised to learn that “natural” and “multigrain” are not regulated at all, meaning suppliers can use those terms freely to describe whatever they want. So whenever you see these terms used, run in the other direction. With the other examples above, when something says “low-fat” on it, it doesn’t mean that it’s not loaded with sugar, and vice versa. All of these terms are used to trick consumers.
But there are some things that you can do.
(1) Shop at your local organic grocery store. My wife and I shop at a place called Earth Fare, where everything is certified organic. Just a word of caution, though, just because it uses organic ingredients doesn’t mean it’s that great for you. For example, there might be products that contain 60 grams of unprocessed cane sugar. In the end, organic shopping is the best route because it eliminates added chemicals and toxins, but you still have to watch your macros.
(2) Check the label and ingredient list. When we shop, we always turn the product around to check the ingredient list and label. If we find something that has a massive ingredient list with words that we’ve never even heard of before, we put it right back on the shelf. Most organic products, though, contain a very short ingredient list that contains words you have probably heard of before. From personal experience, the shorter the ingredient list, the healthier for you. That’s not always the case, of course, but most of the time it is.
(3) This goes along with #2, but stay away from anything that has dyes or preservatives in it. Dyes especially are linked to many health issues. If we pick up a product that has Red #40, for example, we put it right back on the shelf. You’ve got to understand that companies purposely use dyes to make the products look more appealing. Just because it’s more vibrant doesn’t mean it’s healthier. Some other dyes to completely avoid are Blue #2, Red #3, Yellow #5, and Yellow #6.
(4) If you’re going to purchase breads and pastas, stay away from “multigrain” and stick with “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat.” Ezekiel Bread is another great alternative for bread. If you stay away from gluten like I do, you can even move to brown rice pasta, which I think is actually better tasting than regular pasta anyways.
If you go to my YouTube (–> Josh Spencer’s YouTube Channel <–), and subscribe, I have been posting all of the episodes on there. I’ve got a lot of great future episodes planned. If you know of any family members or friends that you think will find this helpful, have them subscribe as well. If you have any questions, email me at Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com.