When it comes to diet, many people want to improve, but at the same time find themselves flustered and confused as to how they can. Given that there’s constantly new health food advice being put out on an almost daily basis, it’s easy to see how people can give up on trying to eat healthier.
Most dietary changes begin in the supermarket when you’re actually grabbing the food that will be in front of you the rest of the week. If you put great food in your basket, you’ll have great food at home. If you put crap food in the basket, you’ll be eating junk when you get home. Here’s some of the quick and easy tips I start patients out with when they’re looking to make a switch (Well, maybe “easy” in that they’re easy to remember).
- Stay to the outside of the supermarket. This is where all the fresh, real foods are typically placed in stores. The boxed foods or frozen meals aren’t doing you any favors.
- Limit the ingredients lists as much as possible. Ideally, the foods we buy at the store should have one ingredient – “banana,” “chicken,” “spinach” – whatever that food actually is! The ingredients list should never look like a short novel with the majority of the ingredients being words you can’t pronounce.
- If it can stay in your pantry for years, it’s probably a bad choice. If it’s fresh food that can go bad in a week, it’s probably a good choice. This is similar to the last tip in that you want to avoid foods that are loaded with extra preservatives. Real foods will spoil if you take too long to eat them, but they are where you’ll get the most benefits from your diet.
- Get rid of the pop and other sugary drinks. A 12oz can of any of the more popular soda brands contain the equivalent of around 16-20 packets of sugar! It’s no wonder why diabetes and obesity is such a problem in this country! This one is often one of the toughest for patients to give up but it makes such a difference on their health when they do.
Dietary changes can be tough when you’re looking at the nitty-gritty details of “which foods are good and which are bad.” The tips listed above are meant to get you moving in the right direction, but are by no means a perfect place to stop any improvements. These tips will help push you towards healthier food sources with less added sugar and preservatives, but there’s always other ways to continue to improve your diet and health. If you have any questions, please call Falkner Family Chiropractic at (248) 620-8910