Zero-calorie, gluten-free, fat-free, vegan.
So many people are more concerned with what’s NOT in their food than what IS in it!
Does it really matter that your faux cheese has no trace of anything derived from animals or wheat, when it’s ingredient list looks more like a chemistry thesis paper?
Let’s think about this logically…
The way I like to look at it, is…Can you go outside and find this item in nature? Then it’s real food. Meant for consumption. Ideally, every food item you buy would only have one ingredient, itself. However, there are certainly times when you need convenience, in which case I urge you to carefully read the ingredient list. Do all of the ingredients naturally occur on the Earth? Are these the ingredients you would use to make a home made version? Or, as a lot of people like to ask: “are all the ingredients things that Grandma would recognize”? which is a pretty good rule of thumb.
Do not get so caught up in Calories, Fat Grams, Carbs, Sodium, blah blah blah. Simply stated, checking the “Nutrition Facts” is a waste of time.
The big companies have gotten extremely good at tricking us into thinking their products are healthy. Gluten free, All-Natural, Low Fat, well DAMN! This is surely a snack my doctor would recommend. “Diet” and “Light” are terms often used to make people think they are making healthier choices. But please think for yourself and actually read the ingredients.
For example, the peanut butter I buy has 2 ingredients: roasted peanuts and salt (exactly what I would use to make a home made version, if my time was abundant). Contrastingly, Jif peanut butter is MADE FROM ROASTED PEANUTS AND SUGAR, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: MOLASSES, FULLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OILS (RAPESEED AND SOYBEAN), MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, SALT. Sure, it’s vegan. Gluten-free too. But that does not make it right! Recently they’ve come out with Jif Natural (which I’m sure has tricked thousands) that is MADE FROM PEANUTS, SUGAR, PALM OIL, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, MOLASSES (Source: www.jif.com). Completely un-necessary, and only slightly more “natural”. I know that all of the ingredients naturally occur on the Earth, but the addition of sugar to every food product is one of our nation’s largest problems. Keep an extremely watchful eye on added sugars. They are everywhere.
The first time you go to the grocery store (with no time constraints), and browse through the ingredient lists of your (once) favourite foods, you will be absolutely shocked.
It is SO possible to make easy and delicious meals at home using only ingredients that are one ingredient (themselves). Try not to feel overwhelmed. We are so used to “convenience” foods like grab-and-go pop tarts, but do you know what is naturally grab-and-go? Fruit!
It is only during recent history that our concept of “food” has transitioned from what you would find at a Farmer’s Market to what you would find in the “Grocery” aisle of Walgreens. For millions of years, humans had figured out a way to feed themselves without microwave pop corn and hamburger helper, so I am confident that you can do it too!
*Disclaimer: of course, if you are allergic to wheat or dairy, or have an ethical stance against animal products, you will know to avoid these things. But please, don’t settle for engineered wanna-be versions.