Do You Know If Your Food Is Actually Healthy?

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By Janet Early

In this age of sneaky food marketing and contradictory health claims, it can be really difficult to tell whether or not what you are buying is actually good for you.

But there are simple tricks that you can use to make sure that you are fueling your body with the best quality money can buy!

#1. SKU Number

The SKU number is the number on the little sticker that comes on your produce. Besides being irritating, they can actually tell you a lot about the quality of your fruits and veggies.

If the SKU number starts with:

  • 9 = Organic – Ideal choice
  • 3 or 4 = Conventionally grown – Okay option
  • 8 = Genetically modified (GMO) or irradiated – Avoid always!

When should you buy ORGANIC instead of CONVENTIONAL?

It is optimal to buy everything organic to limit the amount of toxins you expose yourself to. But, we get it, organic ain’t cheap! So the best rule of thumb is to stick to the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean Fifteen.”

The “Dirty Dozen”: The food items below have been found to have the greatest presence of pesticides among all produce.

  1. Apples
  2. Peaches
  3. Nectarines
  4. Strawberries
  5. Grapes
  6. Celery
  7. Spinach
  8. Sweet Bell Peppers
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cherry tomatoes
  11. Imported snap peas
  12. Potatoes

The “Clean Fifteen”: The food items below have been found to be the most unlikely to contain traces of pesticides.

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Frozen sweet peas
  6. Onions
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Kiwis
  11. Eggplant
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Sweet potatoes

Takeaway: Buy organic as often as possible, but most importantly, only buy organic versions of the “Dirty Dozen” foods.

#2. Sourcing

The interest in knowing where our food came from before we eat it is higher than ever, thanks to health-conscious people like you! As a result, there are all sorts of new labels such as “Grass-fed,” “Wild Caught” and “Pasture-raised.” They are great, but they can be super confusing.

This chart breaks down the labels into easy, digestible pieces of info!

42.1

42.2

#3. Number Of Ingredients

Sometimes when you look at a list of ingredients, it is like you are reading the periodic table of elements… except with even more terms! Push that chemically-manipulated food product back up on the shelf where it belongs!

You are too good for it because you know that the fewer the ingredients, the better!

In fact, quality health food products have increased their success by proving just how few ingredients they have! The fewer things that are in your food, the easier it is to avoid toxins, blood-sugar-spiking sugars and sneaky codenames for hazardous ingredients.

Concerned about the taste of foods with only 6 ingredients? Don’t be! I can testify that some of the tastiest things I have ever eaten come from recipes with ingredients like dates, cashew butter, chia seeds, cacao, seeds and natural fruit juices.

I challenge you to go to your local health food store this week and buy something with fewer than 10 ingredients. It will taste wonderful and do powerful work for your overall health, energy levels and satiety.

Have any other great tips for spotting healthy foods? Or do you have other concerns about how to identify if something is good for you? Comment below – we’d love to connect with you!

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Janet Early

Janet Early

Janet Early is a health enthusiast living in Los Angeles and working as a researcher for a major television company. An aspiring writer, Janet discovered her passion for wholesome nutrition and natural healing while navigating the struggles of balancing food sensitivities in a modern world. In addition to nutrition, she enjoys traveling, storytelling and embarking on daily adventures.
Janet Early

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