People who chew sugar-free gum after lunch consume 60 fewer calories during their afternoon snack, one study showed.read more
BY: Nancy Kalish
Are you stuck in a few bad eating habits? Spring is a great time to clean up your diet, starting at the supermarket. A few simple shopping tweaks can have a big impact, boosting your energy and overall health. Here’s what I tell my clients to remember when they go food shopping.
1. Say no to trans fat.
This manufactured fat raises bad cholesterol levels and lowers the good kind, hitting your heart with a double whammy.
Smart shopping strategy: Make sure the nutrition info panel lists “0 trans fat.” But even if the label says it contains no trans fat, the government still allows that designation for products with 0.5 gram per serving. So stay away from all products that list shortening or anything that is partially hydrogenated in the ingredients -- both clues to trans fat.
2. Scout for hidden sugar.
Besides sugar’s obvious connection to tooth decay, weight gain and diabetes, research links too much of the sweet stuff to Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, wrinkles and skin ageing. These are all reasons why the Australian Heart Foundation recommends limiting extra or “sometimes” foods that are high in sugar, such as sugar-sweetened soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit drinks, cordials, confectionery, sweet biscuits and cakes. However, it also recommends making your choices based on the total makeup of a food (i.e., look at what else a food offers nutritionally).
Smart shopping strategy: Check the nutrition panel of every packaged food you buy and keep track of your total grams each day.
3. Buy more brown foods.
I know you’ve heard how unhealthy white foods (breads, rice, cereals, etc.) are, but now it’s time to finally do something about it. Whole-grain (usually brown) foods are better for your heart and your digestive system, give you more lasting energy and help you stay full longer -- all features that aid in weight loss.
Smart shopping strategy: Look for foods that boast “100-percent whole grain” on the label. Anything less and it’s just a white food with some brown grain added for colouring.
4. Stay away from BPA.
Plastic food packaging often contains bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that can leach into food and that has been linked to cancer, reproductive problems, early puberty, and problems with brain development. The liners of many cans contain BPA as well.
Smart shopping strategy: This is another reason to buy fresh food that hasn’t been processed. If you can’t always do that, try to limit your exposure by buying food that is packaged in glass jars.
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