Lest you think this came easy for me… This is what my diet looked like 8.5 years ago. This is also how I described my diet at the time: “I eat pretty good.” I thought most of this was good and the weekly crunch wraps with 10+ packs of mild sauce and whatever else I ordered and other brought it down a notch, making it just “pretty good.”
I only read the front of the package except for turning the package over to check calories. I beloved phrases like “low fat,” “low calorie,” “0 trans fat,” and “whole grain” meant I was making good choices for my health. I even added more veggies to my top ramen and mac & cheese, because … health! And look at those carrot and celery sticks, for cryin’ out loud. Overachiever. I did care about my health. I just didn’t know better.
After a major health scare I learned to turn the package over and read the INGREDIENTS. Really read them. What I found there changed my life forever. And I finally began to have improved health! The front of the package proclaimed health while the ingredients lists were lengthy and included many things I’d never have chosen to put in my food. Ao much sugar. Crappy oils. MSG. Dyes. Cornstarch in the yogurt. Tons of preservatives and emulsifiers. I had become numb to and just expected that ingredients lists should be a mile long and include things I didn’t recognize. I started choosing items with more while food ingredients instead. I started paying attention to what I was feeding my body.
When I started looking at how much SUGAR is in things?! Fat free usually means extra sugar, by the way. I was so proud of my smoothie choice having no clue it may have been 3 times the amount of sugar I should have in an entire day. Yikes.
I had to unlearn and learn anew.
Ingredients matter. The teams of people making health claims on the front of a package and in ads cannot fool us if we choose to read ingredients for ourselves. The health claims have shifted over the years, and they are crafty and sneaky. Organic doesn’t necessarily equate to healthy any more than gluten free, natural, or any of the other popular buzz words. Put that thang down, flip it, and reverse it. It’s what’s inside that counts. ✨