Monday, November 1, 2010

Money Wasters in the Food Budget

High-fructose corn syrup for saleImage by Steven Vance via Flickr

There are certain items when cutting my food budget down to it's minimum I eliminated due to there non-existent nutritional value, not to mention their questionable harm to my family's bodies. Eliminating these 4 categories reduced our pre-packaged food intake thus reducing our overall cost!
  1. "Corn sugar" or high fructose corn syrup. Research indicates it is a factor in metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Why would I spend money on something that will harm me? I discovered when I started religiously reading food labels that it is in snickers bars! The accountant was disappointed. I was horrified when I found it in bread, pastries, candy, soda, cookies, ice cream, hot chocolate and so forth. If it was prepackaged, it was probably in it. 
  2. Artificial sweeteners such as splenda, aspartame, equal, sucralose. These are chemicals. Why would I put them in my body?Especially with their links to cancer. I stick to Stevia, honey, brown rice syrup, blackstrap molasses, and cane sugar.
  3. Funny colors-food dyes have been linked to ADHD, brain tumors in mice, allergies, behavioral issues. This can be a difficult one to avoid. I have even found it in some balsamic vinegars! Read those labels carefully!
  4. What I like to call "mystery ingredients". Things I can't pronounce or feel I need a chemistry book to decipher. If I can't pronounce it I probably don't want it in my body. Besides I wouldn't put it in something I cooked at home! If I don't know what it is, I don't know what it will do to my body. My body wasn't designed to eat it!
I am a ingredient list reader and PROUD of it! Are there any other items out there that you my readers recommend staying away from? 
I don't avoid all pre-packaged food but by adhering to the list above I avoid most of them. Some "healthy" pre-packaged quick foods that I keep on hand for snacks are:
Organic potato and tortilla chips. They have three or four ingredients and I know what they are.

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  1. I try really hard to stay away from Ultra-pasterized dairy products. I'm with you...I read those labels when buying yogurt, cheese, whip cream, cream cheese,etc.

  2. I stay clear of all hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. If it is in a package and doesn't have high fructose it is likely to have a hydrogenated oil! YUCK!

  3. I am a firm believer that you will learn more about what you're eating by reading the ingredients than the nutrition 'facts'. I basically do what you do with the "mystery ingredients". Ick. I love your point about not adding those ingredients to home cooked food!

  4. wow they really sell high fructose corn syrup in a bottle? I've never seen it anywhere here in the uk, thank God!

  5. Ditto on high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils and anything I cannot pronounce! I am sometimes excited to find regular old sugar on a label - better than the chemical stuff! Corn syrup is in everything! Makes me feel like the guys at the end of the documentary King Corn, who take their acre of corn farm and just let grass grow because they are disgusted with how much corn products get in our diets!!



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