Welcome to the video series called, Are you smarter than . . . ?
The grocery store can be really confusing. You try to buy healthy things, but all the packaging and the ingredient labels are difficult to read. And who do you believe, anyway? Let me tell you this: food manufacturers spend billions of dollars to develop packaging to lure you in! You may think you're buying healthy things, but sadly, you may not be.
This series will help you navigate the grocery store, understand product packaging a little bit better, and make the best decisions for you and your family. Before we get started, I want to give you three rules and some advice.
In order to be successful with this, you need to ignore the nutrition "facts." Go straight to the ingredients list. It's kind of like lifting the hood of a car to look at the engine. This is the only way you can really see what's going on inside.
Ingredient Label Rules
- Avoid any foods with added sugar. Sugar is so inflammatory to our bodies. You don't need it!
- Avoid foods that have more than five ingredients. The more ingredients, the more processed the food typically is. Keep it simple!
- Avoid foods that have ingredients you can't pronounce or you don't know what they look like. If you can't visualize it or pronounce it, it most likely came from a lab and not the ground!
Baked Chips or Regular Chips?
Let's compare a bag of regular potato chips to the baked chips. You're probably thinking, "The baked ones are so much better!" Let's check out the ingredients list and see for ourselves!
The regular bag of chips have three ingredients: potatoes, vegetable oil, and salt. No added sugar, only three ingredients, and I know what each ingredient looks like, and I can pronounce them.
Now, let's look at a bag of baked chips: dried potatoes, corn starch, sugar, corn oil, salt, soy lecithin, and corn sugar. This has two different types of sugar, seven ingredients, and an ingredient I have no idea what it looks like.
Surprise! The baked version is the choice to keep on the shelf. It's highly processed, and these types of foods create inflammation and chronic diseases. No, thank you!
There's another thing we can look at. We know potatoes are a great source of vitamin C. When you look at the daily percentages of vitamin C, the regular chips have 10 percent of your daily allowance of vitamin C. That's not bad—there's still a little bit. The baked chips only have 4 percent. Clearly, the baked chips have more stuff in them that makes us sick and less nutrition to protect us from all the stuff that's added!
Is that the best choice?
Now, before you walk away thinking I'm telling you to eat a bag of chips, let's look at a plain potato. A regular potato has 45 percent of your daily vitamin C, and there's only one ingredient.
So remember: choose foods as close to nature as you can and avoid the ones with lots of ingredients and very little nutrition.
Congratulations! You are now smarter than a bag of potato chips!