When it comes to eating healthily, it’s not as simple as good food and bad food.
Some items are of course better for your body than others, but for the most part, it is all about eating in moderation. For example, chocolate isn’t inherently bad for you. In fact, there are many health benefits, but if you’re eating 12 Mars bars every single day, you’re not going to feel great.
Additives and preservatives are another grey area. A lot of the food you buy from the grocery store contains synthetic substances that aren’t found in nature. These are generally incorporated to enhance the flavour of certain products, maintain the right texture, or increase shelf life. Sweeteners, emulsifiers, anti-caking agents, and food colouring are all examples of food additives.
Studies on the health impacts of these substances have proliferated in recent years, and evidence suggests they play a big part in restricting hormones and increasing the risk of obesity, particularly in children. While eating the occasional microwave meal won’t make a huge difference, it is a good idea to reduce your intake as much as possible in favour of a more natural diet.
To get you started, here are five easy ways to eliminate food additives from your diet.
Always read the ingredients
Whenever you buy products at the grocery store, always check the packaging to see if it contains additives. Many manufacturers create all-natural products, and you can usually find a healthier version of the food you normally eat. Shops like Whole Foods are excellent places to find additive-free produce.
The freshest food is always likely to be the healthiest, whether it’s fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, bread, or cheese. It will be all-natural and free of unnecessary additives. Shop local where you can, as it will reduce the amount of time it takes to arrive on your plate.
Prepare your own
The most effective way to reduce your intake of additives is to prepare your food. Rather than buying things like microwave meals or canned soups, it is perfectly easy to make them yourself with fresh products. Find a nutritious recipe online and create a delicious meal from scratch. Or order a juice press from goodnature.com and make OJ without any of the bad stuff. Not only will you benefit from eating fewer synthetic products, but your meals will be a lot cheaper too.
Be careful with plastic
When you heat food in plastic packaging or containers, there is a risk that harmful chemicals could leak from the plastic into your meal. To avoid this hazard, always wash Tupperware and plastic utensils by hand rather than in the dishwasher. If using the microwave, heat your food in ceramic dishes.
Make simple swaps
Sometimes all it takes is a few simple swaps in your diet to drastically reduce your additive intake. Remove artificial foodstuffs and find more natural alternatives. For example, replace artificial sweeteners with natural ones such as honey or maple syrup, and use butter instead of margarine.