Here’s a rule of thumb…
Eat more whole food!
This is a real eye-opener for most people. Can you believe that fast food restaurants were once non-existent? That food did not come prepackaged, boxed, frozen or canned? Try to picture it: Your great, grandma rolling up to a Dunkin Donuts drive thru and ordering a bacon, egg and cheese, a donut and a large caramel macchiato…
It’s hard to picture because it never happened. Another way to view it is our culture and generation has taken the easy way out. Do you know how to plant and harvest crops? I know I lack these skills (although I am working on a vegetable garden at home).
Here’s another rule of thumb: If a label is three ingredients or less, take it home with you (aka three ingredients or more, set it aside). I try to use this rule while I’m grocery shopping. Of course, if you can recognize the ingredients (all fruits or veggies, herbs and spices), your good to go. Example.
There are plenty of frozen, canned, packaged foods that are healthy for you! Just do some looking next time you’re at the grocery store.
I love to go out to eat, probably a little too much. I also eat canned, pre packaged, boxed and frozen foods. Even though I prefer fresh, whole foods, these things are impossible to avoid all together. My goal is to always balance it out. If I know I am going to eat out for dinner, my lunch will usually consist of fruits, veggies, lean proteins or salad. If I prepare boxed rice for dinner, I aim to make plain rice another day. Everything in moderation seems to be the key for me.
Stacey Orner, RD