How can you make better choices when going to the grocery store? Follow these 10 simple real food rules.
Real Food Rules
- Choose local/organic produce whenever possible.
This means the produce has been grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. If you can’t afford to buy all organic produce use the Dirty Dozen list to help you avoid the most contaminated. *Tip* when looking at a produce sticker, conventional produce starts with the number 4. Organic produce begins with a number 9 and genetically modified produce starts with a number 8.
- Opt for 100% whole wheat or whole grain products.
Look for the word “whole” in the ingredients. (i.e. whole wheat flour instead of just wheat flour).
- Choose foods that are NOT genetically modified.
Corn and soy are the 2 most genetically modified crops, so always buy organic when products contain either of these two ingredients.
- Do not buy foods that contain artificial ingredients, artificial flavors, dyes or preservatives.
- Choose sweeteners such as raw honey, 100% maple syrup, coconut sugar or stevia instead of white sugar. Dates also make a great natural sweetener.
- Drink water, tea, fresh pressed juices or whole food smoothies. Limit coffee. If you do enjoy coffee choose organic and fair trade.
- Shop local whenever possible.
Join a CSA or visit your local farmers market. Better yet, go straight to the farm. Take a look around, ask lots of questions and learn exactly what you are eating.
- Buy foods with 5 or less ingredients.
Make sure they are all ingredients you can pronounce and you would most likely have found in your great-grandmother’s pantry.
- If you choose to consume animal products, limit it to 1-2 times per week.
- Animal products:
-Grass fed meat is best as cows were designed to eat grass not corn.
-Buy meats that were raised without the use of antibiotics, growth hormones or other drugs.
-Avoid factory farmed meats.
-Wild caught fish.
-Eggs and chickens that are pasture raised.
Need more help figuring out how to eat real food? Start by making these simple real food swaps.
Until next time, keep it real.