The importance of keeping a nutrition log for increasing eating awareness is a well known fact. This can be accomplished by using a fancy app on your phone, a notebook kept on your kitchen counter, snapping a picture of your meals, or using one of Get Fit NH's food log books.
But what about keeping a journal of all the ingredients you eat.
Let me explain more with an example.
If you eat an apple and natural (unroasted or no-salt added) almonds for a snack, you'd simply write: 1. Apple 2. Almonds
Just 2 ingredients .
On the other hand, if you eat a Krispy Kreme doughnut, you'd write (better make sure your pencil is extra sharp):
1. Enriched white flour contains
2. bleached white flour
4. Reduced Iron
5. Thiamine Mononitrate
7. Folic Acid
9.Vegetable Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil)
14. Egg Yolks,
15. Vital Wheat Gluten
17. Nonfat Milk
18. Yeast Nutrients
19. Calcium Sulfate
20. Ammonium Sulfate,
21. Dough Conditioners
22. Calcium Dioxide
23. Monocalcium Phosphate
24. Dicalcium Phosphate
25. Diammonium Phosphate
26. Sodium Stearoyl-2-Lactylate
29. Ascorbic Acid
30. Sodium Bicarbonate
31. Calcium Carbonate
36. Calcium Propionate (Preservative)
37. Cellulose Gum
38. Malted Barley Flour
39. Natural Flavors
40. Artificial Flavors
44. Corn Maltodextrin
45. Corn Syrup Solids
46. BHT (to Help Protect Flavor)
Glaze Contains: 47. Sugar 48. Water 49. Corn Starch 50. Calcium Carbonate 51. Calcium Sulfate 52. Agar 53. Dextrose 54.Locust Bean Gum 55. Disodium Phosphate 56. Sorbitan 57. Monostearate 58. Mono 59. Diglycerides 60. Artificial Flavor 61. Salt.
Which do you think is better for you?
Makes you think twice about the doughnut, huh? Of course few people eat JUST a doughnut during the day. You'd have to then add in everything else you eat/drink during that meal too and then the rest of the day.
Aim to eat foods with 5 or less ingredients. While we don't know what most additives do to us in the long run at this time, the less junk we can put in our body, especially of ingredients we can't pronounce, the better. What if you went to your doctor for surgery and he said "Well, I really don't know how this will work in the long run, but heck, why not give it a whirl..."
We don't really know if this is going to have an effect on your body in the long run... Um, I'd rather play it safe than wait and see to find out. So if you are a bit too reliant on packaged and processed food, give it a try. Take a look at all you're eating and drinking and write it down daily! If your hand starts to cramp from too much writing by lunchtime, maybe it’s time to switch up your foods!
To Your Best Health,