3. Don’t buy just on price. There’s no question that we’re all getting squeezed in the food budget, food prices are rising. But processed foods are more expensive and in more ways than one. Americans eat 31 percent more packaged food than fresh food, more than people in nearly all other countries. A good chunk of our diet is ready-to-eat meals, like frozen pizzas and sweet/salty snack foods with large amounts of fat, salt and sugar. We’ve not only become addicted to these, the studies show they lead to higher rates of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Here’s a Tip: If you see a really, really low price for a food product like olive oil that’s much cheaper than the other oils on the same shelf, that’s a pretty good flag that it could contain inferior ingredients.
4. Get out of the “eating out” habit? Today, Americans spend 49 cents of every food dollar on food eaten outside the home, where we consume 30 percent of our calories. That includes take-out food. But unlike packaged supermarket products, restaurant food IS NOT required to be labeled.
With the exception of a few back corner nutritional charts in fast food outlets and the new wave of local and healthy chefs whose menus proudly identify the Byler farm producing their organic beef, restaurants do not and absolutely do not have to list ingredients in their dishes. This is a great place to hide cheaper ingredients and non-nutritive enhancers, such as additives like MSG which ramp up the flavor.