I suppose we all want to have a healthy life because we would get sick less often, we would have more energy, we would feel better … but I think that not all of us can get there either because of stress, obligations, lack of time, etc. And if we add poor eating habits it is a total disaster for our bodies, and for the mind too.
Trying to change habits is also difficult, but little by little things can be done to help. Limiting unhealthy products in our pantry is one of the most important steps we can take if we seek to improve our eating habits.
It seems silly but if you have your pantry full of cookies, cereals with too much sugar, processed and ultra-processed food, does not help us to stop consuming them, no matter how much we say we will only eat it “from time to time” we end up eating them more often than we want.
I have an example of what I have done with the famous and delicious Nutella in my house. Years ago I bought it whenever it was about to run out so that there would always be Nutella. Then I started buying less often, and I prepared homemade nutella, it was not what my children wanted but it did not seem so bad as a substitute. Each time I bought it less often. Then one day I did not buy it anymore, and we do not need it. If my children want to eat a crepe with nutella they eat it as a special dessert in a restaurant, but they do not eat it in their daily routine, they eat homemade peanut butter, almond cream, homemade nutella … The idea is to avoid temptation by not having too many unhealthy things in our pantry.
The question now is how do we know what is healthy or less healthy, especially with all the advertising which tends to misinform and sell products as healthy when they are not. And, on the other hand, the tradition of what we eat makes us repeat patterns, we tend to eat without thinking whether that food is healthy or nutritious.
Now I’m going to give you a list of clues or advice that we should look for in the things we buy to fill our pantry:
- The majority of your shopping should be fruits and vegetables.
- When buying processed products you have to read their ingredients and look for those that have fewer ingredients. If the first or second ingredient on the list is sugar it’s surely not a healthy product. The WHO recommends consuming less than 25g of sugar a day (it’s an average).
- Look for whole-grain products, but check that they have more than 70% wholemeal so that it is truly whole. This applies to bread, pasta, etc.
- Include legumes.
- Nuts and seeds.
- Avoid light and dietetic products that tend to add harmful sweeteners.
- Avoid processed juices, soft drinks and energy drinks. Also, avoid chocolate milk.
- Minimize sausages and processed meats.
The truth is that it’s very annoying to read labels, but when you do it a couple of times you already know if that product is worthy of your pantry or not, and if you decide to buy it despite not being healthy at least you do it knowing that, it’s like when you eat a cake with a lot of cream and chocolate … you know it’s not healthy but you decided to eat it, that’s not the same as eating something thinking that it helps your health because the packaging and the publicity makes you believe that.
Little by little you will be making the list of products suitable for your family, the amount of junk products they sell is so big it is easier to make the list of those who do pass the test.
I’ll stop here for today because there is too much information on this subject, but I had to start somewhere.
Have a great day,