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Fit For Life: Grocery Store Bingo

Sunday, September 03, 2017

 

With the entrance of Amazon into the grocery store world by purchasing Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck), and 24 hour or less delivery of groceries, one can expect to see other grocery stores revving up their competitive efforts – whether that will be lower prices, more farm-to-table in RI, or other attractive campaigns, you will see it sooner than later.

What does this mean for shopping healthier and wiser?  The good news is – it might be a little bit more affordable – and accessible, particularly for those who can’t get out to shop often because of health or job and family commitments.  But!  The basics of healthy eating and food purchasing are still going to apply.

Nine out of ten times people tell me that they eat "pretty well". They are not telling me this because they are trying to lie to me, but due to false marketing and media claims, they are disillusioned into thinking they are eating healthy.  That is until I have them do a detailed log of 4-5 days’ worth of eating in a diary, and I give them my analysis, and tell them the truth about what the food they are consuming is doing or not doing to reach their goal, and the answer is always the same: “I don't eat as well as I thought.”  So, here is a list of what are the most common things people think are healthy foods, but really aren’t.

First, low fat dairy. There are numerous reasons why dairy isn't healthy, but to simplify: It is a highly-processed food that is both inflammatory and high glycemic. This is due to the process of pasteurization and homogenization, where milk is heated to sterilize it, then filtered to remove the fat globules, and because heat kills nutrients and damages the proteins and probiotics, it then needs to be fortified with synthetic man made vitamins and minerals to replace the damage done during processing. Your body now recognizes this as an invader, not as a real nutrient dense food, thus causing inflammation and disruption in the digestive tract. By removing all the fat, there is nothing for the villi in the lining in the intestines to bind to that would slow the absorption into the blood stream and allow the body to break down the nutrients and utilize them, thus making it as high glycemic as sugar and water. Not an ideal food to stabilize blood sugar. Opt for raw or organic full fat dairy, if you need to have it. It is a better and more satisfying choice.

Soy.  Another highly marketed food that has people brainwashed into thinking it’s a health food is - soy. Not only is soy a neurotoxin, and most soy consumed is genetically modified, it is also a component that mimics estrogen. This causes hormonal disruption, but research indicates that it causes early puberty in infants given soy-based formulas.  Women can experience menstrual irregularities, while men can experience lower testosterone due to elevated estrogen production.  Unless soy is organic and fermented it contains heavy levels of phytates.  Phytates support nature by not allowing a seed, nut or grain to germinate until the environment has just the right amount of water and warmth to support life.  The phytates do this by blocking enzyme (life) activity. Once the environment reaches the conditions for optimal survival, the phytates actively break down and the enzymatic processes trigger life to begin. Phytates are also mineral blockers and have been found to block absorption of zinc, calcium, selenium, iron and other minerals when consumed by humans. Even minor iron deficiencies can lead to fatigue, lethargy, poor athletic performance, a weakened immune system and learning disabilities. These facts should be enough to avoid this stuff, but if you google this info, you will find much more.

Gluten-free.  Another product tainted by the food industry are gluten-free products. Yes, I am a big advocate of avoiding gluten whenever possible (even if you do not have celiac, because most products containing gluten have little or no nutritional value, and is considered just empty calories in my book. Gluten (like phytates) also blocks the absorption of beneficial nutrients. Reason enough to avoid, with the price of good food what it is. So just like the fat free craze of the 90's, big manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon and flooding the market with gluten free products. Even without the gluten these products are highly processed, and now contain extra sugars, fillers, binding agents, and a whole host of ingredients you can't pronounce. Mainly because of this, and because gluten free products don’t taste that great, my advice is to avoid all processed foods as much as possible, and on occasion, or if in a jam, just eat the real thing, but don't make a habit of it.

Drinks.  The last item I want to shed light on is flavored and or sports drinks. If you want to add quick pounds around your waist, start drinking your calories, or should I call it what it is – liquid chemicals. Think about what they give underweight patients and babies.  Concentrated liquid calories. Look at heavy beer drinkers, very few are thin, because it is easy to drink mass amounts of calories in a short amount of time.  Look at the label on sports drinks and juices and calculate the per serving calories you are consuming. Now realize that intense activity burns about 10 calories per minute.  Now, do the math.  Most are disguised as nutritional by inserting words such as “electrolyte, minerals, vitamins, 100% fruit, and protein”, when in all actuality you are drinking pasteurized, sugar added junk food.  Unless you are juicing at home and you know all the ingredients, stay away from this stuff. If it says low or zero calories it’s even worse for you because it is all carbonated chemicals. And if its electrolytes you are looking for, just add a pinch of sea salt to your water. Electrolytes require minerals such as sodium, not sugar.

Keep a diary.  You’ll be surprised what foods you are eating, as well as what foods you are missing. Don’t trust labels…read the back of the packages, and avoid the front health claims.  Learn more about what you put in your body and be skeptical about health claims.  As with more things in life, there are few easy solutions.

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. 

 

Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun

MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

Prev Next

MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit

JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

Strava

Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

YogaStudio

YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

Prev Next

SimplyBeing

SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

Fooducate

Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android

 
 

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