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Grocery shopping

The Three Biggest Grocery Shopping Mistakes

Saturday, January 03, 2009 by: Ellen Holder
Tags: grocery shopping, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) A peek into the grocery carts of many families shopping at their neighborhood supermarkets is telling. As we watch prescription drug use, obesity rates, childhood diseases, and other health problems reach epidemic proportions we need look no further than these shopping carts for a glimpse into the nation's health crisis. It is not a conservative estimate to say that half of the prescription drugs today could be eliminated just by fixing the three most common mistakes people make when shopping for food.

Mistake #1: Spending Too Much Time in the Aisles
The worst place you can go in any supermarket is in the aisles. The aisles of any grocery store, large or small, are filled with processed, chemical-laden foods in cardboard boxes. Keep the focus of your shopping trip on the produce, refrigerated and frozen sections; venture into the middle aisles only if you have a something specific on your list you must pick up (i.e. organic brown rice). Don't linger in the aisle! Marketing hype on all the boxes lures many, leading to the next mistake.

Mistake #2: Reading Nutrition Labels
On the front of many packages are claims like "healthy", "fat-free", "sugar-free" and "low calorie". These are simply marketing statements to lure you in. The real crime is the nutrition statement. Too many people rely on this little box of information for making their purchasing decisions, thinking that if the calories or fat grams are low or there are a lot of vitamins listed they are making a wise choice. Let's set things straight. Adding chemical sweeteners or other synthetic ingredients to lower the fat, sugar or calorie count does not make something healthier. You are taking risks with your life by consuming these chemical additives. The only information of any importance is the ingredient listing. If you don't understand what each and every ingredient is, leave it on the shelf!

Mistake #3: Overlooking the Organics
There is a reason for many of the synthetically added vitamins in food today. Not only does the processing strip many of the natural vitamins, but many crops grown today on conventional commercial farms are grown in soil that has been depleted. Synthetic vitamins will never take the place of whole, organic foods rich in natural vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that we are just beginning to understand. Organic produce and products are not just a luxury or novelty. They are a necessity for good health, not just in avoiding chemical pesticides but for the nutrients they provide that conventionally grown counterparts cannot hold a candle to.

Also, products containing many ingredients, such as corn or soy, may be made from genetically modified or transgenic seeds. It is estimated that up to 90% of all soy grown and up to half of all corn is transgenic. These "frankenfoods", as they are sometimes called, will not be identified as such on ingredient labels. Buying organic is one way to assure you are avoiding transgenic foods. These genetically modified organisms (GMOs) may end up being the biggest environmental disaster, and possibly health disaster, of our lifetime. A human experiment being carried out in gigantic proportions and putting entire populations at risk is like a genie that has been let out of bottle. Only it's doubtful any wishes will be granted.

The key to good health has always been tied to diet and exercise. Watching what you eat has been completely distorted over the years in getting people hyper-conscious of things like fat grams and fiber content. The old food pyramid still drives many people to base their diet around processed grains. When many people are lucky to consume at least one serving of fresh fruit or veggie each day, the lifestyle switch to making these foods the mainstay of their diet seems daunting. But the key begins at the grocery store! If you are stocking your home with right things and leaving the tempting, convenience foods behind at the store, you will slowly work your way to not only changing your taste buds to appreciate what nature provides, but improving your overall health too.

About the author

Ellen Holder is a health advocate, blogger and co-founder of Caren, an online store for natural, organic and synthetic chemical free skin care products. http://www.carenonline.com and http://www.carensblog.com

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