201311-coupland1In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have grocery stores. We would grow our own foods in nutrient-rich soils, raise our own chemical-free livestock and our bodies would be all the better for it. And while this is closer to how our Heavenly Father intended us to eat, we are unfortunately living in an era where man knows better.

So as we make our weekly trek up and down the aisles of our local grocery store, we are faced with thousands of well-marketed products, and the decision of which ones to buy. Is it nutritious; does it taste good; is it cheaper than the item next to it? Some products are strategically placed at eye level, and it is proven they are the ones purchased most often.

Learning to read labels and the product’s ingredients will help you to fill your cart wisely.

There are many foods that we should avoid, and none more popular than sugar. If you’ve never paid much attention to ingredients before, you will be astonished as to how many products contain sugar; and as one of its main ingredients. Sugar (along with high fructose corn syrup) is one of the most destructive foods we can consume. Chemically speaking, it is only one atom away from cocaine, and just as addictive. It does not contain any nutrients, protein, healthy fats or enzymes. What it does do is weaken our teeth and bones, wreak havoc with all of our vital organs, (especially the liver) and is one of the leading contributors to obesity that we see running rampant today. Evidence shows that 20 years after sugar is brought into any culture, there is an outbreak of diabetes. There is no such thing as a safe amount of sugar, look for foods without it. This does not mean switching to sugar-free foods that contain sweeteners as an alternative. Additives such as aspartame, splenda and saccharin are chemically-laden and are just as bad for your health.

Foods that have gone through a process of homogenization, such as margarine and homogenized milk, are altered to the point where it becomes harder for our body to process them. Part of the job of the digestive tract is to filter foods. The process of homogenization breaks foods down into smaller than normal particles, allowing them to slip through the protective filter and enter the bloodstream. This leads to inflammation and increases the risk of heart disease, cancer and many other sicknesses.

GMOs are foods that have been genetically modified, and they are making their way around the world, thanks mainly to a company called Monsanto. Their claim to fame is that genetically modified foods increase food production and grow more resilient and nutritious crops, and are completely safe to eat. Nothing could be further from the truth. The real reason for GMOs is for total world domination of the seed industry, and our health suffers because of it. Consumers continue to fight to have all foods containing GMO ingredients to say as such on their package, but to date it has been a losing battle. Some food companies, such as Nature’s Path, include a “No GMOs” label on all of their packages. These are the companies we should be supporting.

Organic foods, in their truest definition, means they are pesticide free. Unfortunately we have all discovered it is expensive to eat healthy, (I’m sure it has been designed that way for a reason), and organic foods definitely do cost more. But there are some fruits and vegetables that are listed on the “must buy organic” list, and this is due to their higher amounts of pesticide residue. These include apples, grapes, strawberries, celery, potatoes, spinach and cherry tomatoes. Unfortunately the word organic has been compromised nowadays with major food retailers; it can no longer be trusted to mean truly organic. Look for the “USDA Organic” or “Certified Organic” label. Incidentally huge conglomerates such as Pepsi, Kraft, etc. have bought up many of the smaller companies known for selling organic and all-natural foods and products. Burt’s Bees is now owned by Clorox, Coca-Cola owns Glaceau, (makers of “vitamin” water drinks loaded with sugar), Kellogg’s owns the Kashi company, and the list goes on and on. Knowing that the bigger conglomerates are only in business to make huge profits, (at the expense of our health), one would wonder about the integrity of any company under their control.

We should be careful when purchasing honey, a food that is so beneficial to us. It is said that most honey sold on shelves today actually contains very little honey. That makes you wonder what it is you are really eating. Be sure to support your local beekeeper and only buy unpasteurized honey to get its full benefits. Honey produced from your own area contains the immune properties needed for your body to adapt to its environment. This is helpful for allergy sufferers.

When buying fruit drinks, it is common to see “From concentrate” or “Not from concentrate” on the carton. “From concentrate” means the fruit drink has been heated to a high temperature, which causes the water in the fruit to evaporate. When ready for packaging, the water is added back in, but the nutritional quality is compromised. Actually most drinks are pasteurized, which also includes a heating process, therefore destroying most of its nutrients and essential digestive enzymes. All foods that have been pasteurized have a longer shelf life, but are nutritionally diminished. Some foods and drinks only go through a “flash pasteurization” process, which uses less heat; therefore most of the nutrient values remain intact.

And while the last item I’ll talk about isn’t food, I can’t stress enough that you buy toothpaste that is fluoride free. Despite what your friendly dentist tells you, fluoride is poison; it does not belong in your mouth. Fluoride is not something your body needs; nobody has a fluoride deficiency. It is effective as an insecticide and rat poison, let’s leave it at that.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and I don’t have any medical training. I am just an individual that researches information that other people have studied and proven to be effective, and I just pass that information on to you.