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WARNING: Look at Food Labels Before You Buy.

My mom always said, “Your health is your wealth.” She knew what she was talking about!

For years I have been looking at labels before I buy anything at the supermarket. The shorter the number of ingredients, the more words I recognize as food and the less syllables in each ingredient, usually the better it is for me. So whenever I saw “natural flavoring” and “citric acid,” I figured those were pretty harmless—natural ingredients and vitamin C, right? Nope, Jill, whose child is on a special “clean eating” diet, informs me these ingredients are not healthy. If I see MSG, I don’t buy it.  But natural and citric seemed like they meant healthy.  So it was pretty disappointing to find that ingredients that seem like they could be healthy are not.

I looked it up—the definition of natural flavors. “The ribonucleotide food additives disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate are usually used with monosodium glutamate-containing ingredients. However, the term “natural flavor” is used by the food industry for glutamic acid (chemically similar to MSG, lacking only the sodium ion).” For the record, the official FDA conclusion is that it is safe. According to those I have met, they have a severe reaction to it in foods. You decide what is best for you and your family.

Then I looked up citric acid.   “Citric acid used to be made from fruit.  Now it’s more commonly made from feeding sugars to black mold and processed using sulfuric acid. Citric acid is in just about all processed foods. It’s also often found in kitchen cleaners, and does a great job removing mineral deposits from chrome.” See this site for its take on citric acid: Again, the official FDA conclusion is it is safe.

It is pretty distressing to learn that estrogen is put into animal feed so they grow larger and faster. I stopped eating meat years ago, but many eat meat regularly. When I look at children who seem rather large for their age and meet girls who start showing signs of maturing in early elementary school, I can only wonder if it’s due to the additives put into food: milk, beef, chicken, pork, etc. The heavy consumption of meat in the fast food restaurants that millions of families frequent.

Okay, so I am starting to buy more organic even if it does cost more. I usually choose eggs from cage free chickens, but today I went a step further and bought organic eggs. I wanted to buy mayonnaise, but not one brand in the large grocery store I was in had simply natural ingredients. I’ll wait to make potato salad until I find better mayonnaise or make it myself.

It’s a shame that to eat well today, you have to become a nutrition expert or health researcher to discover what is healthy or not.

Disclaimer: Nothing said in any of my health related conversations on my blog is meant as health advice or absolute fact. What is here is my opinion at the time of this writing. I welcome your comments and am willing to keep learning about healthy living. Healthy tips welcomed. Discover what is healthy for you. If you are ill, always, find the best doctor you can and take his or her advice to get better. If there is more you can do to stay healthy, please find out and help yourself.

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