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Can You Be Nutrition Wise?

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Nutrition Wise : Everything You Need To Know.


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Nutrition is a buzzword that we get bombarded with daily to tell us how and what to eat.
And there with so many choices and information, we end up throwing up our hands in resignation.

Then we are right back to square one. Albeit with a little more weight on the scale, frustrated and with no direction.

Let’s cut through the smoke and mirrors and learn how to become nutrition wise so you can make informed decisions about your food each time you are in the grocery store.

Also to help you out I’ve included an implementation score to help you decide your level of actionable change.

FOOD HEALTH CLAIMS


Our money is precious. We all work hard to cover our basic needs, a major one being food.

Many of us want healthy, flavorful food that will provide energy.

And food industries spend large sums of money on data trends to know what will entice you to buy their product.

Here for example are some of the claims you will see on your favorite products:
Nutrition Health Claims Wordle BGGBH
Let’s dig a little deeper.

  1. ORGANIC
  2. 100 Percent Organic Stamp

    Organic. I love me some organic foods. Why? Because in proper stewardship, we are purchasing produce that is grown without chemicals, more nutrients, and less of a burden on the eco-system.

    However, because organic certification can be costly some ways that corners can be cut is using hybrid seed.

    From what I have researched there is no such creature as Organic GMO vegetables (or so they say.) So just keep this in mind when adding organic vegetables to your cart.

    HOW DOES IT SCORE?

    Implementation Difficulty Score: 4 out of 5.

    This one is tough mainly because hybrid see allows for uniformity to make it pretty on the shelf. Natural hybrids (crosses made by nature ‘in the wild’) are fine because they retain nutrients and allow for natural insect protection.

    Laboratory bred hybrid seeds take the best traits, like size, and taste and take out the ‘bad’ traits such as susceptibility to blight.

    But like GMO’s, there isn’t definitive data on the long-term effects of eating lab bred hybrids.
    So to make life easier, if you can’t plant it yourself go local. Find a local farmer in your neck of the woods that sells organic and/or organic heirloom produce. You receive fresher, nutrient dense, lower carbon footprint veggies.

    In return the farmer who may not have the funds to afford the certification, gets a happy return customer. You’ve helped feed his/her family and vice-versa. Win-win.

    “Buying from your local farmer is a win-win. You get fresh local organic veggies they get a loyal customer.”

  3. NON GMO
  4. Chemically altered corn cob

    With the advent of the Non GMO project more businesses are signing to the pledge to show integrity of not using GMOs.

    For products or bulk bins without labeling consider the top GMO crops: Corn, Soybeans, Rice, Beets, Canola. and Wheat. (Which BTW seem to crop up as fillers in almost every dang thing.)

    HOW DOES IT SCORE?

    Implementation Difficulty Score: 2 out of 10.

    Stay away from non organic top crops (corn, wheat, soybeans, rice, beets, Canola, and wheat. As of now the USDA states Organic cannot be GMO but there are loopholes..(of course there is.) If still in doubt, again go local AND organic.

  5. FULL SERVING OF VEGETABLES

  6. Nutrition wise organic carrot bunch

    One full serving of vegetables according to the new standards is 1 cup. This can be of 1 cup of raw, juiced, or cooked vegetables or 2 cups of leafy veggies = 1 serving. So to appeal to those who may not like veggies (like say …kids.) can eat a serving of noodles along with 1080 mg of sodium, 11g of fat, MSG and preservatives. 😐

    HOW DOES IT SCORE?

    Implementation Difficulty Score: 1 out of 10.

    This one is easy. Just eat the dang vegetables. 🙂 Of if you gotta have noodles, make your own, at least you know everything that went into it.

  7. CAGE FREE//FREE RANGE/ORGANIC FEED DIET

  8. Chicken behind fence nutrition claims

    Whether you are an animal lover or not, the claims of cage free, and free range both unfortunately mean cruelty.

    Cage Free, a step beyond battery caged hens allows the ability to walk around in an enclosed space.
    This ‘space’ is usually filled with other chickens, excrement, and no outdoor access.

    Free range means allowance of access to the outside, but the term does not have guidelines or regulations yet.

    What about an organic feed diet? A corn & soybean diet is not needed when given the opportunity to forage. Organic chicken must be fed organic soy and corn feed Chickens are omnivores…

    Which leads to the term Pasture raised. Although not a regulated term either, for now pasture raised allows for the chicken to be outdoors and graze.

    HOW DOES IT SCORE?

    Implementation Difficulty Score: 3 out of 10.

    This implementation depends upon your budget.

    If you can afford pasture raised, which usually is around the $6-8 mark, it’s worth it.
    Humane wise and the chickens that are pasture raised have a more varied diet.

    For cheaper but not necessarily battery egg options, look to Craigslist or EatWild.com, your local CSA, or Farmers Market.

  9. ”HEART HEALTHY”

  10. Nutritious heart healthy apple

    Research for more understanding on this claim proved to be a little difficult due to lack of solid information.

    What I was able to ascertain was ‘Heart Healthy’ is a general term that takes into account what the manufacture would like to highlight about the food.

    For example, you usually see the term used on cereal grain products like oats/oatmeal, corn, and wheat based foods.

    So if the product is a good source of fiber for example, the product must have 20% of the Daily Value of fiber to be rendered Heart Healthy. Fair enough. But is it still considered heart healthy if it is high in sugar? High in salt or fat? Or contains preservatives, artificial flavors, or synthetic added vitamins?

    HOW DOES IT SCORE?

    Implementation Difficulty Score: 1 out of 10.

    Again this is an easy one. Need to eat “heart healthy”? (We all do.) Make it yourself.

    Yes, I know that means time. But it also means healthier because you know each ingredient used. If you need quick and healthy, look for products with 100% grains (not made with whole grains see below.)

  11. HIGH FIBER OR WHOLE GRAINS

  12. A field of whole grain wheat nutrition wise

    Sometimes I miss bread. 🙁 Especially Ezekiel bread. To use the claim ‘high in fiber’ the product must have at least 6 grams of fiber. But wait there’s more. “Fiber” can mean any number of things including wood pulp.

    HOW DOES IT SCORE?

    Implementation Difficulty Score:1 out of 10.


    Look for the word Whole grain or even better spouted whole grain.

    Multigrain and “Made with whole grain” do not use the whole portion of the wheat.

    So to get your money AND nutrition’s worth pay a little more for the better bread. Or just make your own.

  13. HIGH/LOW CALORIE

  14. Low calorie rubber stamp

    Low calorie according to the FDA requires a per serving food to be 40 calories or less. That’s reasonable. Just make sure to observe the label for added sugars, salt, and preservatives.

    HOW DOES IT SCORE?

    Implementation Difficulty Score: 1 out of 10.


    Consider this: a fruit rollup is 50 calories but also contains corn syrup, sugar, and genetic engineering…very little nutrition. See a trend?

    Strabwerry flavor Fruit Roll-ups

    Image By: General Mills.com

  15. SUSTAINABLY FISHED

  16. Sustainably fished sardines

    This term like Heart Healthy has no exact definition, which can cause the consumer to believe their fish is sustainable. And unless the company spells out howit is sustainable, on the package, it is a moot point. Also sustainably fished doesn’t necessarily mean wild caught or non GMO.

    HOW DOES IT SCORE?

    Implementation Difficulty Score: 2 out of 10.

    Stick to wild caught, smaller fish. And if you have a fresh fish store nearby you, that’s even better.

  17. ABOUT THOSE OILS…

  18. Poured olive oil

    Olive,Coconut,Avocado, Macnut, Walnut, Sunflower, Canola, Pumpkin,Soy,& Corn oil… Every time there is ‘new research’ there is a trend in consumer demand, and new products
    pop-up. But as we know that does not always mean integrity for our money. The food grade oil business is one of those such beasts. Reports of fake or adulterated oils is rampant. Which can have an effect on your health if consumed.

HOW DOES IT SCORE?

Implementation Difficulty Score: 4 out of 5.


This one requires a little bit of homework as it is not so much a nutrition claim as it is a product claim.

If the label says olive oil we expect that in the bottle.

To be sure you are getting what you are paying for, look for bottled at the source.
Also, look for smaller farms or again Farmers Market or CSA so you can ask questions about the origin. And there is always your local ethnic markets.

For cooking, stick to unrefined cold pressed coconut oil & ghee.

For salads, use a quality olive oil.

OTHER NUTRITION CLAIMS

For more health claims to watch out for, check out Dr. Mike’s video:

WHAT TO DO NEXT


I hope this article has helped you become nutrition wise for your next grocery trip.
For a pocket-sized to go health claim list for shopping, check out CSU’s nutrient claims list.

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And as always thanks for reading, I appreciate you for taking the time to read my little corner of the web.

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