STEP 1: First Things First.
1. Start reading labels on everything you eat.
The easiest way to sort of avoid having to do too much of this is to eat things that are as close to how they come from nature as possible. Fruit, veggies, meat, nuts, cheese. However, I know this isn’t always easy to do, so here is what to look for.
When you read the label, if you see any of the following things in the Nutrition Facts or Ingredients List, it is a red flag and you should not eat that item. Take note of what exactly 1 serving is for the item. For now just concentrate on the following items.
Saturated Fat over 4g in 1 serving.
Sugars over 4g in 1 serving.
Anything with the word hydrogenated, partially or otherwise and High fructose corn syrup.
Most foods that have these are packaged, on a shelf and have them to be shelf stable for months or years. Our bodies don’t need or want those ingredients. The hydrogenated oils literally just clog our arteries. The high fructose corn syrup blocks the chemical receptors that signal to the brain that the body has had enough to eat.
What the experts say on this:
The first step to getting on the path to better eating is to take stock of your pantry! Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen say there are five ingredients that should be banned from your diet forever.
The first ingredient to avoid is hydrogenated oil, which often masquerades as partially hydrogenated oil. Dr. Roizen says we should also eliminate sugar and high fructose corn syrup from our foods. “We eat 63 pounds of [high fructose corn syrup] a year, which puts 33 pounds on the typical American,” he says.
Enriched flour is the fourth ingredient to avoid. “[Enriched] means they took all the good stuff out and put a little back,” Dr. Roizen says. In 1960, Americans didn’t use enriched flour, but today we consume 63 pounds a year, he says.
The fifth offenders are white foods—including bleached flour. The only white items you should have in your fridge are egg whites, cauliflower and fish, Dr. Roizen says.
Your favorite snack foods won’t advertise their artificial ingredients—medical experts say you have to read the small print for yourself!