If you feel heavy and your energy is low, a great way to lighten up is to clear out your kitchen cupboards and stock up with only nourishing foods.
When I hit my 50’s, I didn’t exactly hit the ground running. I was unfit, tired most of the time and 10 kilo’s overweight. I was bored with
This was one of those times when I was reminded by the universe that I am mortal. I realised that optimum energy levels can only be sustained if I consciously take care of my health. I don’t want to be 90 years old and immobile. I want to be 90 years old, have good health, walk with the dogs, be independent and skip for 4 minutes every morning.
I kick-started my new lifestyle with a serious clear out of the kitchen cupboards. My new mindset was forming and I took great pleasure in clearing out foodstuffs that no longer served me. Since then the kitchen cupboard cleaning is a yearly ritual and happens in November. It’s refreshing to have healthy Kitchen Cupboards to start a new year.
Kitchen Cupboard Clear Out
The over-riding principle to healthy eating is to keep as close to natural foods as possible. Highly processed foods are top on the list
You will find sugar, salt and saturated fat added to processed foods. When it comes to sugar and salt I remember the rule “the more, the more” meaning the more you eat, the more you want to eat. That is why we have sweet cravings or cravings for savoury foods.
The best way to reduce the cravings is to follow the rule “the less, the less.”
Many processed foods contain artificial preservatives for long shelf life, and additives to create texture, colour and enhance the flavours.
Natural foods contain salt, sugars and fats and a balanced diet that includes a good variety of whole food will provide enough of these tasty ingredients to maintain good health.
Did you know you can get peanut butter with no added salt and no added sugar? I love peanut butter.
The Guideline for Added Salt
Added salt – Less than 140 milligrams per serving is considered low
DV (Daily Values) Less than 5% per serving is low, higher than 20% is too high.
The Guideline for Added Sugar
The American Heart Association recommends women consume no more than 100 calories (24 grams) of added sugar per day; men, no more than 150 calories (36 grams) per day.
1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams.
Other Health Issues
The health hazards of consuming too many processed foods include Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Cardiovascular Disease, GallStones, Sleep Apnoea, Degenerative joint disease and Food Addictions. Research also indicates that over-consumption of processed foods is a contributing factor to some types of Cancer.
Food additives to be aware of and to avoid
Artificial Sweeteners. Aspartame, (E951)
E951 is a sweetener used in snacks, drinks, alcohol, desserts and weight loss diet foods. Used to keep the food energy low and provide fewer calories. Reports indicate possible headaches, blindness and seizures with long-term use and high doses.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
HFCS is a manufactured sweetener made from corn starch and often compared to granulated sugar. The calorie/energy values of HFCS are slightly higher than sugar. HFCS is composed of 76% carbohydrates and 24% water and contains no essential nutrients. HFCS has replaced sugar in many processed foods and beverages, mostly because it is cheaper to manufacture.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG / E621)
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavour enhancer commonly added
MSG has been used as a food additive for decades. Reports of adverse symptoms over the years include;
- Tightness in face
- Burning sensations on face and neck
- Heart palpitations and chest pains
- Feeling weak
Researchers have found no definitive evidence of a link between MSG and these symptoms
Transfats raise your bad (LDL)cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL)cholesterol levels. Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It’s also associated with a higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Sodium sulphite is a soluble salt of the sulphuric acid. It is used as a preservative to prevent dried fruit from discolouring, and for preserving meats.
Other uses include the development process in photography, reducing chlorine levels in pools. In boiler systems, sulphite and bi-sulphite are the most commonly used to prevent pitting corrosion.
Frequent consumption causes headaches, intestinal and stomach upsets, allergies
Sodium nitrate is widely used to preserve meat products such as bacon, Vienna sausages, luncheon meat, hot dogs and sausages.
Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly occurring cancer in men and the second most commonly occurring cancer in women.
BHA (butylatedhydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) (E320)
These are preservatives. BHA is used for keeping fats from turning rancid. BHTdoes same and also preserves food flavour, colour and smell. These two preservatives can be in found in cereal, baked goods, animal feeds, snack foods, chewing gum, meats, butter, dehydrated potatoes, beer and many more processed foods, oh and cosmetics.
The experts say that microdoses of chemical preservatives can do no harm. But this example where E320 can be found in many foods is more concerning if you are the habit of eating convenience foods on a regular basis.
Research about these two preservatives is confusing. Some suggest that low doses of BHA are toxic to cells, while high doses are protective—or the reverse, being small doses are safe, but high doses are harmful. We don’t actually know how BHA and BHT act in the human body.
This supports the habits of eating whole foods, fresh foods, checking food labels and steering clear of food additives that do “who knows what” to your body.
How to Read Food Labels
Check food labels to see what is added to the food, if you have doubts about what to clear out, let the nutritional values, the list of ingredients and your gut instinct be your guide.
Look at the Daily Values (DV’s) and the nutrient values. Then look at the ingredients which are listed separately from the nutritional values. A long list of ingredients is an indication of excessive processing.
The ingredients are listed in order of quantity, so when you find sugar or salt high on the list you know that the quantity is high.
With some practice, you will soon be able to identify the difference between the more healthy foods and highly processed foods.
Teach the Children
It needs to be said that children are at risk of suffering from the health issues mentioned above earlier in life if they consume processed foods, unhealthy snacks, and sugar-loaded cool drinks on a regular basis.
Teach your children how to read food labels and set some parameters to guide them towards making healthy choices. You can make a game of it and turn it into a fun way of teaching them to be responsible for their own good health.Read more “Healthy Kitchen Cupboards”