10 Grocery Store Items You Should Never Buy Again-Time to spring clean your cupboards

(Plus the good alternative swaps!) courtesy of the Food Babe

1. Pickles & Relish That Contain Artificial Food Dye
Artificial colors are linked to health issues and have been banned or require a warning labels in several other countries – so food manufacturers often take them out of their products in other countries. Most pickles contain Yellow #5 or #6, which have been shown to contribute to childhood behavioral problems. Better Store-Bought Alternative: Real Pickles (brand) organic pickles,Woodstock organic pickles.

2. Canned Soups With MSG!
MSG (aka Monosodium Glutamate) is a really common ingredient in packaged soup, along with hidden MSG ingredients like hydrolyzed protein and autolyzed yeast extract. These flavor enhancers trick your brain into eating more than you should and have been linked to headaches, obesity, depression, and mental disorders. Better Store-Bought Alternative: Amy’s Organic Lentil Soup or make your own like I do

3. Salad Dressings That Are Full Of GMO Oils!
Make your own… It’s super easy to whip up a vinaigrette at home to avoid dumping GMO soybean oils all over your healthy salad. You might be surprised to know that even salad dressings that say they are made with olive oil (like Wishbone Olive Oil Vinaigrette) typically contain soybean oil as a main ingredient. Almost all store-bought salad dressings also contain emulsifier ingredients to help them stay blended on the shelf, but don’t do anything good for your health. Most all have lots of sugar in them too! Better Store-Bought Alternatives: Raw Foodz Salad Dressing (not available everywhere), Hilary’s Eat Well Salad Dressing & Wilderness Family Naturals Salad Dressing.

4. Bread That Has Way Too Many Nasty Ingredients!
It’s nearly impossible to find bread at the store without dough conditioners (like the yoga mat chemical azodicarbonamide), added sugars, artificial colors and GMOs – which is ridiculous because it really only takes 4 ingredients to make bread. Consider making your own, or sprouted grain breads or gluten-free varieties that are made up of primarily seeds and healthy grains like millet and quinoa. Better Store-Bought Alternatives: Food For Life Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread, Manna Gluten Free Ancient Grains Bread.

More about Bread: Bread is a really hot topic and is targeted as the root of many health problems. Overall, bread gets a bad reputation because grains are not easy for your body to digest, can overwork your pancreatic enzymes, contain the anti-nutrient phytic acid and an abundance of dreaded gluten. Also, our wheat crops in this country have been through some serious genetic manipulation to make them profitable for the food industry and less healthy for us.
The main problem with wheat (unless you have a gluten sensitivity) is that we as a culture eat too much of it in general. Just take a look at the typical American diet – a bagel for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and rolls or pasta for dinner. That’s a lot of grain in just one day. Even larger amounts would be consumed if we take into consideration common snacks like crackers and desserts like cookies. Additionally, commercially available grain-based products that line grocery store shelves and are served at restaurants are unhealthy. They are full of ingredients that are not food, like azodicarbonamide (the same chemical in yoga mats and shoe rubber), other chemical dough conditioners, added sugars, artificial flavorings or coloring and GMOs. Flour can be treated with any of the 60 different chemicals approved by the FDA before it ends up on store shelves – including chemical bleach! Also, the industrial processing destroys nutrients, such as Vitamin E and fiber. Remember, it only takes 4 ingredients to make bread – flour, yeast, water and salt, there’s really no need for all that other nonsense.
If you are like me, you probably want to enjoy the occasional piece of bread without subjecting yourself to of all these questionable ingredients. I’ve done a lot of research on bread brands, and have uncovered what can make grains really unhealthy and which ones make a nutritious addition to any diet because they are whole, unadulterated and real foods.

The Health Wrecking Ingredients in Bread:
Dough Conditioners – these are unnecessary in traditional bread making and only make the process faster and cheaper for the food industry to make bread in big machinery. Many dough conditioners like azodicarbonamide (which is banned all over the world), DATEM, monoglycerides, diglycerides, sodium stearoyl lactylate are linked to health issues. Many dough conditioners start with manipulating fat – like soybean oil or corn oil, which is also most likely GMO. Nature’s Own, Arnold, Wonderbread, Martin’s, Sara Lee, and many other popular brands are guilty of using dough conditioners.
Preservatives – Bread is supposed to be fresh and eaten within a few days from baking unless frozen. If you see preservatives like calcium propionate, which is linked to ADHD, put the bread down and keep searching. Warning: Pepperidge Farm uses this ingredient to “retard spoilage.”
GMOs – Most commercially available breads contain one or many genetically modified ingredients like soy lecithin, soybean oil, corn oil, corn starch or soy flour. GMOs have not been tested long term on humans, however we know that the pesticides sprayed on them are absolutely toxic and considered to be poisonous. Some GMOs are created by inserting a toxic pesticide into the seed itself to make an insect’s stomach explode when they try to eat it.
Added sugar – This is where you really need to watch out. There’s nothing wrong with a little honey to bring out the sweetness in whole wheat bread, but most manufactures are using high fructose corn syrup, GMO sugar made from sugar beets, or some other artificial sweetener like “Sucralose” that are not the best forms of sugar and can pose health risks. Almost all commercially baked brands have some form of added sweetener – especially watch out for “light” breads, which often contain more added sugar like “Arnold Bakery Light.”
Artificial flavors and coloring – These ingredients are made from petroleum and are linked to several health issues like hyperactivity in children, allergies and asthma. They are easy to spot on the label because the FDA requires it. However, ingredients like “caramel coloring” can fool you into thinking this ingredient is a real food. Most industrial caramel coloring is created by heating ammonia and is considered a carcinogen when created this way. Martin’s potato rolls have Yellow #5 and Yellow #6, and Thomas’s English Muffins have caramel coloring.
Now before I share my top recommendations for the best (and healthiest) breads on the market – I should tell you the truth about how much bread I actually consume on a weekly basis. My diet consists of mostly plants like fruits, vegetables, seeds, beans and nuts along with the occasional meat, dairy or bread product. However, when I travel – I like to enjoy the local culture (think crossisants in France and pizza in Italy). I’m not about giving up whole food groups. My diet is about balance and choosing the most nutritious choices, but I do like to live a little and have my bread on occasion! At the grocery store, I buy the best of what’s available for my body and here are the choices I feel good about buying.
Thankfully, you don’t have to get out the bread maker or learn to make bread from scratch. There are many healthy bread options available – if you just know what to look for!

The Healthiest Breads On The Market Sprouted Grains – Sprouted grains are technically vegetables. To sprout a grain, you just soak it until it begins to sprout into a little plant. These sprouts are then ground up to make bread. When you eat a grain that has been refined into flour, your body quickly metabolizes it like a sugar, which causes your insulin to spike. This can make you gain weight and contributes to diabetes and inflammation. For all of these reasons, don’t buy bread that is primarily made from flours, especially “wheat flour” which is really just white refined flour. The sprouts are much more easily digested than starchy flour, and contain more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than whole grains. Phytic acid is destroyed when the grain sprouts, so your body is able to absorb the nutrients in these grains – which makes them that much better for you!
Best sprouted grain bread is the classic – Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread by Food for Life – it’s made up from six different organic sprouted grains and absolutely no flour! This combo of sprouted grains contains all 9 essential amino acids, which makes up a complete protein. I use their “Cinnamon Raisin” version to make this yummy breakfast casserole. There are no preservatives in these breads, so keep them in the freezer and take out portions as needed. Also enjoy their sesame seed bread, whole grain tortillas, corn tortillas and english muffins by Food for Life. Hands down – they are the healthiest breads on the market. They are available in most health food stores and some conventional stores in the freezer section.
Other good sprouted breads are Manna’s Sunseed bread and Dave’s Killer Bread Sprouted Wheat, which are both a healthy combo of organic sprouted wheat and seeds.
Ancient Grains (spelt, quinoa, amaranth, millet, sorghum) & Gluten-Free – Unlike wheat, these grains are called ancient because they haven’t changed for thousands of years. They are packed with nutrients and many of these grains can be used to make gluten-free bread. Just make sure that the bread you are buying is labeled as “gluten-free” if you are trying to avoid gluten – because not all ancient grains are gluten-free and they may be blended with wheat. Manna makes a good gluten-free bread with brown rice, sorghum, millet, amaranth, quinoa and chia seeds. Please note, almost all gluten-free breads contain added sugar in the form of honey, molasses, agave nectar or evaporated cane juice.

5. Coffee Creamer That Is Full Of Trans Fat!
Coffee-Mate Non-Dairy Creamer’s primary ingredient was partially hydrogenated oil I was disgusted. Millions of people are dumping deadly trans fat into their coffee every morning. Sure, they only use a bit in their coffee, but would anyone pour themselves a full glass of it? Of course not. Yet, they’ll eventually consume the entire container. This is the perfect example of why I think the motto “Everything in Moderation” is bogus. A FDA loophole allows Coffee-Mate to claim that it has no trans fat because it contains less than 0.5 g. per serving, although their “serving size” is only 1 tablespoon. According to the CDC, trans fats are linked to 7,000 deaths and over 20,000 heart attacks! Better Store-Bought Alternatives: Coconut milk – it’s thick and creamy and most only contain 1 or 2 ingredients if you stick to the culinary version like Natural Value and Native Forest. You can also make your own coconut milk by combining 1/4 cup coconut manna and 4 cups water into a blender. Blend on high for 1-2 mins and keep milk in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

6. Baby Formula That Contains Corn Syrup!
It’s outrageous that most conventional baby formulas in the store contain GMOs and milk from cows treated with antibiotics or artificial growth hormones. Even organic formulas aren’t perfect, and can contain carrageenan, synthetic preservatives, refined sugars with detectible levels of arsenic, and DHA extracted with hexane. As put in this guest post by Nutrition expert, Charlotte Vallaeys other options include donor milk and this recipe from the Weston A. Price Foundation. Better Store-Bought Alternative: Baby’s Only Organic Formula and HiPP Organic Formula.

7. Canned Tuna That Has Hidden Soy (GMOs)!
Tuna is not a main staple in my diet because the practices largely used in the industry aren’t sustainable and are endangering marine species. Couple that with the fact that mainstream tuna brands typically pack their tuna in a soy-based vegetable broth, and not actually in “water” like it says on the front of the can. If you like to occasionally eat tuna, seek out a brand from a sustainable fishery that uses pole & line (and troll-caught) fishing methods, preferably from North American waters and packed without additives in BPA-free cans. When tuna are pole & line caught they are younger and much smaller, so they do not have the high mercury content that is found in most regular tuna. Better Store-Bought Alternative: American Tuna (brand) MSC Certified Sustainably Caught Albacore Tuna and Seafare Wild-Caught Tuna.

8. Soda That Is Full Of Artificial Ingredients!
A common ingredient in regular soda is high fructose corn syrup, which has been shown to be processed by your body differently than regular cane sugar. According to a 2007 study, high fructose corn syrup contains “astonishingly high levels of reactive carbonyls”, which are not present in table sugar, and these carbonyls are believed to cause tissue damage, and may contribute to the development of diabetes. Even more disgusting is the use of chemical artificial sweeteners (like aspartame and sucralose) in diet drinks, as these have been shown to stimulate your appetite, increase carbohydrate cravings, and promote weight gain. Better Alternatives: Homemade REAL Ginger-Ale, homemade iced tea or Kombucha.

9. Very Controversial Ingredients That Are In Cereal!
To think that this childhood morning staple is loaded with artificial colors, GMOs, preservatives, refined grains and sugar, makes me sick. One of the worst ingredients in many cereals is the preservative BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene). It’s a known human allergen that has also caused tumor growth in animal studies. Due to serious health concerns, it’s been banned or restricted in several countries, yet it’s widely used in cereals here in the U.S. Better Alternatives: Oatmeal, Parfait Porridge, Two Moms In The Raw Plain Grain Free Cereal (gluten-free), Homemade Granola, Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal & Qi’a from Nature’s Path.
10. Juice That Is Full of Junk!
Most of the juice at the store is just glorified sugar water. They’re often made from concentrates, which means that the fresh juice has been heated down to syrup and reconstituted with water. During the concentration process, natural nutrients and flavors are lost, so they add those back in artificially. Even “100% Juice” often contains proprietary natural flavors that may be derived from anything natural, including animals. The juice is then heated up a second time to be pasteurized, which also denatures enzymes and destroys nutrients. So, after all that processing, it’s really not worth the money. Better Alternatives: Suja Essentials Line that is cold-pressed and organic or try making your own, this Ravishing Red Juice is a great one to start with! Also if you are looking for alternatives to Gatorade, please check out these ideas.

The idea that soy (soybean) is good for you is a corporate and marketing poly used to lower the cost and nutritional content of your food. Basically everything about the soybean serves you no value. There are so many articles on modern-day use of soy which I would recommend reading. It’s scary! I’ve linked a few below…

Azodicarbonamide 101
Azodicarbonamide is a yellow orangish powder, more commonly used commercially in the creation of foamed plastics – like yoga mats, shoe soles, floor mats and window gaskets.

The FDA allows food companies to use azodicarbonamide as a flour bleaching agent and dough conditioner in any food product giving it a status of GRAS or “Generally Regarded As Safe”.
But, the FDA doesn’t even keep track of the companies who use azodicarbonamide as an ingredient. The lack of information leads the FDA to not update or include a toxicity information about this ingredient in its EAFUS or “Everything Added to Food in the United States” database.

When a truck carrying azodicarbonamide overturned on a Chicago highway in 2001, it prompted city officials to issue the highest hazardous materials alert and evacuate people within a half mile radius! Many of the people on the scene complained of burning eyes and skin irritation as a result. (Source: Pandora’s Lunchbox by Melanie Warner)

The U.K. has recognized azodicarbonamide as a potential cause of asthma if inhaled, and advises against its use in people who have sensitivity to food dye allergies and other common allergies in food, because it can exacerbate the symptoms. The World Health Organization (WHO) studied azodicarbonamide, and also linked it to asthma and other allergic reactions.

When azodicarbonamide partially degrades with the heat of processing, it forms trace amounts of semicarbazide, which shows carcinogenicity that can result in tumors over time.
The United States is one of the only countries in the world that still allows this ingredient in our food supply. It is banned as a food additive in the U.K., Europe, and Australia, and if you get caught using it in Singapore you can get up to 15 years in prison and be fined $450,000. I’d like to see the head of the FDA put in jail for allowing it, wouldn’t you?



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