Saturday, June 12, 2010

Eat This, Not That!

So about a year ago, I picked up a handy little book called "Eat This, Not That" by David Zinczenko at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  I know, random place to buy a book on nutrition, yes?

Well.  Let me just say that I have greatly underestimated its nutritional guru-potential until recently.  It is pretty cool and extremely handy.

SO, I have decided that I will start by regularly sharing some of the tips that Mr. Zinczenko has given, because they are very helpful.  Hopefully these tips will inspire you, as well as inspire ME!! to adopt long-lasting healthy eating habits.  In this particular book, he talks about the supermarket do's and don'ts (I have another one that talks about restaurant foods- it will get blog attention too) and cuts straight to the chase about what you should and shouldn't buy.

To start, I'll list some tips that the book starts with:
 Secrets the Food Industry Doesn't Want You to Know.

1.  Numbers can be deceiving.
On the front of a box of  Reduced Fat Club Crackers-in large yellow letters- you'll find the claim, "33% Less Fat Than Original Club Crackers."  Their math is accurate- the original product contains 3 grams of fat per serving (4 crackers) while the reduced-fat version has 2 grams.  So, yeah its a 33% difference, but is it meaningful?  And, apparently the reduced-fat version has 33 percent MORE carbs than the original- perhaps because when they took out 1 gram of fat, they replaced it with 3 grams of refined flour & sugar.

2.  Food can legally contain maggots.
Unfortunately, the FDA limit on rodent droppings and other appetite killers in your food isn't zero.  They won't hurt you, but still.... that's gross.

3.  Long lines will make you buy more.
According to a study at UofA, you're 25% more likely to buy the sodas and candy around you when stuck in a long checkout line.  Also, those sneaky supermarkets design their stores so that the staple foods (milk, bread, eggs) are usually at the back of the store...

4.  Calorie Counts May be Wrong
This is because the FDA is more likely to punish food manufacturers for overstating net weight of a product than understating it.  So, often, your favorite snack, like an Oreo, will have a few more calories than you think you're eating.

Now isn't the government just great?!  I find that the biggest thing for me when I go to the store is that I end up buying a WHOLE lot more if I'm hungry.  Don't do it.  You'll end up buying cheap, fatty snacks that you otherwise would have skipped over.

Check out David Zinczenko's book and his other articles on his website, as well as stay tuned for additional advice...

and stay healthy this summer! :)

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