How to use food labels to shop
When you go shopping, your first stop should be at the colourful ailse that is stocked with wonderful seasonal fruits and vegetables.
In this produce section choose a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables – these are naturally low in fat, sodium and rich in cholesterol lowering fibre. You can also choose frozen fruits and vegetables if you buy simple ones without any sauces, they can be better choices than cans because they eliminate salt and that’s a must to control blood pressure and manage heart disease. When purchasing canned goods choose brands with no-added salt.
In Macrobiotics we avoid dairy food to limit the amount of saturated fat, that’s the fat that comes from animals and hardens our organs. When choosing oils always look for oils without unsaturated fats in them and buy organic. Be very careful to avoid trans fats, check the labels if it says partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated it contains trans fats. Trans fats can be found naturally at low levels in some foods, such as those from animals, including meat and dairy products.
Artificial Trans fats can be formed when oil goes through a process called hydrogenation, which hardens the oil. This type of fat, known as hydrogenated fat, can be used for frying or as an ingredient in processed foods. Much smaller amounts of artificial trans fats can also be made when oils are refined to make them fit to eat. Artificial Trans fats can be found in some processed foods such as biscuits and cakes where they are sometimes used to help give products a longer shelf life.
Focus on plant based protein like tofu, tempeh, seitan and all legumes and beans. These foods are fantastic sources of soluble fibre, not only to keep your digestive tract working well but also to combat cholesterol!
The colourful bins with an array of wholegrains such as short grain brown rice, wild rice, millet, quinoa, in golden and in red, buckwheat, and so many more are the mainstay of my diet. They provide me with long lasting energy every day and don’t mess with my blood sugar, so make sure to stock up on these amazing grains.
For breakfast use wholegrain porridge or oatmeal which are excellent choices but if you are a cereal lover look for ones that have wholegrain and fibre with no sugar. When you start to read labels you will be surprised at what is actually in all those beautifully packaged ‘healthy’ breakfast cereals. There is only one brand of cornflakes that we can find that is sweetened with barley malt. Incredible eh!
There are many delicious breakfast recipe ideas in my book ‘Macrobiotics for all Seasons’ available on my website www.marlenewatsontara.com
In good health