Coming Soon, Food Inc. & Better Eating Tips
by Girl Gone Domestic
Note 4/25/09: This post was submitted for Fight Back Friday
My top 5 tips to better eating:
1. Buy organic, locally grown (meaning in season for your area) produce when possible. Locally grown produce is fresher, and food eaten in season is far more flavorful than food that has been artificially ripened. And though it seems pretty obvious as to why we should eat organic produce (pesticides), there are many health benefits to eating organic. Farmers markets and local food co-ops are great places to find produce that is grown local. And don’t forget about growing your own, its so rewarding!
2. Buy grass fed meats and free range poultry and eggs. Grass fed meats are leaner (as lean as skinless chicken) and higher in Omega 3s, and its actually lower in calories than traditional grain fed meats. Meat (& milk) from grass fed cattle is also higher in CLA, a potent defense against cancer. It has been found that the level of fat soluble vitamins in pastured eggs is many times higher than the national average, in fact, Vitamin D levels were found 4 -6 times higher, so eat up Pacific Northwesterners, if you can’t get your Vitamin D from the sun, get it from your eggs!
Its also kind of nice to know that the cow or chicken you are eating lived a happy free life, enjoying sun and green grass! :)
3. Watch out for high fructose corn syrup. Since HFCS’ introduction in the 70’s, obesity has skyrocketed. When HFCS reaches the liver its is turned to fat, and unlike other carbs we consume, HFCS does not cause the pancreas to produce insulin, insulin controls leptin, which tells our brain we are satiated. It has also been proven that HFCS has small amounts of mercury.
4. Use good fats for cooking. Contrary to popular belief, butter is not a bad fat. In fact butter is high in the most easily absorbable Vitamin A necessary for thyroid and adrenal health. It also contains lecithin which helps our bodies metabolize cholesterol. At the turn of our century, heart disease in America was rare. By 1960, it was our number one killer. Yet during the same time period, butter consumption had decreased – from eighteen pounds per person per year, to four. Since the early 1970’s, Americans’ average saturated fat intake has dropped considerably, while rates of obesity, diabetes, and consequently, heart disease, have surged. Coincidence?
Extra Virgin Coconut oil, supports a healthy metabolism, keeps healthy cholesterol levels normal, has anti-fungal qualities, and tastes wonderful! It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.
And we’ve all heard the news on Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidative substances. Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels while raising HDL (the “good” cholesterol) levels. No other naturally produced oil has as large an amount of monounsaturated as olive oil -mainly oleic acid.
5. Gather the above ingredients (minus the HFCS) and cook some food, from scratch! Avoid processed foods, and join the real food revival!