RadioMD: Inherently You with Dr. Holly Lucille

Buyer Beware in America's Supermarkets

December 10, 20149 min
Is the food you're eating making you fat and sick?If you've found yourself absorbing the "modern American way of life," which mainly consists of life on the go, you may have been noticing a change in your health. Today, your schedule seems to be more hectic, resulting in less wiggle room to fit anything in... let alone time to shop and prepare weekly meals for you and your loved ones.This may lead you to eat out more often, ultimately causing weight gain and other health issues. You may want to make changes to your lifestyle, but it may not always be that easy.After three family members contracted cancer in their 30s and her own health began to dramatically decline at the age of 40, Lynn Ahbonbon decided to make a change. It wasn't trouble-free and there were several setbacks throughout her process. For Ahborbon, a diet that was high in trans fats, additives, preservatives and salty processed foods made her feel fat and sick.What are some tips you can adhere to while browsing the aisles at the grocery store to ensure you're buying healthy, wholesome foods?When you're buying anything -- but especially your food -- it's important to take necessary precautions. The phrase "buyer beware" proclaims that it is the buyer's responsibility to assess the quality of the product before purchasing. Make sure you're reading the labels, and more importantly, understanding the labels.When you're getting groceries for the week, it can be an overwhelming experience trying to pick out the "right" foods. Nowadays there are SO many options for you: fat-free, low-fat, non-fat, sodium-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, etc. However, it's been shown that when manufactures strip away one ingredient, they usually add in another. For example, with non-fat food items, there may not be a trace of fats, but you can almost always guarantee there will be more sugar added to that product.You may also think you're doing yourself a favor by staying away from sugar by buying diet soda drinks, fruity flavored yogurts, and granola. But, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is an inexpensive sweetener that can be found in many of these foods. HFCS is capable of doing equal (or even more) damage as natural sugar.Food companies often use trans fats as ingredients because they are cheap, easy to work with and extend the shelf life of some foods. Restaurants may also use trans fats in their fryers because these oils are inexpensive and can be heated many times before they degrade.Health food expert, Lynn Ahbonbon, joins Dr. Holly to share her personal story on why she decided to make a healthy change in her life, what "buyer beware" means, and why you should be reading your food labels.

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