Thursday, December 11, 2008

Shop Well, Eat Well

What’s In Your Pantry?

“Nothing healthy” a client responds. Why is it that we buy foods we know are not healthy? Should we build smaller pantries, or just close off compartments in our very large pantries, so we can accommodate smaller packages of healthier products?

Check your pantry. If you find canned products that have been there for months or maybe years - - or things that have NO expiration dates on them -- reach for items in your refrigerator instead. Why? Because food in your refrigerator is fresher than the food in your pantry. Fresh foods are easier to digest and have more nutrients. Processed and canned products are usually pre-cooked at high temperatures. The processing can make their nutrients less potent.

Canned goods may come in handy for emergencies like power outages or bacterial contamination of fresh foods. When you buy canned or packaged foods to have on hand for emergencies, choose organic varieties.

So, what’s in your pantry? A sign that says “Refrigerator First!”

Practical Notes for Consumers:
To be sure that a food item is organic or prepared with organic ingredients, look for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic logo or language indicating that the product or its ingredients have been certified as compliant with the USDA National Organic Standards for the production and handling of organic foods.
Please note that "organic" is not synonymous with "natural." You will find this definition and many other labeling terms, including "free range" at the FSIS web site:

Practical Notes for Clinicians:
Caution your patients to be wary of the high sodium content of canned, packaged and processed foods.

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