The holiday season was over and people were making their healthy new years resolutions when I decided it was safe to make a trip to the mall. It was easy to find a parking space right in front of what seemed to be the biggest health food store on Earth.
With some time to kill while the wife shopped for exercise clothes, I started reading a few ingredient labels to see what was really in all those flashy looking, low carb food formulas, protein blasters and so-called health drinks. OK, so that sounds really boring, but let me tell you it was an eye opening experience. It really helped me appreciate the all natural foods and health drinks at my online health food store. Maybe this little trip to the big health food store at the mall will help you avoid some of the ingredients that are anything but all natural, or healthy, in many of the foods and drinks being sold there.
The first thing I noticed is that this big health food store at the mall really loves to sell those enhanced vitamin water drinks. The brightly colored bottles were stacked high, enticing shoppers with the low prices, the pretty colors and the dream of a natural health drink that actually tastes good. Well, I have tried some of that “enhanced water”, and I thought it not only tasted awful, but the crystalline fructose (concentrated sugar) content was more than enough junk food in one bottle for me. Oh, and if your body could actually absorb the isolated vitamins infused into the water, you might get your $1.50 worth of nutrition. Isolated vitamins that are not attached to all natural, whole foods typically break down before the body can use them for fuel. On my trip to the health food store I could see there were no whole food ingredients listed on those pretty bottles of enhanced vitamin water beverages.
Here are some other ingredients I saw on the labels that I choose to avoid when searching for healthy, all natural foods and drinks:
Crystalline fructose, high fructose corn syrup, and basically, anything with sugar.
Artificial sweeteners, especially Aspartame and Saccharine. Instead, I use stevia, the 0 calorie all natural sweetener.
Modified corn starch. Almost all corn grown in the USA is now GMO (genetically modified organisms). Any time I see the word “modified” I get suspicious about its true nature.
Isolated protein – The body cannot easily digest most protein drinks because they are usually made from “isolated” protein, which clogs the lymphatic system. Many athletes searching for nutrition who are working to build muscle up are guzzling protein drinks without understanding the consequences, or the real needs of the human body. They are being seduced by pictures of wash-board abs and bulging biceps into thinking more protein is good. However, many experts agree it is a myth that anyone needs the high levels of protein offered in some of today’s muscle building drink mixes. In fact, all that protein may be doing more harm than good.
Those are just a few of the ingredients I try to avoid in my constant quest for all natural foods and health drinks that are truly healthy. Are there ingredients that you wonder about? I hope you’ll have as much fun reading labels as I did at the big health food store. Until then, look online for all natural foods and health drinks, and stay away from the mall. It’s scary there!
Cliff Smith is the owner of an online health food store and is always searching for the best all natural foods and health drinks. He is an avid mountain biker who cycles up to 100 miles a week over rugged terrain in the southwestern United States and consumes only the highest quality nutrition for an athlete. Cliff offers free audio and video information about all natural foods for a healthy balanced diet, free nutrition facts, natural vitamin waters, protein drinks and all natural, low carb, high fiber foods at BestHealthFoodStore.net.
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