These days, it can be difficult to know what you should and shouldn’t eat. For example, any food can be labeled as “natural,” because no regulations exist about the use of that word in food packaging. Sometimes, when you investigate claims that a certain food or product is good for you, you may find that little evidence exists to support that claim.
Drinking bottled water
Don’t be fooled by the lofty claims of bottled water manufacturers – a lot of bottled water is just filtered groundwater from local sources. If it doesn’t cross state lines between being bottled and being sold, it’s not even regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. This means that you have no idea what could be in your bottle of water. Plus, you’re wasting plastic and spending far more than you need to on water.
You can filter your own water at home and save a lot of money, long-term. Even the most basic water filter can make your municipal tap water of equal quality with most bottled water. Filters don’t have to so you’ll be creating less waste. While the manufacture of any product produces waste, overall, filters create significantly less waste than bottled water.
Eating organic food
Organic foods are all the rage, but they aren’t necessarily better for you. Because of growing seasons, many organic fruits and vegetables are imported from other countries, which means they’re picked long before they’re ripe and may not taste good. In addition, many types of fruits and vegetables don’t contain a high level of pesticides anyway, so buying organic in those cases doesn’t change much.
Head to your farmer’s market and buy local, in-season produce. Your local produce is picked at its peak because it doesn’t have to travel far, and many local farmers that set up stands at markets use organic methods anyway. Plus, when food travels long distances to get to your table, it can have a negative impact on the environment in the form of fuel emissions.
Low-carb diets have become incredibly popular. People may think they need to stop eating all carbohydrates. However, studies have found that low-carb diets are often successful because they restrict calories, not because carbohydrates are the enemy. And the health risks of a high-protein, low-carb diet include kidney failure, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, kidney stones, cancer and an unhealthy metabolic state known as ketosis.
Some carbohydrates are actually good for you. The key is that most of them contain a high percentage of fiber, which helps your body metabolize them in a healthier manner. You should stay away from most refined, processed carbs, like sugar and white flour, but don’t write off the whole food group.
Manufacturers of food products will always to try to win over customers with claims that their product tastes better, is superior to other products and is healthy for you. Do your research when trying to decide what’s right for your dietary needs.
© 2012 US Food Safety Corporation. No copyright claim is made for portions of this blog and linked items that are works of the United States Government, state governments or third parties.