How to decipher food labels and make healthy choices at the grocery store.

Do you get headaches and decision fatigue at the grocery store? I definitely used to!

Once you've decided to start making healthier food choices, it can be overwhelming trying to sort through nutrition claims and food labels on all the products on the shelves. 

In addition to hindering thyroid function as a whole, here are some key things that are affected by additives in our food:

  • digestion issues
  • appetite control
  • brain function
  • weight gain
  • quality of sleep
  • energy levels
  • deficiency of nutrients
  • toxin overload leading to skin issues, hormonal imbalances, and poor immunity

The first step to making better choices is to simply be aware of what we are eating! The next time you are shopping, just turn the package over and take a look at the ingredients.

Here are some of the main offenders for which to be on the look out:

1. High Fructose Corn Syrup: damages immune function, speed aging process, weight gain, and low energy.

Common sources: crackers, bread, chips, yogurt, sauces

2. Refined Sugar: weight gain, fatigue, migraines, low immunity, cardiovascular issues depression, and osteoporosis

Common Sources: breakfast cereal, cookies, bread, chips, sauces, energy and sport drinks, soda, packaged or frozen meals, etc.

3. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate): Neurotoxin that attacks nervous system

This one is sneaky and often goes by other names, like: yeast extract, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, carrageenan, sodium caseinate, soy protein, and "natural flavors

Common Sources: Soups, sauces, crackers, chips, salad dressings, etc.

4. Sulfites/Sulfates: Destroy B vitamins, disrupt mental clarity and heart health

Common Sources: processed lunch meat, beer and wine

5. Artificial Flavors and Colors: Red #40, Blue #2, Yellow 8; hyperactivity in children, linked to forms of cancer, poor immune function

Common Sources: Sports Drinks, frozen treats, flavored chips, fruit snacks candy, etc.

6. Artificial Sweeteners: Hormonal imbalance, can decrease good gut bacteria by 50 %, Toxin buildup, weight issues, poor immunity

Common Sources: Splenda (sucralose), Aspartame, High Fructose Corn Syrup

You may feel like there's nothing left in the grocery store to eat, right? The good news is there are many wonderful brands coming out with healthier versions of common food items. Don't feel like you have to quit your favorite products cold turkey. It's all about baby steps.

Here are some final tips to healthy shopping:

1. Use the app "Fooducate." This allows you to scan the barcode and learn more about the ingredients listed.

2. Don't read health claims on the package like "Low fat" and "All-natural."  Manufacturers can put whatever they want on the package. Instead, look at the ingredients list! That's where the true info. is located.

3. Choose more products WITHOUT packages at all. The least processed food items include things like:

  • fruits and veggies
  • nuts and seeds
  • whole grains
  • well-sourced proteins

Keep this in mind the next time you go shopping and give yourself a pat on the back for every small step you take toward healthy food choices. It ALL makes a difference, and I promise that your body will thank you!

Looking for more help on balancing your thyroid? Make sure to snag my free "5 Pillar Guide Thyroid Guide" below to get started on your path to optimal health!

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