About ten years ago, when a friend of mine suggested that I read the labels of the food I eat and the products I use, I simply dismissed him. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to realize that there is High Fructose Corn Syrup in all the foods I loved as a child. I wasn’t ready to realize that there is Butane in my favorite hair spray. I wasn’t ready to examine my world, and my habits, more closely.

We all truly know, in our heart of hearts, that we need to eat better and have better habits. The problem is that this requires change, and change is SCARY! 

Thus, it’s better to start small. Why not start with reading the labels of the food you eat? Honestly, just start reading them, even if you know you’ll still purchase the items. You might be surprised!

Recently, I’ve read a few blog posts about the “Five Ingredient Rule,” and it’s not a terrible rule of thumb. I use it as a guideline. The rule states that you shouldn’t be consuming anything that has more than five ingredients listed. The problem with this approach? Just because it has fewer than five ingredients doesn’t make it healthy, and just because it has more than five doesn’t make it necessarily unhealthy either. 

I personally like author Michael Pollan’s take on the Five Ingredient Rule. Pollan says that if you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t eat it.*

So the next time you’re in the grocery store, or even in your kitchen, pick up the items you’re consuming and read those labels. It’s a pretty easy first step on the way to better habits!

 * http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89876927

Originally Published in 2018.


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