With the New Year in full swing, getting serious about getting healthy is on a lot of minds in the Conejo Valley. Eating right is key, so we asked the Newbury Park Self-Storage experts at Hollywood Storage Center of Thousand Oaks for some tips on cleaning out your pantry for a healthier 2018.
Step One – Read Food Labels
The consensus among our team is that there are five ingredients that you should stay away from if you want to pave a road to health:
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Hydrogenated Soybean Oil (full or partially hydrogenated)
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
- Aspartame, Sucralose, Sorbitol (artificial sweeteners)
- Artificial Dyes and Coloring
High Fructose Corn Syrup is a major cause of fatty liver and is a driver of heart attacks, strokes, cancer, dementia and Type 2 diabetes. Hydrogenated Soybean Oil raises the bad cholesterol that clogs your arteries and increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. MSG has been reportedly related to severe headaches, heart palpitations, muscle weakness and many other side effects. Artificial sweeteners have been found to promote weight gain by confusing your body into storing fat. And artificial dyes and coloring have been linked to certain types of cancer and attention deficit disorders. With all that at risk, it certainly makes sense to steer clear!
Next, size up the Nutrition Facts label. Approximately 2,000 calories a day is considered healthy, but nutrition facts can be tricky. The calories may say 500, but check the serving size. At times, even seemingly single-serve packages of food are labeled as two servings, bringing that 500-calorie meal up to 1,000.
Step Two – The Big Purge
It’s not going to be easy, but ditching the bad foods and replacing them with good foods will definitely make you feel better.
What should you toss? Of course those items with the ingredients listed above should go. Another good rule of thumb is, if you can’t pronounce the ingredient, you shouldn’t eat it. High sugar foods should go as well; some even suggest throwing out everything with sugar in it – which is really hard to do. Another strict, but easy way to purge, is to throw out anything with more than five ingredients. Taking it a step further, limit those five ingredients to only things that a third grader would recognize.
Step Three – What to Buy
Remember those labels we talked about earlier? Here’s where it pays off!
Fruits, vegetables and lean meats such as chicken and turkey are all great, healthy staples to have on hand. For everything else, looking at the label before deciding to put it in your grocery cart is always smart. Read the ingredients and try to stay away from the not-so-fab five listed earlier. You’ll want to decide if the calories are within a reasonable range for you. And, selecting foods that provide you with enough beneficial nutrients such as dietary fiber, protein, calcium, iron and vitamins will add to your overall health.
If the pantry is stocked with healthy foods, eating for wellness will be much easier. To get you started, check out Parents’ Magazine’s list of the 35 best foods to keep in your fridge and pantry. We also found a great site with 400+ Healthy Recipes that won’t break the bank!
With this handy three-step plan, you’re on your way. Combine healthy eating with an active lifestyle and you’re sure to see and feel the results!
We’d love to hear your feedback. Share links to your favorite healthy recipes and recommendations for great food choices you love below! And, if you’re also making an effort to clean out your home and garage this year and need extra storage, our friendly storage consultants are ready to help! We’re available every day of the week from 8:30 am to 6 pm.