Transitioning to real food

14 Jul Transitioning to real food

Let’s talk about taking a few steps into the Real Food world for a minute. And don’t worry, no one is expecting you, or telling you, to change your whole eating habits overnight, just because silly Danna (and millions of others) wrote so on her blog. Not at all. I’m here to explain to you WHY you should consider taking that step into Real Food world, and how much more delicious and satisfying it will be once you do.

A good way to start, is by understanding what it is that we put in our bodies, and even worse, what we allow our children to put in their growing bodies. Checking the ingredients in each packaged food that you buy is a good and simple beginning. A rule I’ve set myself for example, is that if sugar (which might be labeled as another name) is in it, it stays on the shelf. If there are words I don’t understand is in it, same rule applies.

One of the easiest ways to recognize sugar on a food label is by recognizing the -ose suffix. When you find words that end in -ose, there’s a good chance it is sugar. Sugars ending in -ose include: Sucrose, Maltose, Dextrose, Fructose, Glucose, Galactose, Lactose, High fructose corn syrup, Glucose solids

Just because it doesn’t end in -ose, however, doesn’t mean it isn’t sugar. There are plenty of other names as well that may or may not sound like sugar. Regardless of how they sound, the following are all sugar: Cane juice, Dehydrated cane juice, Cane juice solids, Cane juice crystals, Dextrin, Maltodextrin, Dextran, Barley malt, Beet sugar, Corn syrup, Corn syrup solids, Caramel, Buttered syrup, Carob syrup, Brown sugar, Date sugar, Malt syrup, Diatase, Diatastic malt, Fruit juice, Fruit juice concentrate, Dehydrated fruit juice, Fruit juice crystals, Golden syrup, Turbinado, Sorghum syrup, Refiner’s syrup, Ethyl maltol, Yellow sugar.

Another good rule is avoiding anything that claims to be low fat, fat free, low carb, zero calories, trans fat free, and even whole grains, or any other claim which sounds very attractive. It’s been found, that in order to make that food fat free for example, the manufacturers will add some form of sugar and other horrid “ingredients” (if you can call them that) in order to make that food taste good, because who are we fooling, fat is delicious. And this might surprise you, but if you eat the right kind of fat, it might actually help you loose weight! But that I’ll leave for another time.

E-numbers

Color coded E numbers

Soon enough you’ll realize there is a lot of stuff in your favorite food, that you don’t really know what it is and why it’s there. As I mentioned in my article Doing it Grandma’s Way, processed food, by default, needs to taste the same. In order to do that, the food companies have to add certain chemicals of all shapes and sizes. Some are natural and harmless. Others are the devil. Some food companies write their E-numbers, others their name. Sugar for example, is added to many processed foods, which makes them addictive (yes, sugar is more addictive than cocaine!!), low on nutrition, and plain unhealthy.

I found an easy way of finding out what each one is, and if it’s safe or not. There are probably many smart phone apps out there, but I use one called E Food Additives. When you enter an E-number (or name) found in the ingredients, the app will tell you the description, purpose, risks, functions where in the world it is not permitted, and additional information. In addition to that, it’s color coded. So if you don’t have the time to read it all while doing your shopping, you will quickly know if it’s safe to eat or not, by the color it will show up as.

This app will really help you understand that even foods you once thought were harmless, are really not welcomed in your home anymore. Another good way to avoid those, is choosing organic ingredients and products. And I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to say “Danna, are you crazy? Organic food costs triple in Switzerland!!”. There are a few solutions to that as well. I used to drive to Germany to do my shopping very often, as organic food there is not as ridiculously priced as it is here. But since I found out about Free From Supermarket and both Farmy.ch and Farmilio.ch, not only do I save money on my organic products, but I’m also supporting small local businesses and farms, AND I get everything shipped right to my doorstep! It doesn’t get much better than that believe you me!

Of course I could go on and on about simple ways to transition to real food (and by that avoiding processed foods), but we’re going to take it one step at a time. Because let’s be real, we have other things to do than to worry about ONLY that. But I do promise to continue and write of more ways, and of course give a few recipes here and there, which will make this transition not only easy, but actually fun. And of course, if you’re ready to take the next step into the real food world, come join our courses. See you there!!

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