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Your Grocery Store is Making You Fat

Posted by bmagnus On April - 9 - 2010

While in the local big chain grocery the other day, I noticed something odd about the freezer section.  On the right of the aisle I photographed is another freezer case of things like pizza, egg rolls, frozen microwaveable burgers, and ethnic delicacies. The right side of this aisle features “Single Dinners,” “Boxed Dinners,” “Single Dinners,” “Frozen Desserts,” “Ice Cream,” “Ice Cream,” and “Ice Cream.” The left side has “Family Dinners,” “Vegetables,” “Potatoes,” “Breakfast,” “Frozen Fruit,” “Ice Cream,” and “Ice Cream.”

Of all these items, there are exactly two sections that contain foods that are healthy to buy and eat.

Even though the “single” and “boxed” dinners are at least half things that are labeled “lean” or “healthy” or something of that nature, they are still nothing more than extremely processed microwave-friendly food in a box. Most of it contains preservatives and additives whose names you can’t pronounce; things that are not good for you. If you’re lucky, some of it is at least relatively tasty. The “family dinners” make no pretense of being “healthy;” certainly not the home-cooked food of your youth. These are mostly processed forms of meals that identify themselves as lasagna, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. Desserts and ice creams, of course, all have a lot of sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup in them, to say nothing of copious calories. As for breakfast, how difficult is it to put together an egg and a piece of toast?

That leaves frozen vegetables and frozen fruit. We love frozen fruits and vegetables! First, they keep a lot longer than their fresh versions, and that makes it easier to stock up and keep plenty on hand. Second, sometimes the frozen product is of higher quality. Because the berries and peas, for example, were picked while ripe and flash-frozen, it’s like having summer in a bag in your freezer. What a pleasant surprise in January! Sadly, about a third of the frozen veggies in your typical grocery store include junk you don’t need like “creamy sauce.” Seriously? People hate veggies so much they need to drown the poor things in “creamy sauce” before eating them? There’s a fitness goal to work on: develop a taste for unadulterated vegetables.  Gotta be careful in the fruit section too to make sure there’s no added sugars. Amazing that people can’t eat a fruit salad that isn’t spiked with corn syrup.

At least they recognize that from a nutritional standpoint, potatoes are barely a vegetable, and leave the potatoes to their own section.

Since first and perhaps most important step to eating a healthy diet is to buy healthy food and make it available to your entire family, the modern grocery store makes this an exercise in defensive shopping. Keep your wits about you in the grocery store, the healthy foods you should want to eat are right there next to chemical and sugar laden junk that will make you fat and unhealthy.

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