Going Grocery Shopping With Intention

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Going grocery shopping is part of our “to-do” list on a weekly basis.  Some people rush through it, others plan out what they will cook for the week and shop accordingly, while others just buy whatever is on sale.  Whatever your shopping habits may be, are you mindful and actually pay attention to what you choose to put in your shopping cart?

The sad truth is most people have no idea what they are buying and eating.  Many assume that everything that is available for consumption is safe to eat.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Many ingredients found in processed foods are actually detrimental to your health.  Aside from the fact that they are devoid of any nutrition and contain empty calories, some chemicals in our processed foods are actually toxic and cause inflammation which is harmful to your health.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), used as a flavor enhancer, is one of those chemicals that is commonly added to most processed foods.  Why are MSGs dangerous?   Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board-certified neurosurgeon and author of “Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills explains that MSG is an excitotoxin, which means it overexcites your cells to the point of damage or death, causing brain damage to varying degrees.[1]

Side effects of MSG consumption may include obesity, eye damage, headaches, fatigue, disorientation and depression.[1]  According to the FDA, MSG Symptom Complex can involve symptoms such as: numbness, burning sensation, tingling, facial pressure or tightness, chest pain or difficulty breathing, headache, nausea, rapid heartbeat, drowsiness and weakness.[2]

Many consumers have heard of MSG’s and are aware that they are bad for you, but most consumers are unaware that these MSG’s are cleverly disguised as different names, such as:

Many consumers have heard of MSG’s and are aware that they are bad for you, but most consumers are unaware that these MSG’s are cleverly disguised as different names, such as:

Autolyzed Yeast Calcium Caseinate Gelatin
Glutamate Glutamic Acid Hydrolyzed Protein
Monopotassium Glutamate Monosodium Glutamate Sodium Caseinate
Textured Protein Yeast Extract Yeast Food
Yeast Nutrient Natural Flavors Flavors and Flavorings

These ingredients MAY contain MSG or create MSG during processing:

Flavors Seasonings Flavorings Natural Pork Flavoring Natural Beef Flavoring
Natural Chicken Flavoring Soy Sauce Soy Protein Isolate Soy Protein Bouillon
Stock Broth Malt Extract Malt Flavoring Barley Malt
Anything Enzyme Modified Carrageenan Maltodextrin Pectin Enzymes
Protease Corn Starch Citric Acid Powdered Milk Anything Protein Fortified
Anything Ultra-Pasteurized        

It’s best to avoid artificial additives, flavorings, chemicals and colors.  We were never designed to eat this way, nor did we evolve by eating such foreign substances.  So next time you rush out to go shopping, slow down, read the labels before you chose to add that item in your cart.  Ask yourself: “Does this food item benefit me and promote good health?”  If not, put it back.

Taking the time to read labels while you shop is a great step in the right direction towards being mindful of what you are eating and your eating habits.  Here are some helpful tips to consider next time you go shopping:

  • Avoid going shopping when your are hungry!  Not only will end up spending more money, your chances of buying junk food increases.
  • Don’t go shopping when you are in a hurry.  Take the time to read the labels.
  • If you cannot pronounce an ingredient in less than a second, chances are high you should NOT be eating it.
  • Focus on shopping around the perimeter of the store.  That is where you find produce and less processed foods.
  • If God made it, eat it; if man made it, avoid it.

[1] https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/04/21/msg-is-this-silent-killer-lurking-in-your-kitchen-cabinets.aspx

[2] U.S. Food and Drug Administration “FDA and Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)” August 31, 1995

[1] https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/04/21/msg-is-this-silent-killer-lurking-in-your-kitchen-cabinets.aspx


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Dina Arvanitakis
Dina is a certified functional medicine nutrition coach and author that is passionate about health and wellness. As a health advocate, she coaches clients on how to implement anti-aging techniques and weight-loss strategies and solutions so they can become their own powerful success stories. She believes that everyone can enjoy a healthy vibrant life once they are empowered with knowledge and the right tools to make effective changes in their lives. A healthy you is a FABULOUS you!