By Brenda Brissette Mata
Ritz crackers, my favorite go-to late night snack (have you ever eaten these with a glass of milk – heaven!) is no longer on my grocery list because one cracker contains two grams of refined carbohydrates, almost a whole gram of fat and – wouldn’t you know it – high fructose corn syrup.
Apparently high fructose corn syrup is about as healthy for you these days as a dose of strychnine.
Grocery shopping isn’t easy anymore. I have to read labels and think about the latest science reports. As a result, the stuff I’ve loved for a long time is slowly but surely disappearing from my grocery list.
No more Cheez-Its. Oh man, I love those square fluorescent orange bits of yum. But I quit buying Cheez-Its because they are made with TBHQ and I read that the Centers for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) conducted a study and found that TBHQ increased the incidence of tumors in rats. That’s enough to scare me off for good.
Pringles no longer grace my pantry because they are made with a slurry of rice, wheat, corn, and potato flakes that are pressed into shape. I can’t even look at one without thinking about slurry.
I love Gardetto’s Garlic Rye chips but the American Heart Association has determined a single serving has more trans-fat than the daily amount that is considered safe to consume. And honestly, I’ve never eaten a single serving in one sitting.
When I shop for cheese, I go crazy trying to make sure I read the ingredients on the package. If it says anything other than “cheese,” I don’t get it. Instead, I buy big chunks of cheese and grate everything myself because I read that many of the pre-grated cheeses contain potato starch, powdered cellulose, and natamycin. I have no idea what natamycin is and my spellcheck doesn’t even think it’s a word, so it can’t be good.
Ground turkey has replaced hamburger and I try to come up with at least three vegetarian meals a week – only one can be pasta.
I’ve increased the fruit I eat but, of course, it has to be washed and scrubbed like a bathroom floor at a Denny’s just to be rid of the pesticides.
I used to buy frozen “healthy” lunches until I read the sodium levels. I went back to making sandwiches for lunch, but only with whole grain bread and never using packaged lunch meats.
I gave up all sodas a long time ago and coffee and tea are only rarely imbibed. I measure my water daily to be sure to get at least 64 ounces a day – anything else is bonus. My water container is crafted stainless steel, no BPAs for this gal.
It’s all so darned exhausting.
I don’t drink a lot, but I do drink red wine because I heard it was good for me. But then I heard it wasn’t, and then I heard it was.
Screw ‘em all. If I have to work this hard to be healthy, you can bet I’m not giving up wine.
Brenda’s column appears here every Monday, unless she doesn’t feel like writing.