Five Ingredients To Watch
3 ripe avocados
1 lime, juiced
2 ripe tomatoes
1/4 bunch of cilantro
2 tsp. TasteTro adobo seasoning
- Halve, peel and roughly dice avocados. Place in a medium bowl and roughly mash with a fork. Squeeze lime juice on top and mix into the avocado.
- Dice tomatoes and add.
- Deseed jalapeño and dice finely. Add to avocado mix.
- Remove leaves from cilantro stems. Roughly chop leaves and add to bowl.
- Sprinkle TasteTro seasoning on top of ingredients in bowl and mix. Enjoy with veggies or natural crackers.
5 Ingredients To Be Wary of When Buying Packaged Foods
Just when you thought you were following your New Year’s resolution of eating healthy, you realize that sauces, condiments and snacks you’re consuming are filled with chemicals, harmful fats and loaded with sugar and salt. It can be extremely frustrating when you flip over a package of hummus, thinking it’s good for you, and all you see is how many foreign ingredients there are in the product.
It may even make you feel like you’re not eating food! We hear you! This is why we came up with a list of 5 ingredients to be wary of when choosing packaged foods.
Let’s Talk About The Top Five
Now we all know that we need sodium, but we also know that too much is not good for us. Do we really know why though? Let’s breakdown it down.
Sodium, along with potassium, helps to balance the fluid levels inside and outside of our cells as well as regulate our blood volume. The movement of these minerals through our cells creates an electrical current that helps move our muscles! So you can see how important sodium is in our diet. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to move. Although, too much sodium in our bodies can increase our blood pressure by raising blood volume. If there’s too much blood in the vessels, blood pressure goes up.
So what should we do about our sodium intake? Eat less mined salt and switch to sea salt which has a lower sodium content. Also, don’t be afraid of the salt shaker at home! It’s the processed and packaged foods that we should be worried about. Cut those out of your diet and keep salting your home cooked meals with sea salt!
2. Propylene Glycol (PG)
It sounds scary and to be frank, it is. PG is a refined petroleum product that is added to body care and food products to add moisture, maintain flavour, and push ‘quality’ further. This toxic chemical produces neurodegeneration in the central nervous system. Simply put, it messes with your nerves. Hence why we are seeing an increase in nervous system diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
3. Trans Fats
We all know the name and that we should avoid them because they’re “bad fats”. Hence why potato chip companies have been slapping labels on their bags that say “0 trans fats”.
But how is it possible that these products are actually trans fat free when they weren’t before? Have they started using different oils to fry their chips in? Well the simple answer is, no. The health regulating bodies require companies to state how many trans fat are in a product at a certain gram amount for each portion. Below this number, the trans fats don’t have to be stated and therefore remain at “0”. Processed food companies get around this by lowering the portion size so that the trans fat number is below the requirement. Let’s be honest though, who eats 1 oz or 28g of chips?! No one.
No one likes to be tricked like this, especially since trans fats are fairly harmful to the body. They mess with our cholesterol levels by lowering HDL and increasing LDL which may leads to the narrowing of the arteries.
4. Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
Sugar is hidden in many forms and in almost every prepared product on the market. From glucose to sucrose, dextrose to high-fructose corn syrup, or even fruit juice concentrate, the names are endless.
The thing about sugar is that it has a direct correlation to high blood pressure as it makes our arteries sticky, allowing LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins) to get stuck to the arterial walls. This elevates our blood pressure. On top of sugar, processed foods are laden with artificial sweeteners, especially if they claim they are “sugar-free”. They come with labels such as aspartame, saccharin and sucralose.
Artificial sweeteners can bring on headaches, mood swings and send false hunger signals which actually make us eat more! Reducing sugar intake and removing artificial sweeteners are two ways to stay in good health. You can start by removing all condiments and sauces that are loaded with sugar such as hoisin, ketchup, plum sauce and make your own!
5. MSG (monosodium glutamate)
Yup. That stuff they use on Chinese food to make it taste great. Guess what, they sneak it in most processed foods. You may have heard that it occurs naturally so it must be okay for us because well, it’s natural. News flash – not all things natural are good for use. Take snake venom for example or carbon monoxide. Both are found in nature but both would kill a human.
MSG is an extoxin that overexcites the cells in our bodies to the point where they are so heavily damaged, they die. MSG also negatively affects the nervous system after long-term use. MSG can be labelled as yeast extract, glutamic acid, natural flavoring or hydrolyzed soy protein to name a few.
So Now What?
Now that we know what to not to eat, what do we replace it with?
Sticking to a whole foods diet with a variety of different vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and naturally raised meats is one of the keys to a healthy, long life. Cooking at home helps sticking to this way of eating a lot easier. That’s why we’ve included a super simple, healthy, and yummy TasteTro recipe.