Friday, August 7, 2009
I am still getting caught out!
I saw these fruit bars on special the other day and without so much as a second glance to even read the ingredients (very unlike me) I swooped down and grabbed two boxes. They looked reasonably healthy from the outside but I am so annoyed at myself because I know better than that!
As I unpacked my groceries at home, I suddenly realised my error of not checking the ingredients and quickly started reading the back of the box.
The first thing that stood out to me were the numbers 282 and 202. These are both listed as "nasty" and should be avoided at all times- especially when feeding your children. Here's an example of the effects of 282 (usually found in bread products, crumbs, wraps...muesli bars!) taken from Sue Dengate's website Fed Up
Reactions can be anything from the usual range of food intolerance symptoms: migraine and headaches; gastro-intestinal symptoms including stomach aches, irritable bowel, diarrhoea, urinary urgency, bedwetting; eczema and other itchy skin rashes; nasal congestion (stuffy or runny nose); depression, unexplained tiredness, impairment of memory and concentration, speech delay; tachycardia (fast heart beat); growing pains, loud voice (no volume control); irritability, restlessness, inattention, difficulty settling to sleep, night waking and night terrors.
Why anyone would want to eat anything remotely linked to these symptoms is beyond me. If you haven't downloaded your own wallet sized "nasty list" for your wallet go to the fed up site and look under 'Avoid these Additives'
When I started looking more in depth in to what was in our food, my shopping took me hours but now that I have some "trusted" products that I know are safe to eat, it does take less time. I know myself, when I first began cutting out certain foods that I'd thought were healthy, and then realised they weren't, I thought I'd just change the kid's diet but in time I wanted to eat right too. Now when I eat something (particularly with 220 in it) I pretty much have an asthma attack (I'm not an asthmatic) and I can tell straight away that I've eaten something "nasty". This can be slightly annoying but really in the long run it is far better for my own health not to be eating these things anyway.
For anyone wanting to go down this road and look in to what's really in our food. Here's my advice...
Before you start thinking ‘it’s just all too hard’, take a deep breath and read on...
- Take your wallet sized list of ‘nasty’ food additives with you next time you go shopping and (out of interest) look at the labels and see how many of your foods may contain these toxins.
- Find out exactly what each number stands for e.g. we know 621 is MSG however as consumers have become aware of this manufacturers have found news ways of disguising MSG in foods using other non-regulated ingredients.
- Look for alternative products that contain less or no nasties.
- Approach change gradually. When I looked at the lables in my pantry I suddenly wanted to throw everything out and start again but remember small changes are better than none at all. Start with things like bread (watch out for 282), margarine, cereal, biscuits, juice, lunch meats and cooking sauces.
- Making changes doesn’t mean not having sweets but it means you are educated to make better choices. Choosing a Chocolate Billabong over a Bubblegum Paddlepop avoids several nasty colours. Likewise, Sara Lee French Vanilla icecream has no additives whilst Signature Range Vanilla has six additives.
You can make a huge difference to your intake of additives by just 1) reading information, 2) applying your knowledge, 3) smarter shopping and 4) choosing lower additive products.