What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

Blog Archive

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

10 Tips for Eating Healthier from the Good Guide

I like these guidelines from the Good Guide. Many of these suggestions will also improve the sustainability of your diet. For instance, meat and the production of it has been linked to vast amounts of fossil fuel use and methane emissions. It is recommended that one consume meat once or week or less to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Clearly, processing uses additional inputs of energy, as does industrial agriculture. Therefore, clean, organic, unprocessed foods are not only healthier but better for the planet. If you are concerned about sustainability as well, I would add; eat locally produced food where possible and research your fish choices very carefully as many fish, while healthy are under immense strain from over fishing.

1. Keep it Simple

Eat fewer processed foods. Heavy processing often decreases the nutritional value of foods, adds calories, and usually includes added sodium and chemical additives.

2.Think Small

Eat smaller portion sizes. Americans in general are eating more calories, more protein, and more fat than they really need. An average adult should eat 2000-2400 calories per day. With GoodGuide you can immediately spot the high-calorie items, like this pizza.

3. Eat Low/Eat High

Eat less sodium.
Find low-sodium products.

Avoid added sugar.
Find low-sugar products.

Eat more high fiber and whole grain foods.

Eat more fruits and vegetables.

4. Avoid Bad Fats

Eat less saturated fats and in particular trans fats. Trans fats have been correlated to coronary heart disease. Look for products that have zero trans fat or low saturated fats. When you can, choose low-fat dairy products and lean meats.

Beware: even products that say “0 trans fat” can still have trans fats because of some FDA labeling loopholes — look for partially hydrogenated oils in the list of ingredients.

5. Read the Fine Print

Always read the product health claims on food packaging with a grain of salt, or sometimes a heaping serving of skepticism!
Look for products that are labeled on whether they contain genetically modified organisms.

6. Eat Low on the Food Chain

Eat less red meat, which has a big environmental impact.

When you do eat meat, avoid the ones that were given hormones and antibiotics. Look for beef that is organic or grass fed. If you eat chicken, look for pastured chicken. If you drink milk, look for milk without growth hormones (rBGH or rBST). And as much as possible, eat lean meats and low-fat dairy products.

And, don't be fooled by packaging and marketing, you might be surprised by what‘s on the ingredient lists and in the nutritional facts.

7. Think Organic

When possible, eat organic meat, milk, cheese, baby food, and the fruits and vegetables that are likely to be high in pesticides.

Check out our list of the top foods to eat organic.

And always wash your fruits and vegetables.

8. Beware of Color

Avoid certain food additives, such as food colors currently being reviewed for bans (such as Yellow #5, Red #3, and Red #40).

See our list of colors that are being reviewed for elimination in Europe.

9. Go Fish

Try to eat one to two servings of healthy fish each week.
This means avoiding fish that are likely to be high in methyl mercury (such as Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, Tilefish, and Albacore Tuna) and fish high in PCBs (such as farm-raised Salmon and Catfish, Bluefish, and Striped Bass).

10. Let it Stick

To decrease your exposure to certain chemicals, cook your food in non-Teflon pans, fry at lower temperatures, and never microwave your foods in plastic containers (such as Tupperware) or covered in plastic wrap.

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