It’s a standard approach of any human beings-the higher the investment the greater is the level of involvement. If you are buying a house you will do a lot of research regarding the land prices, location, resale value, history of the house, crime index, garage size, distance from work, nearby transportation, etc. and etc. However if we compare it to renting a place we would skip through a lot of research. Why not? The investment is less, landlord does all the maintenance and there is hot water for my shower. The point I am trying to make is that we humans don’t treat our bodies as a house but as a rental. In other words we don’t invest much time or money in our health. Another example-buying 200 dollars’ worth of shoes doesn’t hurt your pocket but paying couple of extra dollars to buy organic grown food does. Are you with me? In today’s blog let’s talk about how we can make better and informed decisions.
Considering my last blog most of you will be thinking it’s impossible to get everything fresh. If you have been thinking that, you are certainly on the right track. I don’t want you to go buy a cow for fresh milk products or to open a poultry farm for your fresh chicken. However I do want you to consider, from where the products that you are consuming on a day-to-day basis, come from. I also want to share with you some information which may help you to buy better products:
1. Do not buy the food which says fat-free or sugar-free on its label specially when it tastes sweet and is fatty in nature. I am sorry but there is no sugar-free ice cream or fat-free yoghurt, neither there is sugar-free mango juice. So how do these companies get away with this? Did you know that if the food item has less than 0.5 grams of fat or less than 0.5 grams trans-fat per serving, legally the company is allowed to market the product as ‘zero grams of fat’ or ‘zero grams of trans-fat per serving.’ It amazes me how some cooking oil spray brands get away with this and have become consumer’s most preferential brands. Another loophole in the food labelling standards is that unless the product has less than five calories per serving, legally the product can advertise ‘zero calories’ on the label.
What difference does it make with 0.5 grams of fat or 5 calories? Honestly it makes minimal difference, however psychologically speaking us as consumers tend to consume more of the product if it is advertised as zero calories or zero grams of fat. If the serving size is just ten grams and we consume three servings, we are actually consuming fifteen grams of fat and fifteen calories.
2. Be suspicious of the products that advertise 100% pure or extra virgin on their labels. Again be suspicious, I am not asking you to eliminate them from your choice of purchase, as some of them are actually true and honest products. A research done in USA in 2011 using sample of 125 extra virgin olive oil brands, uncovered that two third of oils from this sample failed the purity test. This means that sixty-six per cent of the extra virgin oils sold in the market today are, fake!!! How we can differentiate between what is true and what is not?
Well if you can spend a year researching about buying a house or spend months researching about a car, you should surely increase your involvement in buying products that affect your health being. After all your body is your biggest asset and hence should be taken great care of. All you have to do is read the labels carefully. If the label print has words such as ‘pure blend’, ‘pure’ or ‘light’ on it; this means the product has gone through a chemical process and is a mix of other ingredients. If a ‘pure’ advertised product is priced cheaper than other products that do not claim to be pure, it’s a good decision to not consider that product unless it’s on promotion. It does not make sense that company is selling pure produce cheaper than the company selling processed produce, after all process is what saves these companies thousands of dollars.
Now just don’t fall into perception of higher the price of the product, the purity of the product increases. Again read the labels carefully.
After reading this you all would be interested in knowing how you being a consumer can buy better products for your health advantage. Well for one, know your serving size. If you are buying products advertised as zero calories and zero grams of fat, knowing your serving size can help you to keep track of your daily fat and calorie intake. Read your labels carefully, compare few different products. Just don’t buy the product if on ‘special’ or is offering discount or just if it claims to be pure. Make sure to ‘BE SUSPICIOUS!!!’
In my next couple of blogs I will unveil the secrets of buying pure products such as olive oil, milk, honey, teas, fruits and how to choose your number one breakfast product ‘Cereal’.
Stay healthy, eat fresh and make informed decisions.
- NAKUL BAJAJ