The health of your family includes the avoidance of four major good-health killers found in overabundance in the big-box commercial supermarkets. This is one of the many reasons I won’t shop in the food behemoths.
Sugar, salt, man-made trans fats, and omega-6-overloaded polyunsaturated fats are the big-four health compromisers. Let’s start with sugar. In Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine, Gabriel Cousens, M.D., warns us that sugar is the number-one deranger of the biological terrain. Cousens is not referring simply to white sugar, but to all high-glycemic index foods that convert rapidly into sugar in the blood. These include corn sugar, all refined carbohydrates, fructose, and sweet fruits. Cousens mandates the absolute elimination from the diet of this health-compromising group. As Cousens points out, fruit tends to ferment easily and to develop fungus, yeast, and mold. Anything appeal to you there?
Most of us are aware that salt intake needs to be restricted. But are you aware of just how much salt is in the packaged, processed food you and your family consume in an average day? I don’t want to single out the nice folk at Campbell’s, but scope out the salt content in any can of regular Campbell’s soup—even in the company’s low-sodium line. Your eyes will blow out of the sockets. As a snack option, I buy R.W. Knudsen Organic Low Sodium Very Veggie (35 mg of sodium). This terrific drink includes a whopping 740 mg of potassium. Potassium has a way of being difficult to come by, so Very Veggie is a great addition to one’s daily diet.
Number three on my health offender’s list is hydrogenated trans fat. Here we are talking about margarine, shortening, and all the cheap, usually already rancid, omega-6-overloaded polyunsaturated oils, including the especially high omega-6-loaded safflower oil. It is sensible and healthy to avoid the processed and packaged foods loaded with sugar, salt, trans fats, and poly oils.
If you have never been to a farmers’ market, I strongly urge you to go. In Key West and Newport, Debbie and I are fortunate to have great options, many within walking distance. Today we still do most of our food shopping on foot. Less than a half a mile from our home in Old Town is Eaton Street Seafood, home to great local grouper, snapper, shrimp, and lobster. Once you make the break from The Big Box, you will find a wide array of sensible, healthful options available to you and your family.
On my homepage, I have posted some great links to help you make your fresh food transition easy and fun. Click on Local Harvest, then on Farms. You will be delighted with the many options within hailing distance of where you live. Another simple and healthy fresh option for your family is the CSA (community-supported agricultural) option. On the localharvest.com site, I found 17 local CSA options. Debbie and I do business with a number of the farms listed, so I was pleased to find all of our favorites posted. On my homepage you will also find a link to US Wellness, whose products and shipping we have found to be first-rate.
I also encourage you to get going on a gardening program. We have planted a variety of banana trees in Key West. Bananas are prolific growers. And in Key West, bananas, along with coconuts, papayas, and mangos, do really well. I’ve got loads of other options for you on your migration away from The Big Box, including where to find a list of the top-10 veggies that grow best in your area of the country. Check back with me next week. Fortunately for you, I have already been the guinea pig on all the options I bring to you. All you have to do is overcome inertia.
Finally, I want to acknowledge that my health plan is not being proffered as low-cost, because this is not the case. Not by a long shot. But one way to balance the books is to cut back on restaurant outings. No matter the high-end nature of your favorite restaurant, you will most likely take a nasty beating on the sugar, salt, and poly-sat front. Head out to the farm, and have a great week.