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INGREDIENTS! What to look for when reading food labels!

Fats and Oils
The Good the Bad and the Ugly!

Good: Healthy Fats - Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Virgin Coconut Oil, Most nuts and seeds, Sesame Butter(Tahini), Almond Butter, Most nut and seed butters, Olives, and Avocados

Bad: Less Healthy Fats - Butter, Milk, Cream Cheese, Yogurt, Ice Cream, Sour Cream, Meats, and Eggs Animal Products typically contain a lot of Saturated Fat and very heavy concentrated proteins. I do think these are healthier and are good to have in limited amounts if they come from properly fed animals that have not been given antibiotics, hormones and other harmful things. Animal forms of Fat have can be very mucus forming so people with sinus, allergy or lung issues find they do much better without them. Our family only eats this fat in a free range, organic, more than likely raw state and even that is pretty selective and sparing.

Ugly: Trans fats, Better known as Partially Hydrogenated Oils and Interesterified fats - Margarine, Chips, Crackers, Pastries, and snack foods in general. Read labels, if it has any trans fat or says partially hydrogenated anything in the ingredients then you don’t want it. These fats are unnatural processed products that our bodies are unable to process effectively. They contribute in a huge way to excess body fat and cancer causing free radicals in our systems. There are now some snack foods now that don’t contain this type of fat. They aren’t really "healthy" but a much better option than those "Ugly fats".

Is it really that Bad?

Avoid: All refined White Sugars - Granulated, Brown, Powdered, Corn Syrup, Fructose, Sucrose, etc. I consider these a drug, not a food and one of the main causes of ADD in children. They are addicting, they make you act and feel funny, and they deplete your body of nutrients. Start looking at the labels and you will be really surprised how much of this you and your family eats, we must do better if we want to be truly healthy.

Sugar Substitutes: Aspartame (known as NutraSweet or Equal), Saccharin(known as Sweet & Low), Sucralose (known as Splenda) These are even worse and should be avoided like the plague. They are the cause of many health problems and in my opinion should never have been allowed on the market! Besides that, they cause Carbohydrate cravings so if you are using these as part of a low calorie diet it is sure to backfire. (Not to mention if you have been sucked into the "Low Carb" scam). It is impossible for me to stress how much damage these cause to your body! You would be so much better off to completely stay away from anything that contain these "Sweeteners."

Good in Moderation: Raw Honey, Agave, 100% Pure Maple Syrup (not the flavored sugar water, it must say 100% pure), Blackstrap Molasses (unsulphered is best), Stevia (a naturally sweet herb), Dates or date sugar (the dates are dehydrated then powdered), Sucanat (dehydrated cane juice), and Raw sugar

I thought they were all good!
Not Good: White Bleached Flour -Wheat flour, (I know what you’re thinking, "Wheat is good for you." It is, but as an ingredient it must say 100% whole wheat flour or it is Bleached, processed, constipating, most suitable for paper mache or wallpaper paste, white flour) White Bread, White Flour Tortillas, White Rolls, Doughnuts, Pie Crusts, and White Pastas. When the grain is highly processed all the nutrients are bleached out and your left with nothing more than junk food. Even if it is fortified, the added vitamins, are not assimilated by the body because they did not come from whole food.

Better: 100% whole wheat or whole grain bread - These are better and still have some nutrition in them but I have not found much bread at the grocery store that doesn’t contain some unwanted ingredients. Just look at the label and you will find one or more of the following ingredients; Partially Hydrogenated oils, Sugar, Corn Syrup, and many preservatives that you won’t be able to pronounce. I have seen some pretty good Whole grain bread at health food stores or you can make your own. Just be sure to use good ingredients, like Olive oil instead of butter and honey instead of sugar. If you grind your own wheat you know exactly what’s in it.

Best: Sprouted Grains - Grains eaten this way give you the most available nutrients. Bread can even be made of the sprouted grain. I know you are probably thinking that can’t taste very good. It is a little different but, you will be surprised how good it is. You can make it yourself or we have found a brand called Ezekiel Bread that makes different kinds of breads, buns, tortillas and other things that are quite tasty.

Other Unwanted Ingredients
I NEVER knowingly eat these or give them to my kids!

Monosodium glutamate (MSG): Is it a preservative or a vitamin? It’s neither! MSG is added to food for the over excitment it brings to the taste buds that keeps you coming back for more. (Now there’s a way to sell more. Brings new meaning to the slogan "Betcha Can’t Eat Just One.") Since many people now realize that MSG isn’t any good for them the manufacturers have started disguising it with names like, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Autolized Yeast, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavors, etc. It is in most processed foods and pretty much all fast food places use tons of it. Is very addicting and damaging to the body. I hate this ingredient as much as artificial sweeteners and I feel we are slowly being poisoned by them both.

Any artificial flavors and colors (Red 40, yellow, lake Blue, etc.)- many people are allergic to artificial colors. I have found they make my kids very aggressive, mean and hyper (maybe another reason ADD is such a problem these days). We also try really hard to stay away from Chemicals and preservatives. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce it you probably shouldn’t eat it. Also the fewer ingredients the better. If something has a long list of ingredients it will more than likely have something in it that your body doesn’t want.

The Best Ingredients

Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and don’t forget legumes (beans, peas, etc.) Organic is best but can be expensive and hard to find. You will likely see it more and more over time. Just do your best and consider learning how to grow your own organic garden. Talk about self reliant. These things eaten with variety in their natural state, or as close to it as possible, will provide you with ultimate health. It is that simple! It may seem hard at first and you will find you really crave bad food as it cleanses out of your body but if you are patient you will find that once all those chemicals and addictive substances are out of your body you will no longer crave them and you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. You will have renewed health and vitality not to mention you will look fabulous and never have to worry about your weight again!


themayerfamily said...

Wow Tam,
It all looks so wonderful. You are amazing. Where the heck do you find the time??!

MOKANA® said...

I like your site and look forward to coming back and reading more. Followed your link from Raw Melissa.


Amy said...


I love it. The banner is so fitting. You are just an awesome person and I'm glad to call you my friend. I thank Heavenly Father for helping me find you every day.
By the way thanks for taking the time to do this and I will forward the address on to my anxiously awaiting friends.

Love, Amy

Anonymous said...


{leah} said...

Thank you. We are slowly making the change to better/healthier foods. Not that we ever ate that bad {ie: like the rest of the world} but not the best tha we could have been. I'll be printing this up and taking it to the store with me so I can have a better referance.

I have a question.... what do you do for food coloring... if any. We like to color some of our foods... frostings, candies, ect. ... {peachylg@yahoo.com}

Tammie said...

Leah: I don't really worry about it much. But you can use juice or blend a little of a really dark colored veggie. Like Spinach for green, beet for red/pink etc. Just be creative it only takes a bit so you will never taste it. Or you can get NATURAL food coloring at health food stores. They are made from dark colored foods! ;) Just make sure and read ingredients!

Chrissy said...

Thanks for your time posting these tips. I am wondering what your rule of thumb is when it comes to canned foods. Beans, tomatoes, etc. Are there better ones than others?

Tammie said...

Chrissy: My rule of thumb with canned foods is the less ingredients the better. Like with tomatoes I just want it to say tomatoes and maybe salt, although I usually buy the no salt kind. Same goes for beans etc. Many times they have preservatives and firming agents some are just things like minerals or citric acid (vitamin C) other times they are more chemical. It's easy these days though with the internet to just look up what ingredients are. I really like bottling my own things then I for sure know what's in it. But that's not always practical. A lot of times with beans I with just make a big crock pot full and freeze some for later. I want to get to where I'm canning all my own stuff like that, more to save money than anything. But one step at a time if you know what I mean. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Tammie,
I just discovered your blog by looking at your hard lotion recipe. Thanks!

I was checking out some of your other posts and noticed that you have coconut oil listed above as an unsaturated fat. Coconut Oil is mostly saturated, but is still a good fat (along with a lot of the other fats you have listed as "bad"). I usually wouldn't comment on a random blog to correct you, but you have a great site here and when I read that you lost a bit of credibility.

Tammie said...

Anonymous: Maybe using good, bad, and ugly aren't the best use of words. And yeah trying to categorize everything in a simple to understand format is easier said than done. I understand that saturated fat is not the enemy here (so again bad maybe isn't the best word) I have certainly found, through my own experience, though that animal forms of saturated fat are harder to digest and more taxing on my body. They are a very heavy protein. (This is why coconut oil is listed in the good although I do understand that it also contains a lot of saturated fat, it's a medium chain fatty acid and is more easily digested so it belonged in the good section in my mind)Please note that I do say the bad fats, if used raw and from healthy animals they are a much better form. So maybe there should be another category for these like mostly good. I'm sorry if you were offended by me calling them bad it's really a play on words...I think from a old Clint Eastwood movie. ;) I do not say we should never eat the bad just not quite as much as the good. The ugly however I don't think our bodies EVER need.

I do understand what you are talking about and I hope others will understand that I tried my best to make this list simple and comprehensible and it is by no means all inclusive. Also please don't cause me to loose credibility because I used the word bad. I think I chose that word because I am confident people will get enough of that category without trying and I wanted them to focus on the good. Maybe bad is too strong of a word....I do think our body benefits from some of the bad category on a limited basis. I was in no means saying we should never ever have any.

Anonymous said...

My mother is allergic to msg. Just having a taste of food with it gives her a splitting headache and makes her sick for the rest of the day. So we always have to ask if a restaurant uses msg. And she checks labels ever so carefully.

Found your blog randomly. It looks like a good place for great information. :)

Unknown said...

Thanks Tammy! This list is a great reminder of why eating healthy is so important! I think I have a new addiction though, it's your website... lucky for me it's a healthy addiction!

Tammie said...

Sherrie: I'm glad you find it helpful! That is what it's there for. Thanks for making me smile!