All Foods Are Not Created Equal

Navigating through a supermarket these days is no easy task. From the moment we walk through the door we are confronted with so many options and varieties of products it can be hard to know what to choose. If you’ve come to buy some peanut butter you will likely have a choice of 5 or 6 different brands, styles, blends, and tastes. Make your way over for some cooking oil, a staple in any kitchen, and you could be looking at an entire wall of cooking oils made from things you’ve never even heard of before. Want some milk for your morning coffee? Choose between any of the 20 varieties offered.

For most of us, all of these choices can be overwhelming. The tendency is to just settle for whichever product has been packaged most cleverly, or is currently on sale. After all, it’s just cooking oil, they must all work okay, right? Milk is milk, right? WRONG. Unfortunately, all foods are not created equally, and the choices we make in the supermarket can have a significant impact on our health.

So how can we choose wisely?

For starters, never trust a product’s clever labeling. Words like “all natural”, “light”, or “reduced” sound healthy, but can mean very different things. The only way to truly know what we are getting is to physically pick up the product, turn it around, and read. Take a quick glance at the nutritional facts, but really focus on the ingredients list. As a general rule of thumb, the shorter the ingredients list the better. Products with long ingredient lists filled with words we can’t pronounce are the ones to steer clear of. These words we can’t pronounce are the preservatives and chemicals that are put into the food to increase its shelf life, alter its taste, and coincidentally poison us. It is not always possible, but try to select products that are as close to their natural, whole food state as possible. All those preservatives and chemicals may make for a long lasting, great tasting, economical product, but they do all kinds of weird things to our bodies.

Other times we may actually have to do a little research beforehand in order to better understand the choices before us. Let’s take cooking oil as an example. Most of us have heard about the amazing health benefits of extra virgin olive oil, and they are mostly true. Olive oil is made up of what are called “good fats”, called monounsaturated fats, as opposed to the “bad fats”, called saturated fats. However, what most people are unaware of is that at higher cooking heats most of olive oil’s health benefits are burned off. Even worse, it has been suggested that the chemical decomposition of olive oil at high heats leads to the generation of cancer causing compounds that can be very harmful to our health. Thus, when shopping for cooking oil it is important that we choose a high heat oil. Three excellent choices for cooking oils would be coconut oil, grape seed oil, or peanut oil. All three of these oils can be cooked with at high heats and have great nutritional value.

Unfortunately, eating healthy often requires a great deal of diligence. Yet, if you are willing to put in the time to understand the food you buy, the benefits will be remarkable. Often the healthy choice can be more expensive, but when it comes to you and your family’s health and longevity it is really worth the few extra dollars if you can afford it. Remember, all foods are not created equally, and the choices you make in the supermarket have massive effects on your long term health.

Evolve Mixed Martial Arts® is Asia's premier brand of MMA academies. With World Champions in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, and No Gi Grappling, Evolve MMA is the top martial arts training organization in Asia. It ranks among the best martial arts academies in the world.