Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book Review : Unjunk Your Junkfood

I love Naturally Savvy. Their website and newsletters are packed with tons awesome info. When they released their first book, UnJunk Your Junk Food, I knew I had to read it.

The first few chapters are very informative, providing information on basic nutrition and different dangerous and potentially dangerous ingredients and additives.

The next 8 chapters are different categories of junk foods such as candy, drinks, cookies, chips, etc. A common brand name item is shown and then a healthier alternative.

There's a removable page in the book containing the worst ingredients and ingredients to beware of. This would be great to keep in your purse or wallet to refer to when shopping. There is a printable version of this list plus bonus material available when you register online at Naturally Savvy.

Naturally Savvy broke down that list into the Scary Seven which includes hfcs, trans-fats, msg, artificial flavors, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, preservatives.

I have said for a couple years now that although food allergies aren't exactly fun, it has also been a blessing for our family in numerous ways. We eat so much healthier than we would otherwise. I am happy to say that just because we have to avoid so many processed foods, I didn't find too many of the scary seven ingredients in our cabinets.

This is our snack/catch all cabinet. Holiday candy gets thrown up here, any other candy, snacks and crackers.

When it comes to candy, we do love our Yummy Earth Suckers but our cabinet also always has Smarties candy, sometimes M&Ms and right now jelly beans because of Easter. All three are full of artificial colors and flavors.

My favorite candy (chocolate covered pomegranate pieces) looks fairly inconspicuous at first glance, but if you read slowly, natural flavors is listed twice! There's also canola oil and soy lecithin, both of which are among the most GMO ingredients there are.

Honestly, I don't know what know what's in the Ritz crackers. I'm sure it's not pretty and they probably need thrown out since I'm also sure they're probably expired as we literally just do not eat buns or crackers with meals anymore.

Our craisins aren't bad. I'd rather have some sugar than any artificial sweetener.

When it comes to things like chips, due to food allergies we don't have any that aren't just corn, corn oil and salt. I was disappointed and surprised to see our taco shells have artificial colors.

Surprisingly enough, Konny's little Gerber puffs aren't too scary.

Our cereal cabinet doesn't look too bad right now. I have to admit it's not uncommon to find artificial colors up here. All 3 kids are able to eat Trix and when I can get them for $1 or less/box, I buy them. There is sometimes Fruity Pebbles too since they're gluten free. I hated to see BHT added to several of these boxes.

I didn't stop looking at labels with just our "junk" food and took a look at some of my favorite soups too. (I think it'd be awesome for Naturally Savvy to write another book detailing other convenience foods like soups, hamburger helpers, mac and cheese, etc.) The first soup is an old favorite. It doesn't appear nearly as appetizing looking at ingredients like autolyzed yeast extract, naturals flavors and hydolyzed soy protein. The second soup is another favorite of mine and has a much better ingredient list. Maybe I should check into the chicken noodle in this brand!

After reading this book, I feel even more determined to seek out healthier options for feeding my family. I noticed just yesterday at the grocery store, I was reading ingredient lists on everything I picked up. Instead of just scanning for our known allergens, I was keeping an eye out for preservatives too.

Before food allergies, when looking at labels, my main concern was fat, calories, etc. Now, I rarely look at that info because I'm focused on ingredients. That is what this book is really about, focusing on ingredients. Even if the product you're buying looks like it might be healthy on the nutrition panel, if it's full of bad ingredients, it's not such a good choice after all!

I think this book would be beneficial and informative for all my friends (not just my hippy health conscious friends). In fact, don't be surprised if some of y'all get a copy wrapped up at Christmas this year!

'Like' Naturally Savvy on Facebook and 'fan' them on Twitter for your chance to win great prizes.

This book was provided to me at no charge by Naturally Savvy. The opinions expressed here are my own and may differ from other experience.


momof4 said...

This looks like an ineresting book that I'm going to have to check out. It seems like eating fresh or making your own snacks is the way to go. I hate all those unpronouncable ingredients.

Anonymous said...

Annatto can be considered a natural color. It is taken by heating the seeds from the annatto plant in oil. It has a smoky taste so it is probably responsible for the "mexican" flavor on your taco shells. It has been used for generations in Hispanic cooking and it can be considered the poor version of saffron! It has been used as a flavor and color enhancer before artificial coloring was even considered!

Theresa said...

Thanks for the info!