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Need suggestions for healthier food choices [moved from General Topics]

I was watching Oprah this week and she had Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen on the program. They suggest you cut out hydrogenated oils, sugars, high fructose corn syrup, enriched flour and bleached flour. They also suggest you only eat food with 4g or less of saturated fat and sugar.

This idea seems great but what's left? I was checking out the labels at the store and it seems like everything contains these ingredients.

I've tried some of these "healthier" choices and many times, they taste gross.

Can anyone share some food finds that actually taste good?

One snack food that I found that is quite tasty is Miguel's vegetable tortilla chips.

Does anyone have other suggestions? Thanks.

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  1. If you eliminate all those ingredients, you eliminate almost all processed foods. You might take a look at Trader Joe's.

    I think you pretty much have to cook most of your own meals to follow that sort of extreme health-food regimen.

    1. Wow - where to begin....I'd recommend shopping at a Whole Foods or similar store as a good 'natural foods' store will usually stock a good selection of food without such ingredients.

      When you make a major switch in eating habits there can be a transition period where you have to get used to what food actually tastes like without all the additives....at first this can be 'gross' as you say but in a short time you'll adjust. For instance, I don't eat refined sugar (I use Sucanat - dried sugar cane juice with intact nutrients - instead) and an apple is plenty sweet while a Snickers bar would be waay too 'artificially sweet' to me. BUT - at first, the candy would've ben normal and the apple bland....ya know?

      You may want to find a good natural cafe or deli to eat at and check out the menu for ideas to use at home...

      So, a short list of ingredients to use in cooking might include:

      Canola oil to sautee at high heat and Olive oil for salads
      Sea salt
      Sucanat - use as sugar -
      Earth Balance - great non-hydrogenated margarine
      good organic vegis and fruit and if you eat meat - hormone free meats -

      For prepared foods I like:

      Rudi's bakery breads
      Amy's frozen products (various)
      Natural Peanut butters without trans-fats
      Light Life Vegi dogs

      Boy, the list could go on...I think the best thing would be to commit a few bucks to a shopping spree at a good natural grocery and look for the 'healthy' versions of the food you know you like...good for you for making this change and good luck!

      1. Canola oil tastes nasty to many of us:

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        I use corn oil or rice oil for high heat.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Depending on what kinds of food you enjoy, you might also want to consider safflower oil, grapeseed oil, and peanut oil.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I find canola oil doesn't have much of a taste at all.

          2. In your post you write, "I was checking out the labels at the store"

            The first suggestion would be to check out the produce section instead of the inner aisles -- real food doesn't have labels. There is no saturated fat in an apple, no trans fats in grapes, there is zero HFCS in asparagus, no unpronouncable preservatives in a banana, butternut squash does not contain bleached flour, etc.

            Choosing a healthy alternative to the heavily advertized American snack food industry will take imagination and work on your part. The "Nutrition Action" newsletter from CSPI would be a good first stop. You will need to read widely and make intelligent choices, food choices that do not necessarily have a PR department. Planning snack food into your day will take more initial effort than plugging quarters into the snack machine at work. The rewards will far outweigh the cost.

            Good Luck!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sherri

              Yes, I'll never forget my physician saying "If you're the kind of person who is very careful about reading all the nutrition labels....you're eating the wrong kind of food"

              As said above "real food doesn't have labels"

            2. personally I don't find eating whole foods to be an extreme diet at all. After all, its food as nature made it to be consumed. We humans got the idea to mess around with it so it would last longer.

              Stay in the outer aisles, learn to cook some tasty meals, and go from there. Once you start eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats if you wish, you'll find your taste buds will notice the difference if you eat 'convenience food' again.

              Just leaving out refined sugars and flours will make a big difference in how you feel. It's really not extreme at all, just different. The key may be, as Robt. says, in cooking your own meals. That's the way to find deliciousness.