Unjunk Your Junk Food

9781451616569_p0_v1_s260x420Need help sticking to your New Years resolutions?  If your resolutions include trying to eat healthier, this book can help you out!  Unjunk Your Junk Food provides healthier alternatives to some of our favorite snack foods.  I found this book incredibly helpful, as so many of the popular snacks found in any grocery store are filled with artificial ingredients – which is something I’d like to avoid.  They’ve taken the guess work out of grocery shopping – listing some of the worst ingredients that should be absolutely avoided, and they’ve also explained and defined each item you may find on an ingredient list (you know those words that seem impossible to pronounce, and seem better suited for a science lab??).

Unfortunately, some of the healthier alternatives listed in the book seem a bit more expensive than their less healthy counterparts.  That’s one myth the authors would like to dispel – “We know what you’re thinking: healthy eating costs more.  It’s true, and no one is denying it.  But when it comes right down to it, we’re talking about your health and your children’s health.  Get this: 95% of money spent on health care in the United States goes toward treating illness, and only 5% is spent on prevention.”  That’s something to think about – I like to save as much money as possible at the grocery store, but I also think about buying the healthiest things within my budget.  Calculating cost vs nutritional value is a complicated equation – but it really shouldn’t be!!!

What I like most about the book is the breakdown of the ingredient list – it lists many of the typical ingredients you’d find in a snack food.  They’ve labeled ingredients that should be avoided in red, for the worst ingredients, and yellow, that should snackers should be wary of.  There is an analysis of some of the most popular snack foods on the market – breaking down their nutrition facts.  If you’ve ever wondered what the big difference is between snack foods (I know I have), this may put an end to some of those debates.  Can one snack food be healthier than the other, with the exception of choosing a banana or carrot sticks?  One of my guiltiest snack pleasures is one of the worst offenders – Doritos.  Now I’m more aware of just how unhealthy these chips are, but giving them up will be nearly impossible!

The ingredients that should be avoided at all costs include trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial colors.  I’m not that surprised by the snack foods that are dissed in this book – I try to inspect labels before food gets tossed in my cart at the grocery store.  This book still helps.  If your goal is to eat healthier – or get your family to eat healthier, this book is worth checking out!

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