Have you read the labels on your favorite go-to-foods?  Go-to-foods are the snacks, treats or meals you like to eat.  You know, things like ramen noodles, Oreo cookies, frozen stouffer’s macaroni and cheese or hot pockets.  Pre-packaged, easy to prepare, convenience foods that make it easier to get a meal on the table.

My “go-to-foods” used to be hot pockets, stouffer’s macaroni and cheese, frozen french fries and hot dogs.  These foods made it easier to get dinner on the table for my family and appealed to my children’s taste buds.  One day, as I reached into the freezer section to retrieve a box of hot pockets, I looked at the label and realized (at that time) there was no real cheese in the hot pocket.  It seems that with the recent push to produce foods with more natural ingredients, hot pockets now boast that they use real cheese but what about the other ingredients that are not recognizable as food? For example, partially hydrogenated soybean oil is an ingredient of the pepperoni pizza hot pockets. This is a trans fat which is no longer recognized as safe by the FDA.

Another favor go-to-food for my family was ramen noodles. These contain several controversial ingredients.  A flavor enhancer in three different forms; MSG, disodium guanylate, and disodium inosinate and trans fat in the form of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and hydrolyzed corn and soy protein.  Trans fat has been linked to increased risk of heart disease. MSG is known to cause a number of bad reactions in the body.

Take a look at the ingredients in your “go-to-foods”. Google the ingredients that are not recognizable as food or go to websites such as www.foodfacts.com.   Once you’ve done your homework, consider replacing these foods with ones that contain ingredients that you recognize and can pronounce.  They are better for you!

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