Monday, August 22, 2016

4 Tips for a Naturally Healthier Kitchen

Buying organic is just one way you can make thoughtful food decisions that support and nourish your body and health.

On average, we make more than 200 food choices each day. It’s important to be mindful about food choices and habits because they have a direct impact on our health. 

Here are some tips to help with some of those everyday food choices:

  1. Buy organic when possible. By choosing organic, you’ll be reducing your exposure to pesticides, which have been linked to increased risk of chronic disease. Consider using the Environmental Working Group's “dirty dozen” list as a guide to help you prioritize which products to buy organic. Be sure to wash all fruits and vegetables before consuming them.
  2. Check the list of ingredients and choose foods with a short list of recognizable ingredients. Ingredients are listed in order of predominance (those listed first are used in the greatest quantity), so if you don’t recognize the first few ingredients, question if it’s something you really want to put in your body.
  3. Use glass, ceramic or stainless steel instead of plastic. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in many plastic products that can leach into our food. BPA can act like a hormone, disrupting our endocrine system. BPA is also found in canned foods. Look for canned foods marked “BPA-free.” By switching to glass, ceramic or stainless steel, you’ll not only be doing your body a favor, but also contributing to less waste. 
  4. Be mindful of what you use to clean the kitchen. Cleaning products often contain harmful chemicals and leave residues on countertops, which can make their way into your food. Consider making your own vinegar-based cleaner or purchase cleaning products from an environmentally friendly, reputable brand that you trust.

Next time you go grocery shopping, use these tips as a guide to help you make thoughtful purchases that support and nourish your body and health.

— By Megan McLean, MS (’15), Bastyr dietetic intern, and Amy Frasieur, MS, RD, core faculty in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University. 

FALL 2017
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