There are so many dietary terms thrown around in product advertising that it makes it difficult to know what is actually good for you. Unjunk Your Junk Food: Healthy Alternatives to Conventional Snacks, by Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer, is a book dedicated to explaining what all those terms like Omega-3 and organic really mean and compares popular junk foods with healthier alternatives. They have classified all of the worst ingredients into "The Scary Seven":
High- Fructose Corn Syrup
Review: The book is beautifully assembled with great pictures, interesting sidebars, and lots of well-organized information. I gained a much better understanding of what certain terms mean and why you should aim to have these things either in your diet, limited, or avoided all together. For me, the biggest take away is that trans fat (which turns to formaldehyde in your body) should be avoided at all costs.
The book also looks at common foods that fill the average American's pantry and offers similar foods as healthier alternatives. They did a nice job of using comparable products. I can't stand it when articles or books tell you to do something like reach for an apple when you are craving ice cream. This book, instead, tells you the best ice cream to choose.
After reading the book, I feel that I am more aware of what to look for in food purchases. I browsed through my cupboards and was amazed at how some of my seemingly smart choices were actually unhealthy. For instance, we drink Crystal Light as an alternative to sodas, but it contains two of the Scary Seven ingredients: artificial coloring and aspartame. I do wish that the book would have offered a price comparison because, to be honest, my limited budget is what really drives my decisions at the grocery store. If I am able to find the healthier alternatives at a comparable price, I will be more than happy to choose the smarter product. If only going organic and health would mean I could still be frugal.
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I was provided with the above mentioned product for the purpose of facilitating this review. No other compensation was received and the views expressed here are my own.