Some more, please: The secret ingredient for a healthy shopping list

No “ose” or “Es”. And that’s just for a start when it comes to what I avoid in the ingredient lists of stuff on the supermarket shelves.

My zombie-like shopping days – walking down the aisles, stacking my trolley with whatever colourful labels caught my eye – are long gone.

I shiver and spare a thought for my abused insides when I think of all the MSG, E numbers and maltodextrose I have consumed.

Sure, I am a food Nazi, but at least the toddler’s insides will be well shielded by good nutrition by the time she discovers the empty calories of fast food and the ready-made (ie processed) food that crowds the shelves.

When another mother tells me confidently that we all grew up on biscuits and bread, I quietly remind her that 30-odd years ago neither the biscuits nor the bread were conjured into existence with a concoction of chemicals and compounds.

Instead, they were made from butter, eggs and flour by our overchored, underappreciated moms.

And when there was sugar in something, it was that granular stuff you put in your tea, not some unpronounceable version of it with an “ose” suffix.

So, in my continuing battle to make and eat food that is still food I have made three rules and have become a tiresomely active shopper.

Getting around the supermarket takes longer these days, but at least what’s made it into the pantry is pretty safe to eat.

Real food rules
» If there are more than five ingredients in it, it’s not food any more; it’s a food product. In fact, sometimes five ingredients is too much.

» If I can’t pronounce it, I ain’t eating it. That goes for made-up words too. If it needs its own vocabulary, it’s too weird to eat.

» No more low-fat products. They are full of hidden sugar instead, and I am tricked into eating more because I think it’s making me thinner. Kudos to the advertisers!

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