Let’s talk food sourcing and shopping – how do we pick the best things for our PFAPA and PFS kids (and just ourselves as humans)? This week is an excerpt from my Functional PFAPA book – available here.
Let’s get started…
“So far we have talked about getting properly raised animals and looking out for packaged and processed foods. What does that all mean? On my blog I have talked about these things quite extensively and I encourage you to stop over to simplymindfulwellness.com/blog and check out information on this. But for now let’s take a glance.
When buying from the grocery store it is important to look for some key things. (And with this new way of eating you will find markets, and local farmers are much easier and the grocery store will be minimized if not eliminated with certain delivery service options available today).
The outer ring of the store is your friend.
If you need to go to the grocery store you want to stay in the fresh section. Produce, meats. Most of your shopping is done here.
You are looking for the same labels of pastured, grass fed and finished, organic and non-GMO. If you are looking at dairy it should be full fat, and as close to raw as you can get. You will need to look at the ingredients of ALL items that are in a package with a label. You will be looking for ingredients you know. If there is something on an ingredient label you do not know, you can look it up – or just skip the item and choose something with ingredients you do know. Or better yet, if you can, make the food at home – yourself.
Cheese is one of the most misleading foods in the store, along with butter, and sometimes milk. You want only the cheese, only the milk, and yogurt, just the live cultures and the milk type it is made from. The same applies for butter. We are never getting margarine or butter substitutes. These are made from poor, or fake, oils all together and are very harmful to our bodies – very inflammatory.
When you are looking for other items off the shelf
This is when we need to focus hard on finding the healthy brands and staying within those limits, and always just doing a quick check on the ingredient list. The first time you shop it will be intense looking for a clean brand. When you find one stick with it. BUT each time you go to buy again just do a quick scan. Sometimes things change and quality changes on products.
We are avoiding:
Corn and corn related substances (check your ingredients)
Soy and soy oils (check your ingredients)
All types of sugar (this includes a long list, but look for “ose” or things that seem like sweeteners. There are exhaustive lists online and I provide them in my practice when we start out.
Anything that is a chemical, filler or additive. That means you will wonder what the word means or do not recognize it.
Wheat, gluten, grains. Although some types are OK and beneficial (and we briefly talked about it) on the inner aisles you won’t find much of this. The only way to achieve this is to buy from the source, or make it yourself and with PFAPA and PFS it is best to keep this at a minimum level or none at all. Inflammation tends to increase with these.
Enriched means it is processed. Those are a solid no.
Now that we have looked at the ingredients it is important to recognize a few things about the front of a label. MOST front labels are completely made up by the company and have no real meaning for your health. A few exceptions include: organic, non-GMO. These are regulated and not allowed on products unless they are certified to be true. All other labelling is done by the company. Things like natural, and even the labels of grass fed and free range, these are used by the company without regulation. Their definitions are very loose. This is why buying from a local farm is always best. They are going to tell you what they have done with the animals because they are proud and, literally, their life depends on it.
Again, buying from the grocery, staying with wild caught, pastured, grass fed and finished, organic and non GMO are the way to go. Although they may be liberally using some of these terms, they are still better than the ones who do not label those characteristics at all.
Is organic best?
It is. It has been proven that the amount of nutrients in an organic food is higher than that of its non-organic counterpart. The chemicals, fertilizers, and sometimes GMO-nature of the seed used to grow the plant, along with soil degradation of time and treatments change the nutrient content of the food.
What this means is that organic has more nutrition. It also contains fewer or no chemicals. It cannot be treated the same as non-organic and it is regulated and certified. So you know you are avoiding these. This is especially important for soft skinned fruits and vegetables. The thicker the outer skin the less chance of penetration of chemicals. It doesn’t increase a non-organic foods nutrients though.
With PFAPA and PFS kids/adults it is important to minimize exposure to all types of chemicals and any products or foods that can increase inflammation and cause more work for the body to clear. That means your child needs those extra nutrients in organic, and doesn’t need those inflammatory and disruptive chemicals in traditionally grown food.”
There is even more detail in the book and ways to help you even define a cleaner home and cooking equipment to minimize toxic exposures for your PFAPA and PFS child. Be aware, shop smart and go to a farm!
Grab your copy of the book to get more guidance or set up a FREE consult.