Mind Your Body TV Episode 20 with Ashley Koff, R.D.
As a fellow baby boomer, maybe you remember when grocery stores weren’t an entire city block long and didn’t contain thousands of products, but hundreds. I remember the plain A&P store in Charlotte, N. C., around which I’d dutifully follow my mom, “helping” her fill her cart. We didn’t know much about buying healthy food. Now we do.
Now a trip to the store can be a dizzying experience, one which also places more responsibility on us to be highly informed shoppers, says internationally-known Ashley, Koff, R.D. She’s on what she calls her “Qualitarian” mission, and it doesn’t include (bad for you) processed foods. Did you know, for example, that nearly 10,000 new processed food products are introduced each year, with plenty of savvy marketing punch behind them?
Pick and choose healthy foods
This extensive variety elevates the chore of reading food labels to an entirely new level. You don’t love them either? Here’s Koff’s astute suggestion: “Don’t buy food with labels. Buy food in its whole form.” Easy, isn’t it? We both already know that an egg is usually an egg, and that fruits and vegetables don’t have labels—unless they’re designated “organic.” She recommends food in its “whole food form.”
When reading labels, Koff says, think of a downward pyramid while being cognizant of “optimal nutrient balance.” The first on the label ingredient is the main one, and so on, down the lines of the pasted-on nutritional grid.
You may already know that dangerous fast food ingredients that have been linked to various cancers and/or obesity include MSG, trans fat, sodium nitrite, BHA, BHT, propyl gallate, aspartame, Acesulfame-K, Olestra, potassium bromate, and food coloring Blue 1 and 2, Red 3, Green 3, and Yellow 6.
Read the labels on grocery store products and you’ll recognize some of those same culprits. Why, asks Koff, would we eat anything artificially “blue”? You don’t buy that when buying healthy food.
More on buying healthy food
Koff believes food is the body’s protector. We eat so much of it, it’d better be good. “Give the body what nurtures it,” she says. And she encourages open lines of communication between you and your doctor. If, for example, your lab results show troubling high cholesterol numbers, maybe you and your physician try to adjust diet first. “Diet is the foundation to help prevent and manage chronic disease,” she says.
In this video, she explains more about foods we should eat:
- non-genetically modified organisms: In North America, over 80 percent of our food contains GMO!
- plant-based vegan
- supplements: If you take supplements, remember they don’t replace anything, and “they have to be as high quality, if not higher, than your food,” she says.
For a primer in sound, basic nutrition, see her “Nutrition for Optimal Energy” plan here. Enjoy one of two stories with the vivacious and magnetic Ashley Koff. And eat well! Don’t miss Koff’s other video here on Mind Your Body TV if you want to eat for more energy–and who doesn’t?