What should I keep in mind while buying foodstuff?
What we eat is what we become. So, one must know
what one is eating. The following things must be checked while buying
any packaged foodstuff:
|Check both the manufacturing and expiry
dates. Milk and meat based products have significantly shorter
shelf life than vegetable based products. Dry packages have
significantly shorter shelf life than moist packages.
| Always check the ingredients! The
component information can be especially important. For example,
one may be allergic to a particular kind of grain used in a
foreign dish. Someone may be a vegetarian, and may keep eating
non-vegetarian components just because he didn't check the label!
Heart patients, diabetics, hypertensives (people having high
BP) must avoid food that is high in salt (particularly sodium).
All this information can be found on the label. Foodstuff that
has its label in a language you don't understand is best avoided,
however attractive they may look!
|Double check the ingredients! Know
that whole grain is better than processed grain. The latter
loses its fiber content while processing. Check the preservatives
used. If you're in doubt about one of the ingredients, ask the
store staff for help. If still in doubt, leave the packet.
|Check the Nutrition information given on
the label. Note how much calories, fat, and vitamins the
packaged food gives. Obese people must avoid high fat food if
they are to make a contribution to their health. Vitamin content
(particularly vitamin A and B group) should be high, because
growing children, pregnant and lactating women, and the elderly
need them in more amounts.
|Needless to say, check every packet for
leaks or tears.
|Canned food is especially liable to
contamination by anaerobic bacteria. Check if the container
appears unusually "stuffy" (under pressure of the
gases produced inside by the bacteria). Whenever you open a
canned food container, check if it emits bubbles. If so, discard
|Compare different brands at the market
itself. There are tremendous differences in prices, quality,
as well as nutritional content among brands. Make a good choice.
|Buy a variety of foods rather than
large quantities of some chosen foods. The variety helps in
giving you all the essential amino acids, essential fatty acids,
vitamins and minerals everyone needs. Remember, the food you
hate the most has some nutrients no other food has!