Selecting the healthiest foods at the grocery store is an exercise of the mind. Labels often make lofty claims but when you dig deeper, it’s common to uncover problems (for example, ketchup that’s labeled as having “half the sugar” but contains artificial sweetener).
America’s Favorite Snack
When it comes to shopping for snacks, things get even more confusing. In the United States, people tend to choose salty foods (chips, nuts, pretzels, etc…) over any other type of snack, and potato chips are at the top of that list. Trying to find a chip that is both pleasing to the palette and a healthier choice can be downright frustrating.
Q: Fat Free, All Natural, Baked and other claims sound great – but is one better than the other?
A: The healthiest oils in general are olive oil, coconut oil, and ghee (clarified butter, believe it or not). Most chips and popcorn are made with sunflower or safflower oil. These oils are high in Omega-6 and low in Omega-3, and most processed foods have way more Omega-6 oils, which promote inflammation.
Balancing the diet with foods high in Omega-3’s is important. For example eating fish like wild caught salmon, adding in ground flax or chia, or taking fish oil supplements are ways to boost the anti inflammatory Omega-3’s.
Chips that are baked and lightly salted are healthier, but making your own is even better. That way you can use different types of vegetable or potatoes, like kale or sweet potato!
This Q&A was adapted from our Live chat with Dr. Lilienfield
on Facebook in January, 2016!