Having forgotten that I had signed up to read and review it, I was excited and surprised to find it in the mail!
I started it this weekend…and finished it this weekend. Unjunk Your Junk Food is a very easy read, charts about the worst ingredients in today’s foods and comparisons of popular unhealthy foods and alternative healthier options. Going into it, I figured I knew most of what they were going to say but I was surprised to find out several new things during my reading.
My favorite thing about this book was that it is filled with pages showing a bad food choice and an alternative better food choice. They show the ingredients of each choice and highlight the very bad ingredients, the sort-of bad ingredients, and then a description about why the foods are bad or good. Very helpful!
The book has a chart of the worst ingredients in our foods. I used this chart to check some of the foods I currently have in my pantry to see if I had any of these “worst ingredients.” I was surprised to find partially hydrogenated soybean oil in a package of pancake mix my mother-in-law had purchased in Hawaii. I had read the ingredients before to see about artificial colors or MSG or those other easily recognizable bad ingredients, but I failed to see that soybean oil. After reading the chart, I learned that partially hydrogenated oils are trans fats! Most people are quick to read the nutrition label ( I know I am!) to see about trans fats. BUT, even though it listed trans fats at zero grams, there it was clear as day listed as an ingredient! Really makes me think about how many trans fats we’ve consumed without really knowing it.
I recently have been looking to avoid artificial colors and flavors, so I wasn’t surprised to see so many artificial colors listed on the worst ingredients chart. In fact, I was glad to see they WERE really bad ingredients….made me feel better about trying so hard to avoid them! 🙂
The biggest thing I learned while reading Unjunk Your Junk Food was that even though monosodium glutamate (MSG) is not in the food item, I should be checking for other flavor enhancers that carry the free glutamic acid, which is the common item in MSG that causes people’s physical reactions (headache, asthma, diarrhea…just to name a few!). Other additives that carry this glutamic acid are: autolyzed yeast (which sounds perfectly healthy to me!), vegetable powder, yeast extract and several others! I had no clue those terms/ingredients were composed of the same thing that causes the typical MSG reaction. This is something I will definitely be looking to avoid more diligently.
Overall, I loved this book. It will most certainly be a great reference when I have a question about a particular ingredient or when looking for an alternative to a well-known unhealthy product.
I highly recommend this book. And not just because I got it for free. 🙂 I took away a lot of useful information for making healthier choices for my family’s diet.