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Navigate right in your food store!

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We are faced with lots of decisions during a regular trip to the food store. The purpose with this health tip is to make it easier for you by simplifying things. There are of course good reasons to not buy the products listed below but from a health perspective you don't need to worry. There are no poisonous products in our stores, the contents are thoroughly controlled, and the maximum limit values are set with good margins. 

Pre-fabricated foods: industry produced food is not automatically worse than home cooked. There are high requirements in regards to hygiene, nutrients and security.

Genetically modified, locally produced and organic: your body will not notice the difference between corn that has been genetically modified, has been transported across the globe or grown locally. 

Food coloring: the chemical structure of coloring is identical if is produced in a lab or by a tomato, and your body will not be able to notice the difference. All colors used in the food industry are approved for that use. 

Preservatives: without additives that hinder the growth of mildew and bacteria in our foods we would run the risk of becoming seriously sick. Also, using preservatives mean that we can eat vitamins and minerals during the year, even off season.

E-numbers: all additives have their own ID-number that starts with the letter E followed by a numerical code. Just because a food has a lot of E-numbers does not mean that it is automatically unhealthy. Some natural substances such as citric acids and oxygen have E-numbers E 330 and E 948.

Gluten and lactose: gluten protein should obviously be avoided if you are intolerant but there are no health benefits from eating a gluten free diet. Between 3-5% of the Swedish population are lactose intolerant and cannot break down milk sugars in their small intestine which leads to discomfort. The sale of both gluten and lactose free products have increased the last couple of years even if there are not health benefits for symptom free individuals. A tip is to look at the price difference between these "special" products and normal ones. 

Light products: sweeteners have been around for so long that the effect on our health has been well studied. The rumor that light products will increase the risk of cancer has not been documented. If you need to decrease your energy consumption to avoid obesity light products are recommended instead of sugary products. 

Energy drinks: in average, a Swede drinks 5 liters of energy drink annually. They are no more harmful than coffee and if you choose drinks with sweeteners you run no risk of a large calorie or caries intake. The age limit to purchase energy drinks is set to 15 years since younger children run the risk of consuming too much caffeine due to their smaller size compared to adults. 

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About the authors Jessica & Maria

Challengize health tips are written for us by Jessica Norrbom and Maria Ahlsén, both with PHDs in medicine. Since 2013 they run their own business Fortasana working mainly with diet, training and health from a scientific perspective. Maria and Jessica have written several books and regularly lecture focusing mainly on popular health myths and explain what is actually true from a scientific perspective when it comes to diets, trends and newspaper headlines.

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