5 Ways Your Grocery Store Can Harm You, According to a New Study
The grocery store seems so innocent: A cabinet-filling cornucopia of sustenance for you and your family. Turns out, it consists of an average soap opera's really worth of secrets. As soon as you walk in the door — wait, do not seize that cart earlier than you read this — you're presented with some pretty serious threats to your health, from secretly unhealthy products to marketing gimmicks to the stuff that lurks on the freezer door handles. Health requested top experts to reveal the ways your grocery keep can make you in poor health — so your next shopping trip can be well informed and fear free.
1 Dirty Freezer Doors
Unhealthy ingredients aren't the only threat that lurks in the freezer section: Freezer door handles can be breeding grounds for bacteria. One study found that fridge handles at superstores had 33,340 bacteria colonies per square inch — greater than 1,235 times the bacteria observed on the average cell phone (which are no longer exactly sterile).
The Rx: That's a top argument for bringing antibacterial wipes or gel along when you grocery shop, and thoroughly wash the produce you likely touched after visiting the freezer aisle.
2 Playing to Your Sense of Smell
"Grocery stores do not simply place any ingredients anywhere," says Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics. "You'll often find that the best-smelling foods, such as the baked goods, are placed near the the front of the store. This is so that you are drawn to these foods as soon as you walk thru the door." What meals scent the best? Cakes, cookies, donuts and breads made from processed white flour and sugar — junky carbs that can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and waistline.
The Rx: Avoid the temptation to let your shopping list follow your nose.
3 Bacteria-Laden Meat Packages
"Packaged meat and poultry can generally contain bacteria such as E.coli on the outside," says Mitra Shir, MSc, RHN, a registered holistic nutritionist in Vancouver. "By touching and putting them in the cart, you can pass on the bacteria to your palms and other items."
The Rx: "Grab a clean produce bag, turn it internal out, pop your hand in, and snatch the packaged meat or chicken with it," says Shir. "Place it interior the bag and firmly tie to close and avoid cross-contamination."
4 Product Placement
In addition to making baked goods prominent, grocery stores put splashy (and often unhealthy) products at the end of aisles and inventory sugary children's cereals at their eye level. "The center aisles include the colourful boxes and applications with health claims plastered on the front to trap you in, and they are best to avoid," says Katie Valley, a certified holistic nutritionist in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The Rx: Stay on the fringes. "Stick to purchasing the perimeter of the store," says Valley. "This is where you will discover all of the clean produce, seafood, meat, and dairy. The other food selections to stick to are the single-ingredient, whole food items, like beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, oats and different whole grains."
5 Dirty Shopping Carts
"Over 50% of the shopping carts at your grocery save harbor disease-causing bacteria such as E. coli that can motive diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue and fever," says Shir. "The germs — that come from different shoppers who already have the bacteria or have touched contaminated products — can stay on the floor for hours."
The Rx: "The good news is you can locate antibacterial wipes at most grocery stores to wipe down the handles," says Shir. "Let it dry totally for 20 seconds or so earlier than grabbing."
Originally published: Eat This Not That