I’m a long time reader of your blog and Twitter follower (I’m @SarahJayBee) and I have a question. I’m about to move from Ireland to America and one of my biggest fears is that I’ll put on tons of weight. Are there any specific brands or products I should be aware of when shopping? Or cupboard staples you can recommend? I know that some products trick consumers into thinking they’re low in fat and I do not want to be tricked!
Hope your pregnancy is going well.
I’m so glad you wrote. I told you this before but your tweets always crack me up! :)
Congratulations on your move. I know it’s only temporary but I can’t imagine getting an opportunity to live in another country for a few years. The thought of it blows my mind!
Unfortunately your question is a tough one as products and brands (especially ones I seem loyal to) are regional. So even if I did give you a great list of products you may or may not find them.
I think you are already coming over with the right approach as I do think our products here in the states are marketed to confuse and trick the consumer. However there are a few things you to keep in mind.
First of all, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requires labeling for most prepared/processed foods. That means the products you find in the grocery stores will have a label on the back that give an ingredient list as well as basic nutrition information (calories,fat, fiber, sodium, etc.)
Second, be warned of any packaged products that claim "All Natural," "Light," "Made with Whole Grains," "Good source of vitamins"," "Low Fat," or even "Organic" these statements really mean nothing. Turn the product over and read the ingredient list to see if contains things you want to be eating.
There are some great products out there and some of them are labeled with what I listed above but instead of trusting them or my recommendations blindly I would suggest you spend some time perusing your local grocery story when you get here. Read the ingredient lists and make your own EDUCATED decisions. That’s the key. I may not always buy the best things for my body (hello Swedish fish addiction!) but I make that decision consciously and I know what I’m putting in my body.
I’m sure others will want to chime in with their strategies and product recommendations as well. Can you share what area you are moving to in the comments? That may help as grocery stores tend to be in 2-3 states by region.
Good luck on the move!