By Dan Ingram and the Staff at Century Fitness


Do you know that if you search “limited ingredients” on the web in the hopes of finding a good nutrition article, you will get pet food instead?! (Note: This article is for humans –not pets). There is so much information about extreme diets, and ready-made concoctions, but very little advice about keeping food real. So how do you limit the ingredients to include the healthiest possible for you and your needs?


  1. Absolutely avoid fast food, drive through type eating whenever possible … (unless the farmers market has a drive thru)!
  2. Read both the food label AND the ingredient list when shopping. If you need to go back to school for chemistry class to read the list, then maybe that food doesn’t go in your cart!
  3. Limit snacking – most snacks at the gas station or local corner store are likely not healthy even if the manufacturer says, “All Natural”, “Light” or “No Sugar”. Real ingredients are often replaced with additives, preservatives, artificial formulas and fake sugars which can lead to difficulty with digestion and inflammation problems. Of course, too much sugar isn’t great either.
  4. Cook your food from ingredients that occur in nature without major interference. Here’s an example of cooking versus buying:


Sushi homemade Ingredients: Seaweed sheets (nori), sticky rice, oil, vinegar, your choice of veggies such as; carrots, avocado, cucumber, radishes. Options: sesame, ginger, wasabi. Insert more veggies, fish (can be barbecued if you are concerned about raw sushi fish. Note: Need a sushi roller.


Sushi sample label from store bought:

Sample 1







Sample 2







  1. Make a humongous salad. Add a small amount or seeds nuts and a dash of shredded cheese to up the protein. Make your own fresh dressing.
  2. Select real fish and meats (if you are a meat eater), not premade and packaged. Then cut your meat portion size down and make your healthy, fresh, whole food sides and salad the main show and your meat a side act.
  3. Plan your shopping and your menu. This will help you avoid eating packaged food in a panic.
  4. Utilize farms and farmer markets, which are most active from May to November in New England, and also check out their websites for healthy and fresh recipes.

No matter what you call it – “clean eating”, “strictly nutritious”, “eat like a champion”, just remember to avoid the artificial and unnatural ingredients and boost the healthy whole foods you can pick, catch, squeeze, or hunt from nature.

This article is intended to be provide knowledge of general health and fitness principles and is not medical advice. Please consult with a physician if you have questions.