6 / -5
      4 / -9
      18 / -15

      Always check the label

      With today's abundance of diet plans, the gluten-free craze, and organic options, how is one to determine what is really healthy and what isn't?

      "Eat whole foods rather than processed foods that have additives and things added to them to make them not as healthy as real foods," said Michele Boehmer, Registered Dietician at Marquette General Hospital.

      And then the "American Diet" comes to mind...and all of the foods we eat which contain an abundance of additives and preservatives that are banned in many other countries.

      One way to ensure you're getting proper nutrition? Scan the entire ingredient list.

      Each preservative listed there may be a common one and will have its intended purpose on the package.

      "If a product you are buying has 20 different ingredients, look twice at it. You want something that only has a few different ingredients. If you don't know what the ingredient is in the food you're buying, think twice about buying it," Boehmer said.

      Common additives and preservatives include artificial food dyes, olestra, brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, azodicarbonamide, BHA and BHT, synthetic growth hormones rBGH and rBST, and arsenic.

      But some local grocery stores offer different options which lack the unappetizing ingredients.

      "We have a big selection of organic produce, we have a big selection of all-natural beef and pork and chicken that have no added hormones or additives, anything like that," said Zach Quinnell, Store Manager at Tadych's Econo Foods in Marquette.

      And for those who feel they can't afford to go completely organic, there is a list put together by the Environmental Working Group called the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15, which lists produce options you can buy organic and which are okay to buy off the regular shelf, based on the amount of chemicals and pesticides they absorb.

      "Anything that's certified organic will have either a stamp or a sticker right on the product," Quinnell said.

      For a list of foods banned in other countries and their potential side effects, click here.

      For the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists, click here.