Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Food Labels

I have been working on a lifestyle change for about 2 years now.  This isn't about a diet or even loosing weight but about changing my lifestyle.  I am more active and I eat better.  So more activity, less and better food.
Do you read food labels?  I do now and what I've learned has helped me but scared me.
Let's start at the top with the serving size, you'd think that say a can of soup is a serving but if you read the backs of some soup cans there are 2, yep count em' 2 servings in some soup cans.  So the first thing to notice on the labels is how many servings is in the item you are holding.  The next thing to look at is the carbs, protein, fiber and fat grams.  Now remember these amounts are PER SERVING!  So, if your item has 2 servings in it and you eat it all, you've doubled the intake of not only the calorie count but the fat, fiber, protein and carbs.
Another thing to be aware of with labels is that if the amount is less than .05 grams you will see an asterisk or a dash as the manufacturer doesn't have to list it. Some manufacturers will list 0 grams but beware that doesn't mean zero, just less the .05.  It is a loophole in the law.  Also remember that because zero could mean .05 you should still count it by serving!
Next down the label is the ingredient list.  The ingredients listed first are higher in content in the product.
To eat better overall you should limit your sodium (salt), sugars, high fructose corn syrup, nitrates, partially or any kind of hydrogenated oils, preservatives, additives, any artificial anything, carbs and off course, fat.  You should increase you protein and fiber intake to keep you fuller longer.
Want to be scared?  Read this link about poisons in our food.

Labels aren't the only thing to be wary of.  Run from anything labeled 'Natural'.  What exactly does this mean?  Natural simply means that the product has undergone minimal processing or treatment with preservatives. So what does that mean?  What is minimal treatment or minimal processing?  Who knows!
I always look at things and say, 'is this what this looks like in nature?'  Example - chicken nuggets don't look like that originally, either do chicken tenders.  So should I eat them?  Probably not unless I make them myself.
So the moral of this story, read those food labels!

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