Food labels are the so called “novels” to our meals. If we aren’t reading them meticulously, we’re sure to miss the most significant details, leaving us feeling unsatisfied.
Why are we unable to take the CliffNotes version when it comes to reading the labels on our food?
…Because marketers and companies lie…or tweak the truth enough to make you believe that 100% natural actually means 100% natural. Or that just because a product does NOT contain HFCS doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better for you…The examples are endless.
This leaves our bodies with a nutritionally void ending.
When it comes to reading food labels, I have a few basic tips to share with you.
1. Scan the ingredients list first. These should all be things you are familiar with. If you cannot pronounce it, do not purchase it.
2. Pay attention to items labeled low fat, low carb, or low sugar. Chances are there are other artificial additives in their place, which again, does not make the food more nutritious.
3. If you are choosing organic, be sure that the label is USDA organic. Currently, the US only recognizes this label as truthfully organic.
4. Make sure your carbs, fats and proteins are balanced. When purchasing a processed food, always check the nutrition to ensure you are getting an adequately balanced meal. I recommend: no more than 10 g. of fat (healthy fat- monounsatured), 25-35 g. of carbohydrates, and 20-25 g. of protein. Bonus if you have more dietary fiber too!
5. Pay attention to serving sizes on labels. Often times we overlook this and end up overeating. It’s important to stay within your limits to avoid unwanted calories and eventual weight gain.
6. The best food to buy has zero labels. These are our bountifully nutrient dense fruits and vegetables. There’s no need to worry or count calories when it comes to servings of these! Just make sure you’re buying locally and organic as much as possible to avoid pesticide exposure.
What guidelines do you take to the grocery store with you?
Peace, love and food labels!