So many times I am asked “what about this food…or that?” and my new favorite response is “What do the ingredients say?”…some give me a blank stare, others have no clue, and some simply say “I dunno.” Understanding how to read a label is not as important as knowing the ingredients in your food. Who cares if it says “all Natural” “whole food” “organic” “fat free” “sugar-free” “healthy snack” etc. These words mean nothing and are mostly ways to market a product. The front of the package tells you very little about the actual food inside you are considering consuming. The nutritional breakdown they give you on the back of the package does not always paint the full picture either. It tells you nothing about how your body actually processes the food; it just simply tells you the breakdown “pre-digestion”. Here is the tricky part: so many foods have a lot of junk (chemicals, anti-nutrients etc) in them that your body may not even get the nutritional benefit (what is listed on the package) of that food…even if the breakdown seems reasonably healthy.
What do you do? Flip that bad boy over and read the ingredients. What does it say?? First question to ask, can you read and understand the words—do you know what you are reading? (I am assuming that you are not illiterate because you are reading this blog, so let’s not be too literal here). If you cannot pronounce it and have no clue what it means, chances are you body is not going to like it. Is it a list of whole food ingredients?? Second question to ask, does it have any form of sugar listed (anything ending in “ose” or has syrup or sugar in the name…to name a few: sucrose, xylose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup)…stay clear of these!! Third question to ask, how does your body respond to these particular food items? If you know inflammation, bloating, headaches, nausea, diarrhea…occur then it is a NO NO! I am sure you are thinking “duh” that clearly looks like a list of bad side effects for a medication commercial…..yep it does and yet we still make active decisions to put that stuff in our bodies (hey…myself included…I know…it’s a shocker…but it happens).
Your homework: read the labels and make informed decisions about the food you are purchasing and consuming! That is all!