Wait? What is that ingredient? Is that even food?: Simple tips for reading nutrition labels
Updated: Nov 30, 2020
One of the BEST things I ever did for my health was learn how to read nutrition labels! Although it may take a bit of time to really get to know what ingredients are what...what is food...what are preservatives or chemical additives....there are some EASY things you can start doing right now!! Here are my TOP 3.....
1. Look at the ingredients. ARE THEY ALL FOOD? Can you easily pronounce them?? If the answer is YES, then you most likely have a good choice in hand!!!
2. Don't fall into the trap of only looking at fat and calories...companies BANK on you to do this!! That is why you will see labels boasting "Low fat" or "100 calories." Look at FIBER, SUGAR, SODIUM, FAT, and CALORIES. Women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day, men a little higher as a minimum and this is one of the most frequently missed nutrition targets. Sodium content and sugar content also is important to review and keep within reasonable limits. For women, the recommendation is no more than 24 grams or 100 calories per day. Sodium recommendations for adults is not to exceed 2300 mgs per day. If you are following a portion control plan or is low carbs, then of course look at that too! Protein is important as well so know your targets and choose accordingly! The easiest thing to do that will save you the most time in having to read labels...eat fresh and whole foods!
3. Non Food ingredients do not have any nutritional benefits and in many cases, are detrimental. Yellow #5, Blue #1... all of the colors are chemical additives. Check out the preservatives in your products....those are also not necessary HOWEVER when buying food without preservatives, the shelf life is much shorter so to keep things lasting longer, put them in the fridge.
Happy EATING...and label reading!