If you’ve made the conscious decision to eat better than you may have had the familiar experience of picking up an item off the supermarket shelf, then comparing to the next brand and thinking ‘oh my, which is the healthier choice?’ Understanding how to read food labels helps you to make an informed choice and I'm not talking here about counting calories or nutritional statistics, we firstly wanna know we are eating real food right?
So here are my top 3 tips on what to consider:
Firstly, we can avoid highly processed packaged foods by selecting products that contain fewer than 3 ingredients and definitely no more than 5. So next time you pick up that peanut butter, ask yourself, shouldn't it just be peanuts? And maybe a touch of salt? Remembering that ingredients are listed in order of amounts or proportions, so if I’m choosing peanut butter, for sure peanuts should be No1 on the list!
Secondly, ensure all the ingredients listed are items you recognise individually as real food. Avoid E numbers, long names that you can’t pronounce and definitely don’t sound like something that came from nature. Some of these ingredients may indeed be harmless but the when the labelling is not designed to support healthy choices, it’s best to err on the side of caution.. Remember, for example, that sugar has over 40 different names and as food manufacturers become aware of our more educated shopping behaviours, they’re more likely to write sucrose, dextrose or even maltose than to white sugar.
Lastly, real food doesn't even need an ingredients list. Ever noticed the list of ingredients in an avocado? No right, that's because it's just an avocado! Why don’t we make the whole shopping experience easier & save time and just stick to the first few aisles!
Practicing reading your food labels will not only empower you to make smarter choices when purchasing food but will gear you towards those food items that no longer have long lists of ingredients and therefore typically are less processed & harmful to our health
Do share this article with anyone you believe would like the support to reach their health goals.
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