As promised, here is part two of the series, Lifeskill : Reading Nutrition Labels.
Last week I talked about the common offenders you are likely to find in packaged foods. The chemicals, the artificial colors and the additives. Today I want to back track and teach you what to focus on when you pick up a box or package. You see, manufacturers know what the public wants. Organic, non GMO, gluten free are some labels you’ll see on the front of the box but this can sometimes be misleading. It’s the side of the box I want you to focus on. More specifically, the ingredient list. This is where the common offenders I spoke about last week will be listed. Today I want to give you three tips when buying packaged food.
1. KEEP IT TO FIVE INGREDIENTS OR LESS.
Keep it simple. Be picky when it comes to feeding your body. We don’t need to be feeding our bodies things that are hard to pronounce and those that we have never heard of! The ingredients are listed in descending order so what ever is in the highest amount, will be listed first.
2. KEEP AN EYE ON THE SUGAR.
There are so many different names for sugar out there! Over 60 names! Shocking right? Brown rice syrup, golden syrup, fruit juice concentrate, barley malt and the list goes on and
on. The American Heart Association recommends women and children get no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar but the truth of the matter is that the average American consumes a whopping 19.5 teaspoons of sugar a day! The nutrition panel will tell you how much is in a serving and it’s the added sugar you want to be careful of. A good rule of thumb to convert the grams to teaspoons is divide the number of grams by four. So for example, if a box of cereal has 9 grams of sugar per serving, you divide that by 4 to give you a little over two teaspoons of sugar per serving of that cereal. It doesn’t seem like much but it adds up if you’re having a bowl of cereal for breakfast, a fruit flavored yogurt for a midday snack and dessert after dinner. Not to mention a soda in between. Before you know it, you have had more than the recommended daily intake!
3. WATCH OUT FOR REFINED INGREDIENTS.
Most packaged foods will have refined forms of carbohydrates and fats. these have been known to cause inflammation in the body. Refined carbs METABOLIZE quicker in the body as compared to their whole grain version. thus They are high on the Glycemic Index. studies have shown that too much consumption of refined carbohydrates increase the presence of inflammatory markers and lead to insulin resistance.
Refined fats such as canola, soybean, sunflower. safflower, corn and vegetable oils are refined and high in omega 6 fatty acids and although these are needed for ones body, if consumed in high amounts lead to inflammation in the body.
So there you have it, my three top tips of thngs to look out for when shopping for packaged foods. As always, start being mindful about what you’re putting inside your body and always think, is this going to bless my body? Want to take a deep dive into read labels? My 30 Day Jumpstart challenge will help you read lables like a pro as well as teach you the cornerstones of good health and transform you into a happier and healthier version of you!