Rule number of better eating is to know your food, which means, learn how to read your labels.
I think the biggest shock I got about healthy eating was just how little I knew about what went into my food. It was after I watched Michael Polan’s Food Inc. that I started really looking into what I ate and where it came from. After A while, it’s almost impossible for me to put anything in my cart without firt looking at the label and figuring out what is in it and how it will affect me once I eat it.
Reading labels might seem daunting at first by there are a few simple rules that will make it a breeze.
Ingredients List: ingredients on labels are listed in order of weight( the amount of the ingredient in the product). Look for foods containing unprocessed, recognizable ingredients. If you can’t pronounce or don’t recognize some of the ingredients, put the product back on the shelf! Avoid foods where the first 4 ingredients is sugar in its many forms.
Serving size: This is where retailers trick us into thinking that something has less calories than it does. Suggesting serving size and what people actually eat are two different things. Make sure that you are adding your calories according to what you actually ate. Don’t assume the whole pack equates the calories written.
Calorie count: make sure you check the calorie count on food before purchasing. Also ask yourself if the calories provided is actually worth what you will be getting.
General Guide to Calories
- 40 Calories is low
- 100 Calories is moderate
- 400 Calories or more is high
Total Fat: Aim low: Most people need to cut back on fat! Try to limit your calories from fat. For a healthy heart, choose foods with a big difference between the total number of calories and the number of calories from fat.
GMO or Organic: if this is important to you, make sure you check to see how your ingredients are grown. Understanding how this food is labeled will be your best guide