What to Look For on Food Labels
Within the last year, I started learning how to read food labels. I used to never look at a label when buying food at the grocery store but I have come to realize that reading labels on the food you are buying is so important. You will be blown away at the sugar that has been hidden in the “healthy food” you buy. Anything in the ingredients that ends with an ose has sugar. If you are going to buy a sweet treat it is best to look for sweeteners like coconut sugar, munkfruit sweetener, honey, agave, maple syrup, and rice malt syrup. These sweeteners are all natural and do not contain any refined sugar, plus, they are easier for your body to digest. I do not like to buy foods with artificial sweeteners, but that is my personal preference.
Another ingredient to pay attention to is the oil on a food label, like in tortilla chips and other healthy snack foods. It is best to stay away from foods that have sunflower oil. There are so many foods that contain sunflower oil that our bodies typically get too much. Even “healthy” snacks will sometimes contain sunflower oil. The best oils to look for are avocado, coconut, and olive oil.
I also stay away from anything that contains wheat or white flower, and dairy because I am gluten and dairy intolerant. However, if your body does not have a problem with gluten or dairy then you do not have to worry about these ingredients.
Not Counting Calories
I do not count calories so the calorie portion of a label does not matter to me. The two main sections I look at are the grams of sugar and total fat on the label. Anything over 7 grams of sugar per serving I try to stay away from. If you have read some of my previous posts, I expand on how my body does better on a lower sugar diet. Therefore, if I buy foods with lower sugar content, it ensures that I do not consume too much.
The fat content I am a little more relaxed about. If you are eating healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado oil, nuts, unsweetened coconut, dairy free yogurt, then it is okay if the fat content is a little higher. You just need to make sure the food you are buying has a high fat content due to a healthy fat. Most healthy snacks that contain nuts are going to have around 10-14 grams of fat per serving. When a snack has 20 grams of fat or more in a serving, it’s probably best to steer clear of buying that product.
Reading food labels is not a hard task; you just have to know what you are looking for. If I am thinking about buying a new snack, I will always read the label before I buy it. It only takes a minute to check out the label and your body will thank you for it!
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