Have you ever stopped and taken a look at the ingredient list of a product you buy from the grocery store? You are probably thinking nooo. Ok Ok. I didn’t either until a couple of years ago.
Soo… Stop right now and go grab something from your pantry and read it.
One of the things you will notice is most of the products have an ingredients list a mile long. You are probably thinking ” What is all that?” That’s exactly what I was thinking when I started reading labels. Why does it take 20 ingredients to make pancake mix? What happened to just flour, water, eggs and baking soda. It was very confusing.
Why should you care? Because it can affect your health that’s why. There are so many products that can increase your risk of many health conditions and are in the foods you eat every day. Now, I hope I got your attention.
Sooo… Understanding how to read ingredient labels is so important because you should want to know exactly what you are putting in you and your families body. Have you ever stop to think what is in the food you are feeding your kiddos??? Don’t worry. I got you covered…keep reading.
My rule of thumb is,
“If a product has ingredients that you can’t pronounce don’t buy it!”
First thing first try to choose products that contain whole foods and not processed foods. The number of ingredients is also very important because the more ingredients mean the more processed the product is. Try to look for products with 5 or less ingredients. The first ingredient listed is what the product is mostly made of. When shopping for food products don’t be fooled by what’s on the front of the package, the ingredients list will tell you exactly what is in the product. When you first start, take a second you google ingredient that you are unfamiliar with. As you become more familiar with reading labels try to avoid the following items:
- Artificial Dyes (Red, Yellow etc)
- Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame, Nutrasweet, Equal etc)
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Diet Foods (Foods labeled with diet)
- Flavor Enhancers or Preservatives (Maltodextrin, Nitrates/Nitrates or MSG)
Here is a great resource that you can use in the grocery store:
- Fooducate- is an iPhone or Android App that can be used to scan products and see how they are graded based on their contents. It is graded is based on foods that have very little processed ingredients and a higher content of real foods. Give this app a try next time you’re in the supermarket.