Sugar, Sugar

Let’s learn how to read labels! The best way to avoid being misled by product labels is to avoid processed foods as much as possible and practical. Whole foods don’t have an ingredients list. However, I know how busy you are & sometimes convenience wins. If you decide to buy packaged foods, I want you to be able to make informed decisions & better choices!

  1. Ignore the marketing & claims on the front of the package. It’s marketing. They want you to be lured in. Ex: high sugar breakfast cereal labeled as heart healthy or “whole grain”.
  2. Product ingredients are listed by quantity rom highest to lowest amount. This means that the 1st ingredient makes up the most of the food item. A good rule of thumb is to scan the first 3 ingredients, as they make up the largest part of what you’re eating & avoid refined grains, any type of sugar, or hydrogenated oils.
  3. If the ingredients list several lines long, that product is highly processed. 5-7 ingredients or less is good. You should be able to pronounce and recognize the ingredients.
  4. Be aware that serving sizes are deceiving. Most serving sizes are much smaller than what we actually eat.
  5. Packaged foods can have many misleading claims that make you think the food is healthy when it really isn’t, like “sugar free” or “fat free”.

For example:

  1. Light/reduced calories- usually watered down or they add sugar in the place of fat (oils)
  2. Natural- natural flavors doesn’t actually mean its real ingredient.
  3. Organic- this doesn’t mean the product is healthy. There’s organic sugar.
  4. Low-cal still can be highly processed and full of garbage
  5. Low-fat- typically they replace the fat with sugar which isn’t any better.
  6. Low carb- still processed.
  7. Gluten free- highly processed, replace gluten with sugar, contain unhealthy fats, etc.

P.S. there are over 60 names for sugar. Cane sugar, maltose, juice, syrups, fructose, etc. – if any of these are listed in the first 3 ingredients, you know its high in sugar.Here are some of my favorite accounts to follow if you’re wanting to learn more about the foods you’re eating & what to buy at the grocery store:

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