Oh how crafty food merchandisers are. They tout something as being low fat and instead it’s packed with sugar. They say something contains whole grain but the amount of whole grain is minuscule compared to the amount of starchy white flour. Whenever shopping it’s important to read the labels carefully. Sure something may only contain 150 calories per serving but how big is that serving size? Food merchandisers count on the fact that we as consumers won’t take the time to read the actual label once we see the bright shiny low fat sticker.
When reading food labels look at where all the calories are coming from. If it is higher in carbs are a high amount from fiber? If it contains a lot of fat is it coming from healthy omega-3 sources? Also be sure to look for products low in sugar. Have you ever read the sugar content of some things that are labeled healthy? I could go into a diabetic coma just looking at some of that stuff. Ok so not quite but it is ridiculous at times.
We have to be accountable to ourselves for figuring out exactly what nutrients are in our food. Generally foods that are less processed will be better for you. Foods shouldn’t have 55 ingredients for something that inherently should be simple and an ingredient list should never begin with sugar.
If you want the healthiest food go for items that don’t have an ingredient list or contain just a couple things. I’m talking all the fresh foods, produce, and grain products like quinoa that are just packed with nutrients and vitamins. I spend the majority of my grocery shopping in the outer aisles of the store. Why? Because that’s where all the fresh stuff is. I make a few trips down the aisles to grab spices and canned beans but generally I spend my time along the edge.
The less processed food you buy and eat the healthier you’ll be. I love the saying “the more you cook, the better you’ll look” meaning that the more meals you cook and prepare yourself the better off you’ll be.
The main thing to take away from this is that you need to be really aware of what you’re putting in your body. Know the serving size you are dealing with and read the label carefully. So the next time you think about picking up that healthy looking granola bar take a closer look at the label and then decide.