We have been trained to look at the nutrition label. We scan it for calories, and serving size. If your a bit more savvy you will look down at the fats, carbs, protein, fiber, and even sugar grams. These numbers help us determine if we buy it or not. Good for you for doing that. However, equally important information can be found lower on the label.
Food companies want you to buy their product, so they entice us with easy to market “Low Fat,” “High Protein,” “Low Calorie” and “Low Carb” claims.
We are made to believe THAT’S what’s important! But Im preaching here and want to tell you that whats listed under the ingredient list is pretty important too. In some instances it is even more important.
I’ll give you an example.
You decide to replace your morning cereal with yogurt… Thats good swap. You look at the labels and find one with calories, fats, proteins and carbs that meet your goals. You think “SCORE!” However, looking into the ingredient list you find high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in it in the first 3 ingredients listed. HFCS which has been proven to pack on the pounds faster than any other ingredient. It also can increase your LDL cholesterol levels and contributes to the development of diabetes and tissue damage. What kind of trade is that. You may actually be better off eating the cereal! Or you can look at the ingredient list for yogurts without HFCS, they’re out there!
Another pet peeve; you’re really parched afterward a workout or watching your kid play soccer in the hot sun.. LOL You reach for a sports drink. It has to be good for you, right, all those athletes drink it. If you check the ingredients list, you’ll see there’s Blue #1 and Blue #2 listed right up there on the ingredient list. These food dyes are thought to contribute to behavioral problems in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ. Animal studies have linked food colorings to cancer. It’s also believed it may cause chromosomal damage. Again, there are some sports drinks without the crap, but you’ve got to look at that ingredient list to know for sure! Or make your own!
I could go on but the point is this: Continue to scan the macronutrients of your food (paying close attention to the trans fat and sugar content up there), but don’t stop until you look at the ingredients and make sure you don’t see any of these included in there:
- Corn oil
- Soybean oil
- Soy protein
- Refined wheat flour
- Corn or wheat starch
- Soy lectin
- Mono and diglycerides
- Sodium nitrate
- Potassium bromate
- Propylene glycol