Your ramen has MSG and milk is polluted with detergent.You might not be able to do much there but you could definitely detoxify your diet by being a more informed food shopper. Here’s how to become one. Food is not simple anymore. It exists mostly in multiples and variations. Umpteen kinds of rice, mind-boggling varieties of grains and a deluge of edible oils – today’s foodie are spoilt for choice. In such a scenario, it is natural to shop extra and shop mindlessly. If a major portion of your diet is coming out of a box, bag, or a can, you should definitely be aware of what you are really ingesting, right? That’s why reading food labels are important.
WHY DO IT?
Food labels tell you about the serving size, a number of servings in the package, calories per serving and a number of various nutrients present in the product.As an educated buyer you can compare the labels to determine which foods are lowest in calories, fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugar, and pick the least unhealthy item. Charu Bhardwaj, metabolic balance coach, and nutritionist says, “These days, many foods are preserved, flavored, blended, improved texture-wise, thickened and colored with the Food and Drug Administration’s approval. But even when labels say `no trans fats’ or `no lead’, there may still be hidden chemicals in the food. So understanding labels is vital to choosing the right packaged foods.”
All ready-made foods come with a nutrition label describing what you’re consuming. Understanding each of those ingredients helps you make healthier choices. Checking food labels also makes it easy for you to compare the nutrient content of different options. It helps you avoid certain ingredients if you have a food intolerance or are following a diet that excludes certain components, such as dairy, gluten…
DON’T BE MISLED
Make a point to buy products only when you’re able to identify everything on the ingredients list. There are literally thousands of food additives that can cause health-related problems. For instance, when you see `High Fructose Corn Syrup’ on the packaging, understand that it is just another way of saying sugar! Normally an average person finds it difficult in reading and decoding nutritional labels. It’s because of an information overload and the lack of a clear and simple message.
GET THE BASICS RIGHT
Check servings and calories:
One should look at the serving size and how many servings you are actually consuming. If you are consuming two servings of a particular food that means you are taking double the calories mentioned.Trans fat and saturated fat: Look for foods low in saturated and trans fat and cholesterol. They will keep your heart safer.The best way to pick ao truly trans fat-free food is to check the list of ingredients and avoid “partially hydrogenated fats” as they are high in trans fats.
Foods labeled with added sugars may provide calories, but could lack essential nutrients. So, foods and beverages low in added sugars should be considered. Also check “total carbs” on the label, since carbohydrates turn into sugar during digestion.Look for sugars with nutritional benefits. White sugar is highly processed and has been stripped of other nutrients. Instead of white, look for less processed sugars such as brown rice sweeteners, which usually include fiber; honey, which contains beneficial l antioxidants and molasses. They contain trace minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium.
According to research, eating less than 2,300 milligrams of e sodium (about 1 tsp of salt) per day may d reduce the risk of high BP. Most sodium you eat possibly comes from processed o foods, not from the salt shaker.
Go all olive or stick to mustard? Is ghee bad altogether? Shopping for the right oil is a quandary one is caught in these days. The American Heart Association recommends choosing vegetable oils and margarine with liquid vegetable oil as the first ingredient and no more than two grams of saturated fat per tablespoon, such as tub margarine, canola, corn, safflower, soybean, sunflower, and olive oils. Another tricky area is snacks.
Packaged snacks can’t be purely healthy so it’s all the more important to shop prudently there. Look for calories per serving, a number of food additives or preservatives added, the type of fat used and allergens if any. Don’t forget to check the sodium, MSG or artificial sugar content as well. The product should have a good amount of protein, vitamin and mineral content.