The importance of reading labels

The importance of reading labels

If I could stress one thing to you, it would be the importance of reading labels before you buy a product. Yes, even on the so-called health brands or that jar of peanut butter. If you have peanut butter in your fridge or pantry go grab it because we will look at that in a minute! 

See the whole picture

So often we look at just the fat content or the calories...which can be important but it's not the WHOLE picture. It's important to capture the whole picture when working towards a healthy lifestyle. We're often tricked into believing that the package is healthy when it uses words like gluten-free, low-fat, sugar-free, or no high fructose corn syrup. But, for example, reduced fat foods have added sugar to it to make it taste good! So, just because the products claim certain benefits does not equal healthy. You must be aware of what ingredients are used...if you can't pronounce the ingredients, stay away. The fewer ingredients the better. 

Today I want to share something practical with you and show you how to read a label correctly!

Did you grab that peanut butter jar? Perfect. Now turn it over and look at what the ingredients say...not the fat content or the calories but what is actually in the peanut butter...does it have Sugar? Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil? Molasses? 

There is absolutely no reason why peanut butter needs to have these ingredients! We definitely do not need the added sugar and hydrogenated vegetable oil is an additive that is one molecule away from plastic. It wreaks havoc on our blood! 

I've heard the argument that "It's just a little sugar, what's the big deal?" But the issue is that sugar is added to almost everything now and our sugar consumption adds up VERY quickly. We are now eating more than 3 times the amount we should be and research shows sugar is more addictive than cocaine! No wonder food manufacturers are adding sugar to keeps us coming back for more and more. 

Look for peanut butter that is just peanuts or peanuts and salt. You can find them at Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or Target (Target's Natural Peanut Butter is just peanuts and salt). 

Anyone eat yogurt? Go ahead and grab that from your fridge so you can take a look at the ingredients. I'm looking at Yoplait Light Harvest Peach yogurt.

Look at that list of ingredients: modified corn starch, sugar, tricalcium phosate, sucralose...all of which are additives or chemicals. Now go ahead and look at the calories, only 90. If you're a calorie counter this is the perfect snack isn't it? I'm not going to get into my "not all calories are created equal" pitch today {I will save that for another time!}, but know that calorie counting does not work long term. And look at that sugar content: 10 grams added! And not to mention the fake sugars (sucralose) that actually cannot be digested in our bodies! Studies show that those who have fake sugars in their diet are actually heavier. I know, sounds crazy. But research proves that those who eat fake sugars weigh more than those who don't! 

The important of seeing the whole picture

Do you see the importance of looking at the whole picture? It's not just about calories, fat, or sugar content. It's also looking at exactly what your food is made of. When you begin to read labels and stop buying products filled with sugar, chemicals, and other additives you'll not only have more energy, lose the bloat, and feel better but also lose the extra weight. Not to mention feel amazing!