Do you just buy foods without looking at what is in them?

I never really understood people not caring what they put in their bodies.

It would be like filling your gas tank up with anything you can find!! The car might be ok for the short term but if you continue to fill it up with the wrong substance eventually it will break down.

Think of your body as the same way.

In a perfect world, we all would buy foods without labels (i.e. fresh veggies, fruits, fish, poultry and meats) but I know this is unrealistic for most people.

So I came up with some QUICK TIPS to help you be an expert LABEL READER 🙂

  • Ingredients on labels are listed from highest quantity to lowest quantity
    • If the first ingredient is brown rice syrup put it back
  • I don’t advocate counting CALORIES
  • Look for SMALL ingredient lists (6 or less is ideal 🙂
  • If you can’t pronounce an ingredient put it back on the shelf
    • For example – say this ten times – BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE or BHT used as a preservative in cereals, potato chips and chewing gum but the Health and Human Services pegged them as known carcinogens
  • Be aware of SUGAR and all it’s different names! (i.e. malt syrup, corn syrup, brown rice syrup, barley malt, cane juice, fruit juice concentrate, maple syrup and on and on….) These aliases attempt to conceal the presence of large amounts of added sugars.
    • 5 grams of sugar or less is a good baseline
  • Stay away from fat free foods because they typically have a high sugar content and often contain artificial ingredients
    • Leave trans fat foods on the shelf, limit saturated fats, look to the ingredients in regards to polyunsaturated fats, and increase monounsaturated fats, which are the healthy fats.
  • Organic and/or gluten-free foods does not mean it is automatically healthy for you.
    • Rice flour, potato flour, cornstarch, and tapioca starch all cause spikes in blood sugar/insulin levels which encourages fat deposition.
  • Watch for certain artificial sweeteners
    • Avoid – Aspartame (in NutraSweet or Equal), Sucralose, or Acesulfam-K and Saccharin (branded as Sweet n Low)
    • Use only in moderation – Whey Low and Sugar Alcohols
    • Best choice – Raw Honey, Coconut Sugar and Stevia Leaf or Stevia drops
  • Sodium – it is important to have a healthy amount of salt to maintain the right balance of fluid in your body but avoid high sodium canned, prepared and processed foods. Adding a bit of Himalayan salt to your meal is your best alternative.
  • The higher the FIBER content the slower that food will break down, keeping you full longer and helping with digestion. This is good 🙂
  • Lastly, there is no need to count grams of protein but a good baseline would be 6-10 grams of protein per meal. (if you are a body builder/pregnant or breast feeding this amount will be higher)

There you go!! You just got a crash course in label reading 🙂 Take these tips and apply them to your every day life.

But remember the best foods are the ones that don’t require a label!

Have a great weekend!! Enjoy the Open Championship if golf is your thing 🙂

-Brian

P.S. If you are looking to jump start your weight loss and health goals? Check out my Intermittent Fasting Journal to help you reach your goals!

P.S.S. Join The Get Lean Club to get your questions answered and participate in our weekly challenges!! (Mediation Challenge starting Monday!!)