Eat More Healthily by Paying Attention To Common Food Labels

reading-the-labels-for-healthier-eating

I’m definitely an advocate for eating delicious, energy-giving nutrient-dense foods that help you to be healthy and keep to your optimal weight.

When you eat real and whole foods – foods that tend to be stocked in the very first section of the supermarket as you walk in – you seldom have to think about food labels. Fresh fruit and vegetables don’t come with a label, and neither do straight up cuts of meat (except for the pre-packaged cuts, which have labels to show the price and weight).

But when it comes to foods that have been processed in some way or ready-cooked meals, those labels can become a mine-field.

Food labels contain a lot of useful information, but it can be difficult to make sense of it all. Fortunately, you can make healthier choices without having to learn a lot of complicated scientific equations or mathematical calculations.

This is a simple guide to clearing up the most common sources of confusion about food labels, so you can eat more healthily.

Common Sources of Label Confusion

  1. Regard all sugars equally. Manufacturers sometimes use many different names for sweeteners, knowing that consumers may be trying to avoid sugar. Sugar is an “anti-nutrient”, which means that not only are you getting a lot of empty calories, it also uses up small amounts of valuable micro-nutrients to be processed. In other words, it actually costs you, nutritionally speaking, to eat sugar! Plus, it metabolises into advance glycation end-products (AGEs), which, speed up aging. Click here for a list of sugars, “by any other name”.
  2. Pay careful attention to serving sizes. Portions are another tricky area. Labels sometimes display the figures based on a half portion. You may expect to get 4 servings out of a small ice cream container, but does the label correspond? Make sure you keep a look out for those serving sizes.
  3. Consider the true value of “healthy foods”. There are many foods that are sold with “healthy” labels or brands that make it sound as if the food is good for you. Many of these are simply marketing terms, designed to help us feel as if we are being healthy, but may not necessarily be good for us. As an example, many foods that are “fat free” compensate by loading up with sugar. Similarly, many gluten free goods have to have something else included to provide the binding ability that comes from the gluten. The bottom line, read the label and know what you’re buying to eat.
  4. Be vigilant about trans fats. The “trans” fats found in many processed foods have been associated with heart disease and other health issues. A product may contain these fats even if the label says “0 grams.” That’s because, in the US, the FDA allows this as long as the amount is below 0.5 grams per serving, and there is no requirement to disclose trans-fats in the UK or in Europe. Your best protection is to eat mostly whole, natural foods. 
  5. Beware those 100% labels. These labels sound good, but even if something is labelled as “100% whole grain”, this does not mean that it is the only ingredient in the pack. What else is in it? The item that the food contains the most of, by weight, appears first on the ingredients list of a food label. What else is on the list? Always check the label to ensure that whole wheat or some whole grain is listed as the first ingredient and check that the other ingredients are things that are healthy for you too.

Diet plays a big role in the quality of our life and our overall well-being. Learn to read food labels like a pro and make healthier choices for you and your family.

Will you start today?

Sugar By Any Other Name

veronicalim-sugar-by-any-other-name

Confused by some of the names that appear on food labels? Some of those names are alternate names for sugar, and if we don’t know that, we could be eating far more sugar than we intend.

Here is a list of alternative names for sugar.

[columns_row width=”third”]
[column]Agave Nectar[/column]
[column]Barley Malt[/column]
[column]Beet Sugar[/column]
[/columns_row]

[columns_row width=”third”]
[column]Brown Sugar[/column]
[column]Buttered Syrup[/column]
[column]Cane Crystals[/column]
[/columns_row]

[columns_row width=”third”]
[column]Cane Juice[/column]
[column]Crystal Cane Sugar[/column]
[column]Caramel[/column]
[/columns_row]

[columns_row width=”third”]
[column]Carob Syrup[/column]
[column]Castor Sugar[/column]
[column]Confectioner’s Sugar[/column]
[/columns_row]

[columns_row width=”third”]
[column]Corn Sweetener[/column]
[column]Corn Syrup[/column]
[column]Corn Syrup Solids[/column]
[/columns_row]

[columns_row width=”third”]
[column]Crystalline Fructose[/column]
[column]Date Sugar[/column]
[column]Demerara Sugar[/column]
[/columns_row]

[columns_row width=”third”]
[column]Dextran[/column]
[column]Dextrose[/column]
[column]Diastatic Malt[/column]
[/columns_row]

[columns_row width=”third”]
[column]Diatase[/column]
[column]Ethyl Maltol[/column]
[column]Evaporated Cane Juice Fructose[/column]
[/columns_row]

[columns_row width=”third”]
[column]Fruit Juice[/column]
[column]Fruit Juice Concentrates[/column]
[column]Galactose[/column]
[/columns_row]

[columns_row width=”third”]
[column]Glucose[/column]
[column]Glucose Solids[/column]
[column]Golden Sugar[/column]
[/columns_row]

[columns_row width=”third”]
[column]Golden Syrup[/column]
[column]Granulated Sugar[/column]
[column]Grape Sugar[/column]
[/columns_row]

[columns_row width=”third”]
[column]High-Fructose Corn Syrup[/column]
[column]Honey[/column]
[column]Icing Sugar[/column]
[/columns_row]

[columns_row width=”third”]
[column]Invert Sugar[/column]
[column]Lactose[/column]
[column]Malt Syrup[/column]
[/columns_row]

[columns_row width=”third”]
[column]Maltodextrin[/column]
[column]Maltose[/column]
[column]Maple Syrup[/column]
[/columns_row]

[columns_row width=”third”]
[column]Molasses[/column]
[column]Muscovado Sugar[/column]
[column]Raw Sugar Refiner’s Syrup[/column]
[/columns_row]

[columns_row width=”third”]
[column]Rice Syrup[/column]
[column]Sorghum Syrup Sucrose[/column]
[column]Syrup[/column]
[/columns_row]

[columns_row width=”third”]
[column]Treacle[/column]
[column]Turbinado Sugar[/column]
[column]Yellow Sugar[/column]
[/columns_row]

 

 

Is Dietary Fat Good or Bad?… 30 Leading Health Experts Weigh In

Think back to the last time you decided you wanted to lose weight or to improve your health.

Now ask yourself: On that morning, what did you do differently? Did you continue eating exactly the same but eating less instead? Did you try to count your calories? Did you cut down on fat and eat more carbs?

The truth is, many people aren’t always sure what the best strategies are, because there have been mixed messages about what it really takes to lose weight, feel great and reverse chronic disease naturally.

jar sand measuring tablespoon of ghee - clarified butter on grunge wood

One of the key areas of confusion has been around the subject of dietary fat. Dietary guidelines told us to eat less fat and more carb. These were based on the results of a study known as the Seven Countries Study. Unfortunately, the results of that study were “cherry-picked”, meaning, that only the findings that supported what the researchers wanted to show were reported. In short, it was bad science.

Fast forward to today. According to the Fat Summit website, “In 2015, the United States Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee removed any recommendations to limit fat in the diet (after concluding that it doesn’t make us fat or sick).” I am absolutely curious to hear more about this.

If, like me, you want to hear what the experts have to say, then I have something to share that I know you’re going to love.

The Fat Summit – “Separating Fat from Fiction” <— Check this out

Take a look at this amazing event, featuring some of the top leaders in health and wellness, and functional medicine. Hosted by nine-time New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, educator and advocate in Functional Medicine, Dr Mark Hyman, the list of speakers include David Perlmutter MD, Chris Kresser, Josh Axe, Nina Teicholz, JJ Virgin, Barry Sears, Gary Taubes, Walter C. Willett, MD, Christiane Northrup, MD, not to mention 21 other experts in the lineup.

For one week starting January 25, they’ll be weighing in (pardon the pun!) on dietary fat and the secrets to sustained weight loss, health and longevity. And incredibly, they’re giving all this away for FREE.

Here are just some of the many fascinating topics they’re covering:

  • Why eating more fat (and less sugar) actually leads to weight loss
  • Whether or not children should eat a high-fat diet
  • How carbohydrates impact hunger (I wish I had known about this years ago)
  • The research on red meat (does “grass-fed” really make a difference?)
  • The connection between toxins and weight gain
  • How to enjoy healthy meat (with minimal environmental impact)
  • The best sources of plant-based fat
  • The role of fat in ageing (ahhh, this one is close to my heart these days)
  • And much more…

Registration kicked off YESTERDAY and space is limited. Don’t put off what could well be the most important move you make all year. Sign up right now.

I can’t wait for you to watch this. This is going to change lives.

Here’s to a healthier 2016!

Love

Veronica
xo