Learn how to interpret the nutrition fact labels on food packets.
Firstly you are best to avoid food in a packet altogether, try to shop the periphery of the supermarket: fruit and vegetables and meat, aim to eat the foods your Great Grandparents would have eaten. Of course we all buy some packaged foods so it is important to know what you are looking at when checking food labels:
- The order matters: the ingredients are listed in order of how much they contribute to the product. So if you see sugar high on the list you know there is a lot of sugar in that product. You might be surprised, it is not just the obvious ones like lollies and biscuits but also sauces, breads and dairy products! Basically any word that ends in ‘ose (sucrose, glucose……) is sugar.
- The fewer the ingredients the better, and if you haven’t heard of an ingredient you certainly don’t want to be putting it in your precious body! If the list is long it is a good indicator that the food you are looking at is highly processed and likely full of additives and chemicals.
- Even supposed healthy foods like soups and dips can be full of colours, sweeteners and preservatives so ALWAYS check the label.
- Be wary of BUZZ words, as healthy and organic eating is on trend marketers are taking advantage of it and putting all sorts of words on the packaging that have healthy connotations but the reality is that there is no governing body around what they can put on the label. It can be very misleading e.g.- organic compared to all ingredients certified organic. The first product might only be 1% organic and may not even be certified – SCARY!!
It is worth taking the time to read your food labels and make sure you know exactly what you are choosing to fuel your body with.