How To Read Food Labels

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Reading food labels is really important nowadays since our dependency on packaged foods is roaring high. If we cannot survive on raw food, we need to learn how to chose packaged foods wisely.

You might be reading labels to check how many calories, fat, carbs or protein does a food item contain. Have you ever cared to know what the food is made of ?

how to read food labels

I will give you quick check points how to read food labels when you go for grocery shopping –

  • Check the ingredient list also in addition to calorie information. If you find ingredient names sounding technical or chemical to be precise, it is a clear indication that the food item is highly processed. Drop it there, you don’t need to put junk in your body.
  • Anything which is labelled as Fat Free is Fattening. Take an example of Americans(no insult intended). Americans are turning obese because of their increasing intake of fat free foods. In order to reduce fat, the packed foods are full of carbs and sugar. Read here why sugar is an evil here. By now , we are aware that same amount of calories from protein, fat and carbs are different. If you have missed the article, read here.
  • Fat controls blood sugar level. When sugar in blood is high, we need more insulin to push sugar into our cells. Insulin is used to store fat. More insulin produced is more fat stored in body.Β  This means sugar makes us FAT.
  • Majority of whole grain foods are misleading ! When you pick up a whole grain food item, read the ingredient list. If it doesn’t specify 100% whole grain or if it contains refined flour, do not buy. Check the amount of fiber in the product. Whole grainΒ  foods are high in fiber. If fiber is low in whole grain food, you know what to do πŸ™‚
  • Look out for – Trans Fats. Trans fats are cheaper and long lasting than ghee or butter. They are difficult to digest. Hydrogenated oils are also trans fats, avoid them. Our very own Nutralite contains trans fats :(.
  • Avoid Sugar Free foods or sugar substitutes. Aspartame, sucralose , saccharin, dextrose etc are known to cause diseases ad dreadful as cancer. Read about Sugar Free Natura here and Equal products here. You can use organic jaggery, stevia or honey.
  • Avoid a food with preservatives, flavorings and additives. These are chemicals and our body is not meant to digest them.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup – This is found inΒ  ketchup, soda, cookies, pasta/pizza sauce etc. This is loaded with calories since it is man-made. The rule to follow is eat raw, stay healthy πŸ™‚
  • MSG – This has several names like hydrolyzed protein,, plant protein extract,hydrolyzed plant extract, hydrolyzed vegetable protein,yeast extract,Β  autolyzed yeast, sodium caseinate, , texturized protein, hydrolyzed oat flour, calcium caseinate etc. MSG causes us to crave and eat more.
  • Sodium or salt causes bloating and water retention. Avoid it.

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Let us know if you have some other tricks how to read food labels πŸ™‚

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Fab article Tarun .I don’t like reading labels much moreover i am not into packaged food ..mostly into fresh fruits and veggies but these trans fats and no fat products are really bad for health…All we think is we are eating good and healthy food but reality is quite different.

    • Yep. We are mislead every time. Packaged food includes ghee and butter too. Unfortunately, I replaced Amul butter(98% fat) with Nutralite which contains trans fats due to lack of knowledge few years back.

    • Yep :). Shwee, even I get to learn from you πŸ™‚ . Thanks for being around !
      Any chemical name gives an indication that the food is processed .

  2. I dint kno half of this ya!i also usually just read the carb n fat content n buy…ab ill read d ingredient list too! Super article!

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