How often do you read food labels?
The most common complaint I hear from clients is how confusing food labels are.
Grocery shopping is hard enough and reading food labels just makes the trip all the harder.
Who has time for label reading and why does it matter?
Food labels contain a lot of useful information, but it can be difficult to make sense of it all. Fat, Carbs, Net Carbs, Sugar, Protein, and so much more. What does it all mean and how can you make sure you’re selecting foods that will help you meet your health goals?
I hear you. Let’s clear up the confusion and make shopping for groceries just a little bit easier.
We’ve been told for years to lower our fat intake and eat low-fat or no-fat foods. Now we know that our bodies actually need healthy fats. Our bodies need healthy fats for energy. When reading labels, look for monosaturated or polyunsaturated fats; these are your good fats.
Your goal is to keep your cholesterol intake to less than 300mg of your daily diet. Fatty foods are higher in cholesterol and should be avoided. Red meat, dairy, deli meats, processed meats are foods high in cholesterol.
Manufacturers add sodium to food for a variety of reasons. Our responsibility is to keep our sodium intake as low as possible. Too much sodium can cause your blood pressure to rise, yet too little sodium can cause healthy problems. Keep your sodium intake at 2,300 mg per day to stay within a healthy balance.
4. Total Carbohydrates
Carb counting seems to be what most people are interested in and food labels can bring about the most confusion. If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll want to keep your carb intake from 50 to 150 grams per day. If you’re at a healthy weight, you’ll want your carb intake to be around 225 to 325 grams per day.
5. Dietary Fiber
Fiber is essential for good health. The amount of daily fiber you need is dependent upon your age and gender. You’ll want from 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day.
There are at least 61 names for sugar. That’s a lot of sugar and believe me, sugar is hiding everywhere. The more you try to avoid sugar, the more manufacturers try to hide it. When eating healthier, you will be encouraged to eat less refined sugar and eat more natural sugars like honey, molasses, Stevia. You’ll want to keep your sugar intake low, no matter what source it is derived from.
Your body needs protein for energy. Your goal is to choose healthy sources of protein. Choose protein from legumes, beans and nuts over red meat or pork. Your goal is to eat at least 15% to 25% of your daily calorie intake as protein.
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.
Request your free copy of “Read Your Labels” to learn more about reading food labels.
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