I'm totally confused when I read food labels. What am I supposed to look for?
Sometimes the forces that be make it complicated to know what to eat. There's so much conflicting information available, it's easy to be confused by nutritional information. Therefore, I thought I'd try to cut through some of the label claims and conflicting "truths," and share some of my label dealbreakers that make it easy-peasy to know what to put in your basket ... and what to leave on the shelf.
If you focus only on these dealbreakers, you will significantly improve your diet and your health! Of course, I assume that you have already filled your cart to capacity with loads of fresh, organic, local produce! And, I endorse cooking from scratch whenever possible but, believe me, I know it can't always happen. Depression: A Family Affair
These guidelines are meant to help you make the most of your choices when you're not able to harvest your own rice. Here are my 5 label dealbreakers. This is how I, personally, choose to read food labels and decide what to eat:
1. Scan for the words hydrogenated and/or high-fructose. If a label contains either of those two words, it goes right back on the shelf. The end. Both of those ingredients immediately indicate a low-quality, processed, crapola product that has no business being in your cart or in your body.
2. Scan for the number of ingredients. People have been making bread since the beginning of time. Bread contains flour, water, yeast, and salt. But if you look at some of the breads available in stores, they have about 20 different ingredients — many of them chemicals and preservatives and sugars. Are You Ready To Start Dating Again?
I don't have a set number of ingredients that I look for, but I try to be sure that the ingredient list is reasonable for what the food is. Bread doesn't need a paragraph of ingredients. Neither do corn chips or tomato sauce or salad dressing. Be smart. You don't even have to read all the ingredients, you can just look at the amount of space the ingredients take up on the label. If the list is longer than your mailing address, put it back.