Knowing the Ingredients in Your Food is Extremely Important
There is being healthy and then there is thinking you are being healthy, unfortunately thanks to some creative wording on food labels it can be hard to tell the difference. With everything from popular cereal brands to numerous yogurts claiming to be nutritious by containing whole grains, real fruit, and vitamins to boost your immunity, it can be very confusing. Fortunately you do not have to be a certified nutritionist to learn how to read between the lines, avoiding harmful ingredients and instead choosing the truly healthy ones.
Advertisers have gotten pretty savvy at using words to trick consumers into thinking they are buying something healthier than they really are. A product may be labeled whole-grain but upon further investigation one will find there are still many artificial and unhealthy ingredients mixed in with a whole-grain. A fruit snack may claim to contain 100% real fruit juice but what is not written in bold on the front of the box is all the sugar and artificial ingredients that outnumber the 100% fruit juice.
Many companies have created low fat or fat free versions of their products fooling consumers into thinking they are making a healthier choice by lowering the fat content. Often times by removing the fat content artificial ingredients are added to maintain the flavour and/or consistency, making these low fat and fat-free choices unhealthier than the full fat version.
As if all of that was not confusing enough we now have to worry about those three little letters, GMO that keep appearing in some form or another in our food labels. Those three little letters stand for genetically modified organisms meaning some foods are currently modified to survive herbicide treatment, produce their own pesticides and resist certain diseases. It is estimated that over 70% of our packaged foods now contain genetically modified organisms. In other words ingredients such as corn, wheat, canola, sugar beets, and soy are not the same ingredients they were when you were a child. Many of these ingredients have now been genetically modified and are used in some of the most popular food items.
How Can You Make Healthier Choices?
Thankfully there are certain labels and ingredients to look for to ensure your food does not contain genetically modified organisms, artificial ingredients, and potentially harmful preservatives and additives. Taking a moment to learn a few of these keywords could help make your diet a much healthier one.
* Pay attention to the first three ingredients in a label as they are what the product contains the most of. The shorter the list of ingredients, the more likely it is healthier than those loaded with ingredients that are difficult to pronounce. It is best to try to buy packaged foods with no more than five ingredients; this is not always easy to follow but is a good guideline when reading labels.
* Some national organism prohibits the use of GMOs. Any product with this label on it is a safe choice for those looking to avoid GMOs and eat organic.
* If you are looking to add more fiber in your diet look for labels with whole-grains within the first three ingredients. The easiest way to add more fiber to your diet is by eating more fruits and vegetables.
* Sugar by any other name is still sugar; fructose, sucrose, dextrose, honey, corn syrup, and many other artificial sweeteners are all sugar and sugar substitutes which means they still add on calories.
* Be aware that partially hydrogenated oils are a primary source of trans-fat which may be even more harmful to arteries than saturated fat. Even if a box is labeled trans-fat-free it may still contain partially hydrogenated oils, which means it still contains a small amount of trans-fat.
* Sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite are two preservatives found in food that could potentially cause cancer. Although the evidence is still controversial it is best to limit your consumption of foods containing these preservatives.
* Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is an additive found in foods to enhance their flavour but some people experience negative reactions such as headaches, sweating, and shortness of breath.
* Food colouring, not derived from a natural source, has been shown to cause thyroid and kidney tumours and chromosomal damage. Many food manufacturers and traders have banned foods containing artificial dyes. Natural food dyes sourced from plant materials, including beets, turmeric root, annatto seeds, purple carrot, purple cabbage, gardenia flowers, hibiscus flowers and grape skin are considered not only safe but possibly beneficial.
Save even more time at the grocery store by looking for the following labels or shopping at locally owned health food stores, check for Validactor enabled foods. Read the digital label provided by Validactor. Validactor checks the ingredients against any allergy you may have and will warn you of possible conflicts.
Eating healthy may seem an overwhelming task at times but it is important to remember it does not need to happen overnight. It is about taking small steps to improve your overall health. A great place to start is to read labels more carefully and avoid potentially harmful ingredients.
Validactor is a fast growing company, fully devoted to combat the counterfeit businesses, the fakes markets and any kind of adulteration potentially causing a threat to customers. We fight this battle empowering both manufacturers and final customers with a full set of easy-to-use and easy-to-implement tools. Any kind of smartphone is the most powerful weapon to win this battle.
Along with anti-counterfeit features, Validactor offer a full set of services aimed at strengthen customer-manufacturer relations
Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook