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Food Labels 101

Posted on April 18, 2020 | No Comments on Food Labels 101

Read your way to better health with these 5 tips.

You don’t have to be a chemist or a nutritionist to be a savvy health conscious (and wallet-conscious!) consumer. It just takes a little patience and some good ol’ common sense.

As health-conscious consumers increasingly demand healthier foods, some food manufacturers have actually begun to create healthier versions of their products. Many manufacturers, however, change nothing about the quality of their product but repackage it as “healthy” using catchphrases and popular buzzwords on their labels. So how does the average Jane tell the difference between hype and health? Take the following crash course to guide you towards label-reading success!

Label Lesson #1: Counting calories was sooo last century

Just a few decades ago, the most important thing on a food label was the nutritional chart. Health-conscious individuals learned to read the chart and often focused on caloric values. Counting calories is a good start to a weight loss program, but if it’s the only health strategy you have, it’s time to step up your health game. Now, with food technology creating additives and chemicals to keep costs down and profits up, we ought to be conscious about what compounds our bodies are exposed to. The safety of these substances is often overlooked, and possible adverse effects are downplayed, ignored, or covered up altogether.

In fact, so-called “healthier” packaged foods are often worse for your health. Sugar-free, low-fat, and fat-free foods often contain flavor enhancers like MSG or artificial sweeteners like aspartame, both of which can actually contribute to further weight gain and even obesity. MSG has been linked to obesity in rat experiments since the late 1960s. Aspartame, on the other hand, disrupts parts of your brain that senses when you’re full, causing you to crave more sugar.

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