Label Reading Made Simple

  • If the ingredient list exceeds more than 10 ingredients for a simple food (or so you thought) you might want to reconsider buying it or get out google to look up ingredients that don’t look or sound natural

  • Be careful of the (GF) label on the front of the items such as crackers, bread, pasta, bagels when purchasing grain items. Just because it says it is gluten-free does not mean it is safe. Always read the ingredient labels and avoid foods with wheat, rye, and barley. Be careful of other ingredients such as corn and soy, which are often added in foods labeled Gluten Free.


  • Make sure to read the serving size and the number of grams to understand how much you can eat of a product.  For example, a 2 tbs serving of honey equals 17 grams of sugar.  This way you can keep track of how much sugar you are taking in.  Do this for all foods and beverages.  Another example is juice.  1 cup of orange juice is equal to 29 grams of sugar.


  • When you see natural flavors that can be a red flag for chemical components in there. Why won’t they just list the ingredient? Why cover it up with natural flavors? I am very suspicious of that ingredient.  With some companies, you will have to dig and ask what their natural flavors are made of so if you are not wanting to go further in your detective work I would avoid this one to be sure you’re not ingesting chemicals.


  • Major ingredients or words to look out for and avoid in food and beverages are “enriched or bleached, partially hydrogenated, canola oil, soybean oil, vegetable oil, aspartame, added sugar, food colors and dyes (yellow, red and blue), artificial flavors, natural flavors, farmed, grain-fed, concentrate (usually found in juices)”.


  • Look at the carbohydrates and make sure you stick to the serving size.  For example, GF bread serving size is one slice which equals to 20 grams of carbohydrates.  I would try to stick to the serving size in a meal.  When you consume high carb foods, your glucose levels rise and then your insulin has to rise to lower the sugars which blocks the mobilization of fat and stores it instead. Over time, this makes us feel tired because you stressed out your stress adapting organs such as the pancreas and adrenal glands.


  • If your fats are coming from healthy fat oils such as olive oil, lard, coconut oil, nut oils, palm oil, sunflower oil, I am not concerned with how much fat grams are in the food.  


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