Tuesday, January 14, 2014

{Fit Tips: How to Read Ingredient Labels}

HI!! Hope everyone is having a lovely Tuesday! I am linking up with Lisa from "The Skinny on Health" for her very first {Fit Tip Tuesday Link Up!} I am super excited about this because it gives me the opportunity to share a quick tip with you guys that has really helped me live a healthier lifestyle!!

My TIP for you guys today is.... How to Read Ingredient Labels!

This is one of the most important steps you can take when living a healthier lifestyle. You should know what you are putting in your body! By giving up the chemicals/processed ingredients in your food....you are not only going to lose weight but you will change your overall health!! Your body needs to understand what you are putting in it! Sounds pretty simple...Right??

#1: Look at the number of ingredients: Is it a mile long?? Are there more than 5 or so ingredients?? Chances are.....if the list is long....you should put it back on the shelf! I like to stick to packaged foods that have very few ingredients. If the company has to add a lot of ingredients to the list...it is a very processed food with a lot of junk that you don't need!

#2: Can you pronounce the ingredients? You should know what every ingredient is on the list. If it is a 20 letter word.....that you can't pronounce and don't have a clue what it is.....don't buy it!

#3: Check for hidden sugar: They have a lot of words for sugar out there!! Corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, fructose and dextrose are just a few words that they use for added sugar. I like products that use honey, organic cane sugar, stevia or maple syrup as sweeteners....just make sure that these sweeteners aren't the number 1 ingredient!!

#4:  Is it WHOLE Wheat? If you are looking at crackers or breads....stay away from enriched anything! Also make sure that the product has WHOLE wheat flour instead of wheat flour. Wheat flour is the same thing as white processed flour. So look for the word WHOLE!

#5: Stay away from artificial sweeteners and dyes: Two ingredients that I always look out for are artificial sweeteners and artificial dyes. They can sometimes be hard to spot! Learn the names for these sweeteners.  Aspartame, Saccharin, and Sucralose are pretty common. Stay away from those! Blue 1, Red 3, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 are examples of words that they use for artificial dyes. Not only are they chemicals but they have been linked to cancer and other health problems. NO THANK YOU!!! 

These are all really simple tips to help you start familiarizing yourself with the ingredients in your every day foods! Go through your pantry and fridge and take a look! It may surprise you! I remember the day I went through my cabinets and threw away a ton of foods that I thought were healthy! I don't like to be wasteful but I couldn't stomach eating these foods after I saw what they really were!! 

The best way to avoid chemicals/processed ingredients is to eat fruits, veggies, organic dairy and antibiotic free meat! The less packaged foods...the better!

So tell me....

What foods surprised you in your fridge/pantry?? Foods that you thought were healthy and they actually are very processed.


  1. I LOVE this tip! I am all about clean eating, and it all starts at the ingredient label. Foods are always marketed as being healthy, when they're really actually not! Most have more processing and sugar than a candy bar! It is so essential to understand labeling to really eat healthy. The word "whole" in wheat is so important too! I'm glad you caught that. "Multigrain" wheat isn't even much better than refined, it has to be wholeeee! :)

    Love all your clean eating posts!

    Lisa @ The Skinny on Health

  2. This is such a good extension of my fit tip for the week! I talked about reading ingredients--but it's important to understand what it is you're reading. Thanks! Also, I'm scrolling thru your popular posts and I'm definitely bookmarking your clean eating chocolate zucchini oatmeal muffins. I love zucchini in my desserts!

  3. Quick question about lunch meat and sliced cheese. My husband has been asking for a good old sandwich. I think low sodium turkey is clean but is there other tips for deli meat and sliced cheese?


    1. I always look for nitrate free turkey breast for sandwich meat and organic sliced cheese.

    2. Great thanks! I love your site and it's been my "go to" since starting clean eating at the new year. I already feel so much better

    3. That's awesome! So glad I can help! :)

  4. I went grocery shopping at whole foods yesterday. I found all the prices to be quite similar to our local regular grocery store except cheese and meat. Is it important that I spend the extra money here or can I buy that at my local grocery store as long as it's lean? What's the difference in the products?


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