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.