Baby Steps Tuesday

Readers Are Winners

Hello, good friends.

Today is another installment of Baby Step Tuesdays. Our topic is reading the ingredient list on a food item. **** ALERT, ALERT **** I’m going to give you my opinion here – the ingredients list is more important than the nutrition label.  Why? Do I not care about fat calories, total calories, fiber, protein, and carbs? Not really. Let me explain.

I have learned to look at the ingredient list first because if a product contains a substance I don’t want to ingest, I don’t care if it has a zero calorie, carb or fat count.  Poison is poison even if it is zero calories.  There are many additives that I don’t want in my body and the only way to know if they are in a food item is to read the ingredients list.

Now, there is no list of ingredients on a raw vegetable or raw fruit or raw meat for that matter, but if your food comes in a package other than its’ raw stage there will be an ingredients list. And if it is in a package (other than a cellophane wrapper for raw items) chances are the product has been processed to some degree.  Thus the need for an ingredient list.

Do not be fooled by the words on the front of the package.  They are marketing ploys to get you to think their product is clean, healthy and natural.  For an example let’s look at a bag of corn chips.  Most brands have 3 ingredients: corn, corn oil, salt.  The front of the package may say – Gluten Free, low in saturated fat, no high fructose corn syrup, etc.  But the chips are about as processed as corn can be – does the chip look anything like the original ear of corn?  Yes, there is no gluten – there is no wheat in it.  Yes, there is no high fructose corn syrup – it never had any – but it is a big catch phrase to get peoples’ attention. And yes, there is fat in the chips but the saturated fat is low but the total fat is not. ( Another time I will go into a discussion of good fats versus bad fats.)

Also, if the ingredients list is more than 12 or more items, think long and hard before you purchase it.  A long list usually  means the item is highly  processed.  And if it contains an item you can’t pronounce or is totally foreign to you, probably you shouldn’t buy it.

I meant what I said in the title of this blog – readers are winners.  You must be aware of what you are putting into your body if you want to take control of your health and nutrition. I read ingredient labels all of the time. I don’t take anything for granted any longer.  And don’t let other shoppers intimidate you – you stand there and compare ingredient lists as long as you want.  You are getting healthy – and you are getting your family healthier by being an ingredients reader.

Read those labels.  Know what you are putting in your body.

By for now.

Debbie

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