The ONLY Thing You Need To Look At On A Nutrition Label
Do you feel like nutrition is confusing?
Have you noticed that nutrition labels are often over complicated with flashy words like: ALL-NATURAL, HIGH FIBER, WHOLE GRAINS.
There’s a list of ingredients, and percentages on the label that’s supposed to give you information about what you’re eating, but you still don’t know what’s what.
You might walk through the grocery store wondering what the heck you’re supposed to pay attention to?
Well, that’s just because the diet industry WANTS you to be confused. The more confused you are, the more likely you are to buy certain products.
I know people are just trying to eat “healthy”, but keep getting fooled by confusing labels.
That’s why I help un-complicate things, and make nutrition simple for you and for my clients.
I don’t think nutrition should be complicated and confusing, and with the right tools you don’t have to be fooled by diet culture anymore!
*PLEASE NOTE: The information I’m sharing is solely to help you understand nutrition labels, I just want you to know and understand the truth behind food labels so you can eat food more freely, without fear or confusion. Let’s start with… WHAT NOT TO LOOK AT ON NUTRITION LABEL:
FLASHY FRONT LABELS - Research shows that adding health claims to front labels of food products makes people believe a product is healthier than the same product that doesn’t list health claims. This makes you more likely to buy the product.
But the truth is, these claims don't tell you anything about the product!
Some examples of flashy marketing on food labels:
LIGHT, LOW-CARB, FAT-FREE - Light products are typically processed to reduce either calories or fat. BUT in order to “lighten” them up, they usually have add something to make sure the product still tastes good (more sugar, more fat, etc.) Sometimes the “regular” thing is better for you than the “light” version
NO SUGAR ADDED - Even though it says this, it doesn’t mean the product isn't’ high in sugar. It might mean there’s artificial sugar, which is way more harmful for your body than actual sugar.
MADE WITH WHOLE GRAINS - Cereals and other products claiming to have ‘whole grains’ doesn’t necessarily tell you everything in the product. This label might just mean there’s a few ingredients in the product that are whole grains, and the rest might be processed/refined ingredients.
ALL-NATURAL - According to the USDA, “all-natural” means the product doesn’t contain artificial ingredients or preservatives. However, it may contain antibiotics, growth hormones, and other chemicals. An “all-natural” product is NOT the same as organic, and it definitely doesn’t make the product “healthy”.
When it comes to nutrition labels, look AWAY from the grid of numbers, percentages, and CONFUSION. You can simply ignore the serving size, calories, fat, sugar, carbs, sodium and son on… and instead focus on the ONE thing you need to look at a on a nutrition label:
THE INGREDIENT LIST
An ingredient list will tell you everything you need to know about a product. If you’re looking for something nutritious and “healthy”, this is where you’ll find the true facts about what you’re eating.
First, check out the number of ingredients in the product. Fewer ingredients typically means it’s probably minimally processed and therefore closer to a “whole food” (ya know, closer to the true from of the food that nourishes us!). The closer the product is to it’s whole/natural form, the more likely your body will not what to do with it! This makes it so much easier for your body to recognize the food, utilize its nutrients, fuel your body, and digest it!
Next, scan the ingredient list - are there any ingredients you can’t pronounce? Hard to pronounce ingredients probably means it’s more processed and probably harder for our body to recognize and digest. I like to stick to words I know (in books and ingredient lists).
Now, you can take a look at the first 3 ingredients listed. The product ingredients are listed by quantity — from highest to lowest amount. The first ingredient listed is what the food contains the most of. A lot foods claiming to be “health foods” list sugar or highly processed oils as their primary ingredients, so this is important for you to be aware this product probably isn’t the most nutrient-dense. Also, be aware that there’s over 56 names for sugar, and companies often use one of the lesser-known names to trick you. Everyone’s always worried about how much sugar they’re eating, but I think we should focus more on the sugar added to products, instead of the sugar we add to our food (ex. A teaspoon of sugar in your coffee is totally fine, but hidden sugar in highly processed foods like certain yogurts, or condiments).
Again, I’m not sharing this information for you to obsess over or to tell you to cut foods from your life forever -- I just want you to use this as a tool when shopping and picking what foods you want to eat! If you want some more 1-on-1 support, this is something I love helping clients with! Join me for a free 30-minute food & body freedom assessment call, where we can discuss specific questions you have around feeling confident in your food choices, and confident in your body. Book your free call here!