Let’s Talk Nutrition Labels
Ask yourself if this is something you can relate to…
You’re walking down the grocery store isle and you see a food item, it looks healthy, and now you’re wondering whether or not it’s going to through you off track with your fitness goals.
You turn it over to the back and you begin to read the nutrition label, but suddenly it’s like you just started reading some kind of foreign language.
You get annoyed and either put it back or just put it in your cart and carry on.
I hear this from a lot of clients and I really don’t blame you!
It’s hard to know, especially these days when all the food companies are just putting the sticker on their box proclaiming they are healthy or high protein when they really aren’t.
Let alone trying to figure out what all the numbers actually mean for you and your nutrition goals.
Well, don’t worry I have you covered, I’m going to breakdown nutrition labels for you in this blog.
Where to start:
*Calories And Serving Sizes
This is where a lot of companies can trick you into believing that their product is low calories.
When looking at the calories you need to also pay close attention to the serving size.
Because let’s say it says it’s only 100 calories, but when you look at the serving size it says for 1 serving which that particular item is really small.
Food companies really try to be deceptive when it comes to calories and serving size, so beware of these numbers.
These are the 3 essential nutrients your body needs from food. Macronutrients are your protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
These are the main components that make up your calories.
When you are reading this numbers, typically on of them is going to have more grams in it than the others.
For example: in bread, carbohydrates will be higher than protein and fat grams.
This is how you classify what you are eating as a protein, carb, or fat.
This is important because often times food companies to make you feel like their product is a protein when it’s more of a carb, meaning you could be eating way too many carbs during the day. (I see this a lot)
Also, when it comes to fat’s remember there are 9 calories in 1 gram of fats , which means even though the fat number is lower, it can still make the food product high in calories.
*What you need to know about carbohydrates
Carbohydrates breakdown into three different categories complex, simple, or fibrous.
When you are reading your food label, you will know which one of these it is because it will have a column for sugar.
If you are reading a food label and it says 30g of carbs, look at what it says below because if the sugar is 10g+ you may want to reconsider it.
Sometimes food companies will hide the sugars if you aren’t paying attention to this number and where the carbs are coming from.
Now this is where it can be very tricky.
While reading the ingredients, you will see a list of items that this food item is made up of.
These easiest way to determine whether or not that food item is healthy or not is by just asking yourself if you can read the words or not.
If they are words you can’t even pronounce, that should be red flag.
Also the more ingredients the low quality the food item will be, because it gets further and further away from its natural state, meaning it’s more and more processed.
Really, pay attention to the ingredients if high fructose corn syrup or similar ingredients to stay away from them.
Also, if the package says fat free you’ll really want to pay attention to the ingredients because often times you’ll find it is all chemical based, meaning it’s unhealthy for your gut and digestion.
Nutrition labels can be intimidating, but I hope by reading these helpful tips they make a lot more sense.